Ferrari 458 Speciale A Limited Edition at Paris Motor Show
Its light, compact and functional aluminium retractable hard top (RHT) takes 14 seconds to deploy or retract, and reduces weight difference with Speciale coupé to just 50 kg. 458 Speciale A gets power from Ferrari’s naturally-aspirated V8 4497 cc mid-rear engine returning 605 cv (135 cv/l specific power output record) and 540 Nm of torque at 6000 rpm to generate 275 g/km of CO2 emissions. A special plaque in the cockpit lists its 3 Best Performance Engine awards.
With a Weight-to-power ratio of 2.21 kg/cv, 458 Speciale A goes from 0-100 km/h in 3 seconds (0 to 200 km/h in 9″5), and has lapped Fiorano at 1’23″5 wing to its front and rear active aerodynamics, rigid chassis with 10 aluminium alloys, and Side Slip Angle Control (SSC) for sporty driving at all times. Innovative and original bodywork solutions makes it the most aerodynamically efficient Ferrari spider ever.
458 Speciale A’s combustion, mechanical and volumetric efficiency are significantly improved and boosts torque at all revs by attaining compression ratio to 14:1, a new high for such an engine. Engineers touched upon its combustion chamber fluid-dynamics, new intake geometries, and cam profile, while components were also reviewed. New adoptions in pistons and con rod bushings have contributed significantly. Redesigned crankshaft and intakes systems took off 8 kgs of overall engine weight.
Tailpipes positioning, silencers config, and a redesigned intel tract ensures an uncompromising soundtrack, both inside and outside 458 Speciale A. A coefficient of 1.37 is a solution based result to deliver high downforce (Cl 0.485) keeping drag very low (Cd 0.355). Ferrari-patented active aerodynamics facilitates max downforce when cornering, and minimum drag on straights.
At relatively low speeds, both vertical flaps upfront and a horizontal one on the underbody are closed to channel air into radiators to cool the engine. At over 170 km/h, vertical flaps open to reduce volume of air reaching the radiators to reduce drag. At over 220km/h, however, the horizontal flap lowers to balance downforce between front and rear axles for a 20% shift in overall rear downforce.
Aerodynamic fins, and turning vanes at front bumper sides make the most of lateral sections of splitters help increase in downforce and 4% shift in the aerodynamic balance over the front.
The front dam, front splitter and hump work to reduce pressure on the front of the car. Rear spoiler’s larger surface area increases Cl on the rear by 7 points. Repositioned tailpipes has permitted a redesigned diffuser to enhance extraction capacity of the underbody to generate more downforce, boosted further by electronically controlled mobile rear flaps.
The RHT offers improved sound insulation. High pressure field over a car’s roof at high speeds won’t cause the roof to deform, and in car space and comfort is improved by its overhead double-curve shape. It takes up 100 litres of space. 458 Speciale A’s glass electric rear window is easy to adjust irrespective of whether the RHT is deployed or retracted for greater in-cabin comfort at high speeds when the top is dropped. Occupants can have a normal conversation at speeds of over 200 Km/h.
When RHT retracts, rear window automatically adjusts to its optimal position at about 1/3rd its full height. A position decided upon through fluid-dynamic simulations and wind tunnel testing on 1:1 scale models to prevent vortex creation behind occupants’ backs and the nape of their necks.
Driving is more pleasurable even if you’re not a racing pro through innovations in electronics, brakes, suspensions and tyres. Fast response time to inputs from the steering (0.060 seconds) and lateral acceleration of 1.33 g are reported.
Its electronic control systems use Side Slip Angle Control (SSC) and improved F1 transmission gear-shift control. SSC’s algorithm analyses the the car’s side slip angle instantly to compare with reference data to optimise engine torque and efficiently distribute differential torque between both driven wheels.
Dual-clutch transmission enhances sporty feel. Reduction in response time makes for 40% faster longitudinal acceleration as engine revs adapt 20% faster when shifting gears. During downshifting, transient time for engine revs to match gear ratio is 44% quicker.
Brembo braking system components were evolved with solutions for LaFerrari adapted to suit 458 Speciale A. Extreme Design calipers, HT2 discs with a more silicon and smaller HY hybrid material front pads add up to 8% reduction in stopping distances.
458 Speciale A’s Frequency-Shaped SCM-E (Frs SCM-E) dampers have twin solenoids, a new CPU and software to modify the magnetic field every millisecond based on rapid response to commands combined with reduced steering wheel activity.
Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tyres were specifically designed for 458 Speciale A for 6% increase in grip made of a compound to improve performance over a single dry lap, consistency over multiple laps and, better grip in the wet. Forged 20″ wheels are a new design and over 12 kg lighter than 458 Spider’s.
458 Speciale A’s shape is performance-oriented. a number of bodywork panels are redesigned without modifying passenger cell or signature design features. Composite bumpers are redesigned and front bonnet features two deep air outlets for passage to air exiting the radiator. Air outlets to the side of headlight assemblies have 3 louvers highlighting Ferrari’s from yesteryears, such as 250 GTO and F40. Rear features a Kamm tail, a full-width grille and twin exhausts. 458 Speciale A is being shown in an unusual yellow triple-layer livery with a Nart Blu and Avus white centre stripe. New forged five-spoke wheels are available in 3 colours: Oro, Grigio Corsa and diamond-finish matt black.
458 Speciale A’s cabin is racing-inspired and focuses on doing away with superfluous weight by using lightweight and exclusive materials including Alcantara, and carbon-fibre. Ferrari’s workmanship is evident in its finish of the dash, moulded door panels and central tunnel in carbon-fibre. Layering in the cabin visually breaks up volumes. Glove compartment is replaced with convenient odds and ends pockets on the tunnel and doors to streamline volumes in this area. A carbon-fibre wing extends over the central tunnel section, and angles the F1 gearbox controls towards the driver. Newly-designed seats have Sabelt carbon-fibre shells with optimum side bolstering based on ergonomic design. Shoulder-rests are trimmed in Alcantara for better seta grip. Backrests and seat are padded with breathable 3D fabric for air circulation and comfort.