Succeeding the Ferrari 430 Scuderia, which is based on 458 Italia predecessor Ferrari F430, the 458 Speciale, the top-performing variant of the 458 Italia, was unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show and produced between 2013 and 2015. The 458 Speciale A ("A" standing for "Aperta"), the spider variant of the 458 Speciale, was also produced between 2013 and 2015 with only 499 units.
The 458 Speciale is Ferrari's last model with a naturally aspirated V8 engine, as naturally aspirated V8 engines would be discontinued with the Ferrari California T and 488 GTB, the latter of which is the 458's successor and has a high-performance variant called the 488 Pista, which acts as the 458 Speciale's successor.
The 458 Speciale is the car that will stop your heart and then kickstart it again, all in a span of a sprint to the next red light. It will sing you to sleep every night with its rapturous exhaust note, it will embrace you firmly in its carbon fiber seats and never let you go. The Speciale is special in every sense of the word; it tops the Italia by reducing weight, increasing output, enhancing handling, and providing an epic driving experience. At a glance you will recognize the telltale striping of its predecessors the 360 Challenge Stradale and 430 Scuderia. Up close you will note subtle body flourishes that aid aerodynamics. Yes, the Speciale is stripped down, but what remains is a tantalizing package that represents the one of the purest driver-focused cars ever built.
The Ferrari 458 Speciale, being a high-performance version of the 458 Italia, features an updated 4.5 L (4,499 cc) F136 F V8 engine with the power now rated at 597 hp (445 kW). The torque still remains unchanged at 398 ft·lb (540 N·m), though. The Speciale retains the original seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The 458 Speciale's visual distinctions include forged five-spoke wheels, a vented front bonnet, a taller rear wing, finned side sills, and redesigned bumpers with active aerodynamics. Front and rear movable flaps create a balance in downforce and decrease drag at high speeds. The Speciale is also lighter than the 458 Italia, weighing only 3075 lb (1395 kg). The 458 Speciale features a power-to-weight ratio of 428 hp (319 kW) per tonne.
The 458 Speciale is capable of 0 - 60 mph (97 km/h) in 2.85 seconds, 0 - 100 mph (161 km/h) in 6.05 seconds, and a top speed of 215 mph (346 km/h), attributed to by its tighter gearing in comparison with the 458 Italia, although this exceeds Ferrari's claim of 202 mph (325 km/h).
The Ferrari 458 Speciale is a more acceleration/handling-focused version of the 458 Italia, evident with the ability to reach 100 mph (161 km/h) in almost exactly 6 seconds and sharper handling and more efficient braking when compared to a V12-engined supercar like the Ferrari Enzo Ferrari. Off the line, it features mild to moderate wheelspin, which can be a problem should the driver exit a corner incorrectly. With tighter gearing, its top speed is limited to 215 mph (346 km/h).
Upgrading the 458 Speciale with a V12 swap from the Ferrari Enzo or Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 gives the 458 Speciale a giant power boost, enabling a potential for extremely fast acceleration and high top speeds, provided the gearing has been appropriately tuned. With an AWD drivetrain swap and proper adjustments to the gearing, acceleration can further be improved, making the 458 Speciale one of the best cars for S2 Class races on high-speed routes, beating even the Ferrari LaFerrari and FXX K, and in some cases, the Ferrari F50 GT. In terms of drag race compatibility, though, it is very close to the likes of the Dodge Dart Hemi Super Stock and Lamborghini Sesto Elemento.
The Ferrari 458 S has a year of 2015 in Forza Horizon 2.
The Ferrari 458 S's active aerodynamics are actually nonfunctional in the Forza games. This has never been corrected.
In Forza Motorsport 7, the Ferrari 458 S could be equipped with the Race Rear Wing option, albeit unusually wide. As of the February 15, 2018 update, this has been fixed so that the Race Rear Wing option is the same width as with other cars.
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