Ahead of next week’s Paris Motor Show, Ferrari has pulled the cover off a new variant of its high-performance 458 Speciale model.
Ferrari has also pulled the roof off — and named the car accordingly. It’s called the 458 Speciale A, with the “A” standing for “Aperta,” which means “open” in Italian. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but it should be well north of $US300,000.
As far as the Ferrari DNA goes, the new car is the spider version of the 458 Speciale (a spider execution of the regular 458 is already in the stable of the Maranello carmaker). The 458 Speciale A is targeted at the exclusive upper register of aspiring or existing Ferrari owners. Only 499 will be built, and according to the company, the car will be “the most powerful spider in Prancing Horse history, effortlessly marrying extreme performance with the sublime pleasure of drop-top driving.”
Just how powerful? Try nearly 600 horsepower, delivering 0-60 mph in around 3 seconds.
Actually, the evolution of all that power is something of an intriguing subplot in the story of what is a very hot looking set of wheels. The automotive media has been widely speculating that the straightforward, naturally aspirated 458 V8 engine will soon be replaced by a turbocharged powerplant. This means that the 499 examples of the 458 Speciale A that Ferrari aims to create will be quite special, indeed.
To add distinctively, the latest Ferrari will hit the Paris Auto Show in yellow, rather than red, livery. Blue — not black — carbon-fibre completes the dramatic look.
The 458 is a fierce machine, a roadgoing race car than in its competitive incarnations has won at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 24 Hours of Daytona, and the 12 Hours of Sebring. It’s an absolute blast to drive fast — and with the arrival of the 458 Speciale A, will be a blast to drive even faster, with the wind rushing through the cockpit and that V8 screaming like a wild thing taken from a wild place and bent to the will of gentler beings who hope to be periodically reminded of wild things and wild places.
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