There’s been a lot of buzz about Ferrari coming out with a spider version of its 458 Speciale supercar, and now the buzz has become reality. At next month's Paris Motor Show, the Italian car maker is set to unveil the 458 Speciale A, with the "A" standing for Aperta, which is Italian for "open." Billed as the most powerful and aerodynamically efficient spider ever built by Ferrari, it boasts the company’s most powerful naturally-aspirated V8 engine for the road.
Standing out in its triple-layer yellow livery and Blu Nart and Bianco Avus stripe down the middle, the 458 Speciale A is a mixture of scoops, vents, louvers, and winglets making up part of its front and rear active aerodynamics that look like they mean business. And needless to say, the lines have the typical Ferrari mixture that blurs the lines between excitement and fear.
Underneath is a rigid chassis made up of ten aluminum alloys. Meanwhile, the retractable hard top opens and closes in only 14 seconds and adds just 50 kg (110 lb) to the dry weight of the 458 Speciale coupé to tip the scales at 2,954 lb (1,340 kg).
The 4.5 liter V8 engine is the winner of three international Best Performance Engine awards and has the same output as the 458 Speciale coupé, punching 596 bhp (444 kW) with 540 Nm (398 ft-lb) of torque and generating 275 g/km of carbon dioxide. On the track it does 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3 seconds, 0 to 124 mph (200 km/h) in 9.5 seconds, and on the Fiorano circuit the 458 Speciale A did a lap time of one minute, 23.5 seconds.
The cockpit of the new Ferrari spider has a strong racing motif using lightweight materials with the door panels and the central tunnel in bespoke blue carbon composites that aren’t exactly the best match with the grey and yellow trim. In addition, the minimalist and surprisingly well laid out dashboard is nicely offset by the racing-style steering wheel.
The Ferrari 458 Speciale A is restricted to a run of 499 units and with the 458 coupé selling in the neighborhood of US$250,000, it will probably be the priciest of the 458 line.