Part of a production run of just 499, this Ferrari 458 Speciale Aperta is a sought-after right-hand-drive example of one of Ferrari’s most exceptional cars. Manufactured in 2015 the car has only covered 163 miles since new. When initially purchased, the vehicle was customised by Atelier, Ferrari’s own styling service, making this car unique. It’s fitted with various optional extras, including:
Overall history of the model
With fewer than 500 examples, all produced between 2014 and 2015, the 458 Speciale Aperta (meaning open) is a lightweight and more powerful racing version of the 458 Spider. Essentially Ferrari gave the 458 Spider the same treatment in creating the 458 Speciale Aperta as they gave the 458 Italia when adapting it for the 458 Speciale. This continued Ferrari’s tradition of track upgrades to their mid-engined V8 cars.
Powered by the 4.5 litre V8 from the 458 Italia, Ferrari upped the power from 562bhp to 597bhp and, despite the folding roof mechanism, managed strip out 40kg compared to the Italia. Using a combination of active aerodynamics inspired by Formula One, and Ferrari’s side slip control, the Speciale has huge grip while still allowing the driver to have fun in the corners. All this sends the Speciale Aperta to 62mph in just 3 seconds and on to a top speed of 199mph.
The Speciale Aperta is also an extremely comfortable drive on the road: at under 4,000rpm it’s perfectly at home cruising along busy streets. Ferrari lowered the volume on the convertible engine in order to make it a more refined car to cruise in. Put your foot down, however, and the V8 howls into life. With its razor-sharp steering and high-revving 9,000rpm engine, the Speciale Aperta is one of the most thrilling mid-engined performance cars money can buy.
Ferrari 458 Speciale Aperta Deep Dive
The 458 Speciale Aperta is a lightweight powered-up version of the 458 Spider, which in turn is the convertible version of the Ferrari 458 Italia, one of the best cars Ferrari have ever produced. The Speciale Aperta continued Ferrari’s tradition, since the early 1990s, of producing more hardcore models of their mid-engined V8 cars. No detail remained untouched: power went up, weight came down, aerodynamics and handling were improved.
Engine and performance
The 4.5 litre V8 powering the 458 Italia was already a masterpiece but with the Speciale, Ferrari managed to refine it even further.
This was the last naturally aspirated V8 Ferrari ever produced and, as such, was absolutely at the peak of the engine’s evolution. Power was taken from 562bhp to 597bhp. This engine is the epitome of a high-revving Ferrari power plant. Maximum power is delivered at the 9,000rpm red line and maximum torque (398lb-ft) at 6,000rpm. These improvements make this engine extremely responsive and take you to 62mph in 3 seconds and all the way up to 199mph.
Ferrari went all out with the aerodynamics on the Speciale. Electronically controlled active aero flaps at the rear open and close to boost downforce and reduce drag, balancing the aerodynamic pressures on the car. The Formula One style front spoiler includes flaps that react dynamically depending on your speed:
- 0–106mph – closed in order to direct air to the radiators
- 106–137mph – open to reduce drag
- Above 137mph – remains open and lowers to direct air to the back of the car, increasing downforce at the rear by 20% thus helping with high-speed cornering.
There’s more Formula One inspiration in the turning veins at the front and side of the car. The rear wing and the bonnet are also re-designed from the Italia, being enlarged and having vents added, respectively.
Traction control is there to ensure that things remain under control. Ferrari’s ‘Side Slip Angle Control System’ (SSC) and E-Diff work together to ensure that speed is boosted, while some oversteer is allowed when the car is on the limit.
Magnetic dampers adjust the suspension every millisecond allowing the car to constantly adapt to road conditions, while the new generation Brembo carbon-ceramic brake system results in much shorter stopping distances. The 7-speed dual clutch gearbox is much more immediate compared to the Italia; gear changes are almost instant.
All of these factors result in a car that is fast and supremely balanced.
Ferrari saved 20kg of weight in the stripped-down cabin of the Speciale, incorporating carbon fibre almost everywhere. There’s no sat nav or in-car entertainment, not even a glove box. A little padding is provided under the dash for your passenger, just to ensure they don’t get bruised knees. The Sabelt racing seats even use a lightweight fabric.
Although stripped of any extra weight, Ferrari have made the cabin a comfortable place to be. The seats are still very supportive with an excellent driving position. There is air-conditioned climate control to keep you cosy and the interior is trimmed with Alcantara leather throughout.
Driving the 458 Speciale Aperta is an easy and rewarding experience. If you want to use the car on the road, it’s a perfectly civilised drive. The roof will raise or lower in just 14 seconds and the engine is 30% quieter than the hardtop Speciale. The ride is firm but not harsh; cruise along below 4,000rpm and the car can almost pass as tame. However, put your foot down and the power is explosive!
On the track the 458 Speciale is all about balance. The car is nimble and agile, the steering light and direct, making the handling sublime. The grip in the corners is unbelievable. Accelerate past 6,000 revs and the engine sounds glorious, red line it at 9,000rpm and this masterpiece of an engine screams. With only 499 ever produced, the rare 458 Speciale Aperta is truly one of Ferrari’s all-time greats!