Image credits: © Ferrari.

Paris world premiere for the 458 Speciale A, the most powerful spider ever

• After the FF, the Apple CarPlay system is extended to California T

Paris, October 2nd 2014 – The 458 Speciale A makes its world debut at the 2014 Mondial de l'Automobile in Paris. A limited edition special series of just 499 cars, the new model enhances the sublime pleasure of Ferrari drop-top driving wîth the blistering performance of the company's most powerful naturally-aspirated V8 engine ever.

This latest spider is a celebration of the 458, a model which, in its various incarnations, has won a plethora of international motoring plaudits, not least three Best Performance Engine awards, as well as delivering many track victories, including a WEC title and wins in the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans and Daytona.

The 458 Speciale A (the A stands, of course, for Aperta) is powered by a V8 engine that delivers a maximum of 605 cv and a record specific power output of 135 cv/l. Torque stands at 540 Nm at 6,000 rpm. This adds up to a car capable of extraordinary performance (0 to 100 km/h in 3 seconds flat) wîth very low CO2 emissions of just 275 g/km.

Engine aside, another pivotal factor in the benchmark performance delivered by the 458 Speciale A is its active aerodynamics. Thanks to a Ferrari-patented mechanism, two vertical flaps at the front of the car and one on the underbody open at high speeds to lower drag. At the rear, an original set-up centring around a mobile diffuser augments downforce as required too. The result is that the 458 Spider A is the most efficient Ferrari spider ever built.

Vital Stats
Engine : 4.5 L., 12-cylinder
Power: 596 hp
Torque: 398 ft-lbs

7-speed Semi-Automatic
Also fundamental are the aerospace-derived materials and technologies adopted in the chassis which is made from 10 aluminium alloys to combine lightness and rigidity, and the retractable hard top (RHT) which deploys or retracts in just 14 seconds. The Speciale A employs latest-generation electronics, specifically Side Slip Angle Control system (SSC) which allows even less expert drivers to exit corners on the limit, delivering a uniquely exhilarating driving experience underscored by the signature uncompromising and seductive Ferrari soundtrack.


For its world premiere, the 458 Speciale A has been given an unusual triple-layer Modena yellow livery in honour of the colour of the eponymous city, as well as a central stripe in Blu NART and Bianco Avus, an homage to Luigi Chinetti's American racing team which won many endurance classics in Ferraris in the 1960s.

The 458 Speciale A's Grigio Corsa five-spoke wheels are forged for maximum lightness. The cabin interior has been kept absolutely minimal wîth extensive use of carbon-fibre for the dash, door panels and central tunnel which, like the treadplates, are in an exclusive blue for the Paris premiere. The 458 Speciale A's seats are newly designed and feature Alcantara© upholstery, contrasting stitching and 3D technical fabric.

CALIFORNIA T WITH APPLE CARPLAY
The real star on the Grand Tourer front at the Paris Show is the Ferrari California T wîth CarPlay, the innovative integrated Apple system which provides instant and intuitive voice and touch control: everything from phone calls to map use, messaging to playing music. This extends the Apple system's integration into the Ferrari range which began wîth the FF, the first car in the world to offer CarPlay.

TAILOR MADE FF
The upgraded Tailor Made bespoke personalisation area on the stand plays host to an FF in Grigio Abu Dhabi wîth details in the historic Grigio Ferro Met. The car's cabin also features luxury materials, such as buttery-soft Frau 'Soul Aretha' leather and elegant 'Solaro', a slightly iridescent tailoring fabric. Meticulous care has been lavished on the choice and execution of every one of the many original details aboard, from teak and ash trim accents in the cabin to the lining of the boot in woven leather and textile.

THE RANGE
The new 458 Speciale A will be flanked on the stand by the rest of the current range wîth liveries, colours and details selected to represent the very best of Ferrari tradition and exclusivity. Not least of these are the new arrival's two sister models: the 458 Speciale in Rosso wîth a blue and white racing livery and red 3D material cabin trim, and the 458 Spider in classic Rosso Corsa wîth leather trim. Sticking to the sports car theme, but this time powered by the mid-front V12 engine, the F12berlinetta on the stand is in a Grigio Titanio livery wîth black cabin trim and carbon-fibre details. On the GT side, the FF is a sleek Nero Stellato wîth Sabbia interior plus an exclusive panoramic roof. Last but very far from least, the California T is in an elegant Bianco Italia paintwork wîth Nero Stellato roof and Blu cabin trim.

Source - Ferrari

THE FASTEST FERRARI V8 SPORTS CAR EVER

As the most extremely-focused Ferrari V8 sports car in history, the 458 Speciale bristles wîth technical solutions that make it unique for owners seeking an even more extreme sports car. Innovations span the entire car, including Ferrari patents and world firsts.

Most of the 458 Speciale bodywork is redesigned without modifying either the passenger cell or the signature design features of the 458 Italia. Glass thickness is reduced to cut weight, while the rear window is now Lexan©. Bumpers have been redesigned and the hood uses two deep air outlets to channel away air exiting the radiator. Air outlets at the sides of the headlight assemblies now also include three louvers reminiscent of the 250 GTO and F40.

A strong racing-derived atmosphere permeates the cockpit. Exclusive, lightweight materials dominate. Yet, craftsmanship sophistication and hand-stitched leathers expected in such an exclusive Ferrari abound. Styling retains the 458 Italia's aesthetic sense, wîth some materials and forms actually overlapping for visual interest.

THE 458 SPECIALE'S COCKPIT
The glove compartment is replaced wîth pockets on the tunnel and doors. The familiar Ferrari console bridge wîth F1 gearbox controls is formed from a carbon-fiber wing, placed at the ideal ergonomic angle to the driver.

Sabelt seats use carbon-fiber shells for strength and light weight. Prodigious side bolstering keeps driver and passenger securely placed during rigorous driving. With Alcantara-trimmed shoulder rests, the seats also provide excellent surface grip. A breathable 3D fabric provides welcomed circulation from the backrests and seat bottoms.

Aerodynamics
The 458 Speciale's extraordinary aerodynamic efficiency at a coefficient of 1.5, is the best in Ferrari production car history. A string of advances yield a high downforce value (Cl: 0.53) while keeping drag very low (Cd: 0.35). The Speciale's patented active aerodynamics play a fundamental part in adopting different configurations to deliver maximum downforce in cornering and minimum drag on straights.

At the front of the car are two vertical flaps in the center wîth a horizontal flap below them. At low speed, the flaps remain closed, channelling air into the radiators. However, at speeds over 105 mph, the flaps open, reducing air flowing into the radiators, reducing drag. At speeds of over 137 mph, the horizontal flap lowers to balance downforce between the front and rear axles, creating a 20 percent shift in overall downforce towards the rear.

Powertrain
A Ferrari this special demands an exceptional engine. Making 597 hp at 9000 rpm, it the most powerful naturally aspirated V8 ever built at Maranello. Specific output - horsepower per liter of displacement - is a world record for a road-going, naturally aspirated engine, at 133 hp per liter. Combing through the entire sports car for weight loss also results in an exceptional power-to-weight ratio of 5.15 pounds per hp. That all helps to log astounding performance numbers: 0-62 mph acceleration in 3 seconds flat; 0-124 mph in just 9.1 seconds and a Fiorano lap time of 1:23.5.

To generate the additional power over the 458 Italia's engine, every component was ambitiously re-examined. Compression rises to 14.0:1 wîth new pistons, combustion chamber shape is revised, a carbon-fiber intake manifold uses shorter runners, intake ports are reshaped, new camshafts net greater intake and exhaust valve lift and a new airbox made from carbon-fiber is employed. Individually, all subtle changes. As a group, they equal an increase of 35 hp.

Ferrari drew heavily on its extensive F1 knowledge at the design, process and control stages. The engine is produced by factory's in-house foundry using the same processes and machinery employed by the F1 team, delivering complex components wîth hyper-critical accuracy.

Optimized combustion chambers and new crankshaft geometry for more frequent high-rpm operation, new intake geometry, and new cam profiles are just some of the work that allowed designers to meet targets. Revised materials wîth new pistons and connecting rod bushings also play a part. And Ferrari is always weight-conscious. The new carbon-fiber intake manifold and airbox remove 17.6 pounds from the engine compartment.

Vehicle Dynamics
Ferrari's designers set a lofty goal wîth the 458 Speciale, but one wîth a new twist. Provide an extraordinarily intense driving experience, but do so in a way that makes the edge of the performance envelope a bit more approachable and allow clients to improve their skills through technology. Electronics, brakes, suspension and tires all feature new technological innovations that deliver outstanding performance. These not only improve time elapsed over single laps, but also build a repeatability of that performance on subsequent laps for non-professional drivers, offering breath-taking exhilaration. Response to §teering input of 0.060 seconds and lateral acceleration of 1.33 g break the record for a Ferrari production car.

Side Slip Control (SSC)The 458 Speciale debuts the all-new Side Slip Control (SSC). This new sophisticated and powerful tool instantaneously calculates the 458 Speciale's side slip angle as a variance to the driver's intended line through a corner, comparing it wîth reference data. Torque management to both rear wheels is optimized while differential torque is distributed more strategically. With the Manettino set at RACE or CT OFF, the 458 Speciale then makes the most of available grip for improved acceleration out of corners, greater ease and control on the limit, and more consistent performance.

Gear-shift strategy

The 458 Speciale's F1 dual-clutch transmission delivers wîth more urgency. Response times quicken, wîth 20 percent faster upshifts and 44 percent faster downshifts.

Every braking component has evolved from the solutions introduced on the LaFerrari. New Extreme Design calipers, HT2 discs wîth greater silicon content, and new front pads result in 8 percent shorter stopping distances than the 458 Italia and more consistent performance under severe use.

Frequency-shaped SCM-E

On-the-limit driving is easier, faster and sharper thanks to incredibly fast suspension and §teering response times combined wîth more precise body control. Fundamental to this are Frequency-Shaped SCM-E (Frs SCM-E) dampers, which have twin solenoids, a new CPÚ and new software that modifies the magnetic field inside them every millisecond.

Wheels and tires

Ferrari and Michelin co-developed specific tires for the 458 Speciale. Generating 6 percent more grip than the 458 Italia's, the new Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tires feature a compound wîth additives that boost performance over single laps in the dry, consistency over multiple laps, and wet grip. The specially-designed forged 20-inch wheels are also 26.4 pounds lighter than the 458 Italia wheels.

Source - Ferrari
Spider
Designer: Pininfarina
Today the prancing stallion is known around the world from chic saloons to steamy paddocks. It oozes luxury, power, and panache. It wasn't always so. Ferrari's storied heritage dates to 1929 when Enzo Ferrari founded Scuderia Ferrari - 'Ferrari Stable' - to build race cars and sponsor drivers, both of which he did quite well. After World War II, Enzo began building road cars, but only as a concession to fund his beloved, but expensive, racing program.

The 458 Special A is a spider version of the mid-engine 458 Speciale. The 'A' stands for Aperta - Italian for open. Based on the 458 Italia, it has a naturally aspirated 4.5-liter V8 with 597 horsepower and 398 pound feet of torque. Power comes courtesy of direct fuel injection, 14:1 compression, increased intake and exhaust valve lift, and reworked intake runners and ports. The transmission is a Getrag dual-clutch 7-speed.

It includes Side Slip Angle Control, sophisticated software, that measures the car's slip angle and adjusts the electronic rear differential and stability control based on what it calculates to be the optimum slip angle. The A also has an advanced aerodynamic feature that includes a flap in front that sends air under the car to create more rear downforce at high speeds. Spring-loaded panels up front open above 105 miles per hour to divert air from the radiators and through vanes at the corners of the car. All this grants membership into the highly esteemed 200 mile per hour club.
 
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