Lightweight Ferrari 458 Speciale sold out

The 458 Speciale\'s V8 packs the highest energy density of any naturally-aspirated engine the Prancing Horse has ever built.

Ferrari has announced the 458 Speciale that debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show last September is sold out. Lighter than a 458 Italia, the Speciale is powered by an eight-cylinder engine that packs the highest energy density of any naturally-aspirated mill the Prancing Horse has ever built.

Mounted directly behind the front seats, the Speciale's 4.5-liter V8 churns out 605 horsepower at 9,000 rpms - a figure that equates to 135 horsepower per engine liter - and 398 lb-ft. of torque at 6,000 rpms. With it, the 2,843-pound coupe sprints from zero to 62 mph in three seconds flat and from zero to 124 mph in 9.1 seconds.

The 458 Speciale also holds the honor of being the most aerodynamic regular-production Ferrari has ever produced, an achievement partially accomplished by fitting the car with adjustable spoilers on both ends.

On-track handling is enhanced by Ferrari's Side Slip angle Control (SSC) system. SSC uses a new algorithm to precisely analyze the car's side slip, compare it to the car's projected trajectory and work with the electronic differential and the F1-derived traction control system to instantly change the torque distribution between the rear wheels. Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tires designed specifically for the Speciale help keep the extra power in check.

Thanks to a host of weight-saving modifications, the Speciale weighs nearly 200 pounds less than a 458 Italia. Official pricing information has not been published but the car is rumored to cost roughly $300,000, making it approximately 25 percent more expensive than an Italia.

Although it's too late for would-be Special buyers to put down a deposit, high-tech features like the adjustable spoilers and the SSC system will eventually trickle down to other members of the Ferrari lineup.

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