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VIDEO: Three days of fun

Chris Harris on Cars, COTY 2014

Chris Harris and mates at Portimao with his favourite cars from 2014. There’s no agenda, no forced result to pick a winning car. It’s simply a recipe for fun. Enjoy!

[Thanks to Richard for the tip]

Ferrari McLaren Porsche Video

A decent day out indeed

Ferrari 458 Speciale v McLaren 650S v Porsche 911 GT3

Steve Sutcliffe and his mates from Autocar recently spent the day at Castle Combe with half a million quids worth of track toys. Fighting for their attention was the Ferrari 458 Speciale, the McLaren 650S and the Porsche 911 GT3.

Which one do you think will be the fastest? And which one would you take home?

[Thanks to Tim for the tip]

Ferrari Porsche Video

VIDEO: Porsche 911 GT3 v Ferrari 458 Speciale

Porsche 911 GT3 v Ferrari 458 Speciale

Ben Barry from Car magazine has the enviable task of comparing the Porsche 911 GT3 against the Ferrari 458 Speciale. Both cars have so much personality, so much power, so much appeal. Wouldn’t a day behind the wheel of these two cars, on empty open roads, be a great day out!

As a self-confessed 911 GT3 fan it’s hard to see me ever picking anything else in my automotive dreams. But, you know, a 458 Speciale ain’t so bad!


Ferrari 458 Speciale A revealed

Ferrari 458 Speciale A

The Ferrari 458 has always been one of the best examples of car design, where aggression and elegance are given equal footing. And this convertible version of the incredibly capable 458 Speciale helps to further prove that theory.

You can’t really look this 458 Speciale A and say it is a beautiful car in the same way you can with pretty much any Aston Martin built in the last 15 years or so. The 458 just looks angry, fast and screams “don’t mess with me!” It’s not until you take a closer look at the details that the purity and elegance of the 458 begin to shine.

For example, look at this Speciale A in profile view and admire the way the bodywork creases and folds where the door begins to meet the rear wheel arch. Or in front three-quater view, look at the lower corner and the detailing of the aero package. And, of course, on this open air model, those evocative rollover hoops make this one of the few car designs where you’d be happy to take the convertible over the hardtop. The McLaren 12C Spider is another.

So what of this 458 Speciale A, then, and what is that A for? A is for aperta, Italian for open. Based on its tintop sibling the Speciale A carries over the same fearsome 445kW/540Nm normally aspirated V8, which makes this the most powerful spider Ferrari has ever made. The aluminium roof opens in 14 seconds and the overall weight gain has been kept to a respectable 50kg compared with the regular Speciale.

The 458 Speciale A will be limited to 499 models and I dare say neither you nor I will be one of the lucky owners. More’s the pity.


Ferrari 458 Speciale in pictures

Ferrari 458 Speciale

Just because the Ferrari 458 Speciale is special, here’s a collection of all the pics Ferrari’s media department has made available. And if you missed the collection of videos during the week which told us what the media think of this 445kW supercar then why not sit back and watch them now!


Ferrari 458 Speciale in video

Ferrari 458 Speciale

Over the last couple of weeks motoring journos have been putting their thoughts on the 445kW Ferrari 458 Speciale to video. We’ve grabbed three of them for you which should give you some idea of what this more extreme 458 is like.

Jethro Bovingdon from Evo is first up and he starts by doing his research at the wheel of a standard 458 Italia before returning to the 430 Scuderia to see what tricks Ferrari might have up its sleeve for the Speciale. It’s fair to say his expectations were high by the time he took the wheel of the Speciale and those expectations were met and perhaps even exceeded.

Steve Sutcliffe from Autocar had a turn as well, also testing the 458 Speciale on the road and track. Like his Evo colleague, Sutcliffe thought the Speciale was, well, quite special. Both marvelled at the freedom displayed by the car’s Side Slip angle Control system (SSC), which allows sideways action without the horrors of spinning out of control. At least that’s the theory.

Ben Barry from Car drove the 458 Speciale on the road only. And, interestingly, he wasn’t as convinced by the step from the standard car to Speciale.

Ferrari Motor Shows

Frankfurt 2013: Ferrari 458 Speciale

Ferrari 458 Speciale

If you can only afford to buy one Ferrari 458, this Speciale version is the one you should get. We got a preview of the car last month, so we already know it’s powered by Ferrari’s most powerful V8 ever. But this latest addition to the 458 range has more tricks than a simple power upgrade.

Mostly, those tricks centre around the Speciale’s aerodynamics package. Ferrari’s boffins have had a field day with this car adorning it with active front and rear flaps, little fins and creases all adding up to provide excellent downforce.

Back to the engine and its performance for a moment. The 4.5 litre V8 now has 445kW, up 20kW on the 458 Italia. It has a dry weight of 1290kg and when it’s all fired up and angry the Speciale will spit out 100km/h in 3.0 seconds and 200km/h in 9.1 seconds. It will knock-off the standing quarter mile in 10.7 seconds and in 19.4 seconds a full kilomtere will have whizzed by.

But it’s not just all party time going forwards, the 458 Speciale has carbon ceramic brakes as standard equipment. From 100km/h the brakes will pull you up to a complete standstill in only 31 metres.

When you put all that together the 458 Speciale can lap Ferrari’s Fiorano test track in 1:23.5. That’s faster than a 599 GTO and just half a second off the pace of an F12 berlinetta. It’s fair to say we’d like one very much!

After the break you can learn so much more about the 458 Speciale thanks to a series of videos and a couple of press releases for those who prefer the written word.


Ferrari 458 Speciale video teaser

Ferrari 458 Speciale

After last week’s announcement regarding the Ferrari 458 Speciale we’re very much looking forward to learning more about this car. Ferrari has released a brief video teaser, bringing us very close to the finer details of car and its 445kW 4.5 litre V8. We want to hear it though!


Ferrari 458 Speciale revealed

Ferrari 458 Speciale

Ferrari has been mucking around with its already immensely capable 458 Italia and come up with this, the 458 Speciale. The car will make its public debut in Frankfurt next month.

There are a few things that make the Speicale special, but let’s start with the engine. Ferrari has managed to fiddle with the 4.5 litre V8 and found an extra 20kW over the Italia, for a new peak figure of 445kW (605cv).

Ferrari reckons the 458 Speciale will knock off 100km/h in 3.0 seconds, 200km/h in 9.1 seconds and can lap its Fiorano test track in 1:23.5. Mighty impressive really.

As you can see the body of the car has been massaged as well. It looks even more purposeful and aggressive than the Italia and Ferrari says the active aero package on the Speciale will be a feature of all new Ferraris.

The part we like the most, though, is the SSC acronym. It stands for Side Slip angle Control system. And in Ferrari’s own words SSC, which employs the car’s F1-Trac and E-Diff systems, “makes it easier to achieve car control on the limit, thereby greatly improving driving emotions.”

And who doesn’t love having their driving emotions improved!