The Ferrari 458 Speciale A is the eagerly-awaited convertible version of the manufacturer’s blisteringly fast coupé (the “A” stands for Aperta, or “Open”).
It is the fastest “spider” model ever produced by Ferrari, thanks to the extraordinary power of its V8 engine, lightweight design, and astonishing aerodynamic qualities.
Only 499 editions of this sublime drop-top model will be produced, and the Lancaster Ferrari dealership in Colchester will be among the first outlets in the UK to stock these models.
The use of high-strength aluminium and carbon fibre and twin airbags ensure that this lightweight car delivers excellent protection to occupants in the event of a crash.
If the car should flip over, anti-roll bars deploy in the fraction of a second to keep the driver and passenger safe from harm.
A host of active safety mechanisms, however, make it much easier to avoid encountering such a traumatic situation.
Extremely powerful carbon-ceramic brakes, alongside Electronic Stability Control, ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, and Formula 1-derived Traction Control system guarantee a stable platform.
A particularly interesting innovation is the Speciale A's Side Slip Angle Control System.
Which assesses and adjusts the vehicle's angle of yaw and steering to prevent any loss of control.
As well as making the 458 Speciale A a vehicle of outstanding beauty, its exterior design enhances its superb performance.
The indentation on the underside of the front grille not only looks distinctive, but diverts airflow under the vehicle, increasing rear downforce at high speeds.
The large twin exhausts are set wider apart than in the coupé to accommodate a rear diffuser, reducing drag further.
A dry weight of just 1340kg, achieved through the exclusive use of the lightest and strongest materials available, also make the Speciale A one of the most aerodynamic high-performance cars on the road.The car's interior has been equally well-designed, providing an environment both driver-focused and luxurious.
A centre console, moulded door panels and treadplates constructed from carbon fibre, as well as Alcantara leather seats with contrasting stitching, combining comfort with the ambience of a racing car.
When the weather is less than clement, you can encase yourself in the watertight, serene environment of the 458 Speciale A's cockpit.
When you want to enjoy the sonorous roar of the V8 engine at full volume, the hard-top roof deploys in just 14 seconds.
The 4.5 litre powertrain produces maximum power of 597bhp and maximum torque of 540Nm at 6000rpm.
This colossal power is allied to a lightning-quick seven-speed automatic transmission, which again utilise the latest innovations from Formula 1.
Despite its slightly heavier weight compared to the coupé edition, the Speciale A's aerodynamic modifications allow it to achieve the same exhilarating rate of acceleration, reaching 62mph in exactly three seconds.
Although the 0-124mph acceleration is slightly slower than the original at 9.5 seconds, the convertible is also capable of its top speed of 202mph.
|Vehicle length||4571 mm / 180 in|
|Vehicle width||1951 mm / 76.8 in|
|Vehicle height||(unladen) 1203 mm / 47.4 in|
|Wheelbase||2650 mm / 104.3 in|
|Unladen weight (DIN)||1340 kg / 2954 lb|
|Engine / Cylinders||V8|
|Max Torque||540Nm @ 6000 rpm|
|Max Power||445 kW @ 9000 rpm|
|Top Speed||202 mph|
|Acceleration||0-62 mph / 3.0 sec|
|Combined cycle||23.9 mpg|