2014 Ferrari
458 Speciale

13 city / 17 hwy
4.5L, V8, 605 hp

From the civilization that brought you the Roman arch, the Pantheon, and the Coliseum comes new automotive technology that revolutionizes how sports cars handle. Enter the Ferrari 458 Speciale.

By Tara Weingarten

Roman Gladiator

In many ways, the 2014 Ferrari 458 Speciale exudes all the elegance and simplicity of a roman arch. Ferrari’s latest masterpiece is a triumph of engineering, allowing this exotic sports car to speed from a standstill to 62 mpg in a giddy 3 seconds flat. It is, in its design, empirically sexy, and the iconic embodiment of a true spots car. Like the roman arch, which unobtrusively supported massive buildings and aqueducts, Ferrari’s new technology steps in to enhance how the car handles in corners – you don’t feel it or sense it, but you are safer for it, and frankly, a better driver. The technology on the Ferrari 458 Speciale moves automotive engineering forward to the next stage of competence and sets a new standard. One lap around a racetrack shows how this new-generation V8 Ferrari grips the corners but still allows a bit of raucous slide.

10 Things To Know About the 2014 Ferrari 458 Speciale


The 458 Speciale is the sportier version of the Ferrari 458 Italia, which is already crazy fast. But those nutty Italian engineers just can’t help but make their cars faster, more capable in corners, and quicker to stop on a dime (new Brembo brakes have an eight percent shorter stopping distance). What they do is make us think the last Ferrari they built just won’t do. And I, for one, fall prey to their brilliance every time. The 2014 Ferrari 458 Speciale has 35 more horsepower than the 458 Italia, it weighs nearly 200 pounds less (and less weight means a faster car), and it has next-generation carbon ceramic brakes that stop even quicker.


Helping the 458 Special grip even better are a set of new 20″ tires. Michelin and Ferrari jointly developed Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires for six percent improved grip over the 458 Italia. A new tread compound gives substantial traction in both wet and dry conditions.


Shifting is quicker (20 percent faster on upshifts and 44 percent faster on downshifts) thanks to a new F1-style dual clutch transmission. It has a sportier feel with reduced response times. You’ll feel like a rock star when you tap your manicured fingertips over the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Also, the new dual clutch is smoother, with less jerking through gear shifts.


That legendary low-frequency engine sound from the sportiest of Ferraris. It really is sexy. And it was tuned to be a bit louder (read: passionate) for the 458 Speciale.


Though the 2014 Ferrari 458 Special is quicker and sportier than its close relation, the Italia, it gets the same fuel efficiency. This was achieved through significant weight reduction by employing more lightweight carbon fiber, alloys like titanium, magnesium and aluminum, a thinner windshield, and by removing extraneous extras like a glove box. No, you won’t win any environmental awards driving a Ferrari, but hey, you can reduce your carbon footprint in other ways.


The Ferrari 458 Speciale interior wears an elegant soft and supple manufactured fabric called Alcantara. It feels like suede but is half the weight of the real thing, and is not made from animal hide. Because it is man-made, Alcantara is consistent in its softness, its color (it can be dyed any color), and its flawless appearance. The Ferrari 458 Speciale has Alcantara on its roof liner, parts of the seats, and some of the trim. The 458 Speciale also has slivers of the brand’s lightweight and rugged F1 fabric on its seats.


Ferrari expects that half of its 458 Speciale buyers will want to drive on a racetrack. After all, it has a top speed of 202 mph. Though it is built to withstand the g-forces and quick braking and acceleration stresses produced on a racetrack, the 458 Speciale is equally comfortable riding on city streets. It’s easy to drive, with no special training or knowledge required. As simple to drive as the car you have in your garage now.


The 2014 Ferrari 458 Speciale is the company’s most powerful naturally-aspirated (non-supercharged) road-going V8 ever made. That means you won’t feel a sudden jolt or boost of power strike the car, which comes from turbo or super-charging, when you stomp your foot onto the gas pedal. Instead, you’ll feel just a solid arc of power that keeps going. Nothing to snag your psyche out of acceleration nirvana.


Again, to save on weight, some creature comforts have been removed, like carpets (floors are a cool-looking aluminum plate) and automatic adjustable seats. But the 2014 Ferrari 458 Italia can be ordered with options including: heated seats and navigation.


The optional racing stripe is groovy. Retro and au courant all at once.

Final Thoughts

Some wonder where Italian ingenuity has gone since the days of the Roman Empire. I say that patrimony is in the DNA of today's Ferrari engineers. The 2014 Ferrari 458 Speciale makes the driver feel as if she or he is among the best drivers in the world. Electronics that intervene without perception make the vehicle safe in the most extreme conditions. Go fast, move through tight corners, stop right away. No problem. Emerge from the car with a massive grin.

Shockingly great handling

Huge - but controllable - power

So expensive, most Earthlings will never sit in the driver's seat


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One Response to “Ferrari 458 Speciale”

  1. Car News says:

    A chick driving a Ferrari must attract a lot of guys.

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