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Frankfurt show: Ferrari’s 458 earns its stripes

White stripes: The newest offering from the Maranello stables is the most aerodynamic production Ferrari ever.

Ferrari 458 Speciale gains engine, aero tweaks and – most crucially – a roof stripe

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Ferrari logo21 Aug 2013

By MIKE COSTELLO

FERRARI will premiere the meanest iteration of its mid-engined 458 coupe to date at the Frankfurt motor show on September 10.

In a sign of things to come from the Prancing Horse brand, the 458 Speciale, as it is called, features “advanced active aerodynamics” that will feature on all new future road-going Ferraris.

The Italian brand has not gone into specifics on exactly how this aero system works, other than to say that moveable components front and rear add downforce and cut drag. The Speciale, it says, is the most aerodynamic production Ferrari to date, bar none.

It also recruited fellow Italian auto icon Pininfarina to pen the aggressive, F1-style new front bumper, plus the racier rear diffuser. Ferrari has also ditched the ‘regular’ 458’s triple rear exhaust pipes in favour of a new centrally mounted twin-pipe setup.

As with previous special-edition Ferraris such as the 360 Challenge Stradale and 430 Scuderia, there’s a special stripe running along the bonnet, roof and boot.

The Speciale also gets a new active safety system called Side Slip angle Control (SSC) that lends extra control at the limit. It’s essentially an advanced torque management system that corrects the car’s line by adjusting the amount of torque at each rear corner via traction control and an electronic differential.

The firebreathing, mid-mounted 4.5-litre normally aspirated engine located under a signature glass cover is fettled to produce an extra 20kW. The engine now sends 445kW at a screaming 9000rpm and 540Nm at 6000rpm through the rear wheels.

Specific output, or power per litre, is minutely shy of 100kW, which Ferrari says breaks the record for a naturally aspirated engine in any road car.

The 0-100km/h sprint has been cut to 3.0 seconds dead (down 0.4s) and from standstill to 200km/h in 9.1s, while emissions are kept at 275 grams per kilometre (if anyone cares to know the latter).

Ferrari’s test pilot lapped the Fiorano test circuit in 1min 23.5sec, which is 1.5s than the famed Enzo and only 3.5s slower than the company’s new LaFerrari flagship, which produces more than 700kW and 900Nm.

The special 458 sports newly designed Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tyres designed specifically for this car. The boffins at Maranello clocked the car’s lateral acceleration at 1.33g, higher than any non-racing Ferrari ever before.

Ferrari says its too early to go into Australian pricing or allocation, if indeed there is any, but given the previous-generation F430 Scuderia cost about 20 per cent more than the regular car here, expect a hefty leap over the regular $526,000 458 coupe should the car come here in limited numbers.

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