2015 Ferrari 458 Speciale A
$550,000 - $650,000
RM | Sotheby's - ARIZONA 16 - 17 JANUARY 2020 - Offered on Friday
- One of only 499 produced worldwide
- Exceptionally well optioned; driven just 1,000 miles
- Finished in historic Blu Pozzi with Alcantara interior and carbon-fiber trim
- Covered by factory maintenance until 28 May 2022
Please note that the title is in transit.
Formula 1 has been a part of the Ferrari DNA since Enzo Ferrari first watched Felice Nazzaro take home a trophy in Bologna in 1908. Ferrari was just 10 years old then, and it would take another 40 years for cars bearing his name—and only his name—to be built, but the wait was more than worthwhile. The eponymous automaker’s racing prowess has been proven in nearly seven decades of world-class competition.
Ferrari was quick to learn that mid-mounted engines provided an ideal handling balance. Mid-engined cars had become the norm in competition by the mid-1960s, when Enzo green-lighted the Dino as an entry point into the Ferrari fold. With more weight over the rear wheels than a front- or rear-engined design, and a center of gravity closer to the middle of the vehicle, such designs quickly proved their merit on the track.
Subsequent designs would retain V-8 power aft of the cabin, balancing driving refinements with more power and sharper handling. By the 1990s the F355 gave way to the 360 Modena, which made use of a lightweight aluminum space-frame chassis. The 360 split the difference between past and present with its derivation of the original Ferrari Dino engine and its advanced chassis. Its F430 replacement ushered in a new 90-degree V-8 with a 180-degree flat-plane crankshaft. Underneath, the car made use of magnetic dampers adjustable for either street or track use. Braking was supplied by a new system that moved the pistons into the calipers to anticipate a halt before it happened, helping to shorten stopping distances. The 458 Italia could come to a complete stop from 60 mph in just 80 feet, a remarkably short figure.
A convertible version called the 458 Italia Spider bowed at the next Frankfurt salon two years later. Under the bright lights of the Frankfurt Messe, the new car showed how Pininfarina had made extensive use of a wind tunnel to help hone the droptop’s shape. A larger rear spoiler and revised bumpers were paired with unique forged wheels and front lid vents to better cheat the wind.
A high-performance version of the 458 called the Speciale debuted in 2013. A revised version of the V-8 now put out nearly 600 horsepower, which was tamed by an E-Diff electronic rear differential and an updated traction and stability control system. Even with its sticky tires wrapped around new forged wheels that helped provide 1.33 Gs of lateral acceleration, the 458 Speciale’s hefty power output meant that it could have been a real handful if not for the changes deep within its drive systems. On Ferrari’s Fiorano test track, the new car posted a lap time of 1:23.5, barely half a second off the F12berlinetta.
The final send-off to the 458 lineup arrived a year later in the form of the 458 Speciale A—A for Aperta, or “open,” to signify that the ultimate 458 was a version of the spider. The car made use of the same V-8 as the hardtop, making it the most powerful naturally aspirated open-top Ferrari, bested only by the positively ferocious LaFerrari Aperta a couple of years later.
The Blu Pozzi example offered here features a white contrasting stripe and is one of just 499 458 Speciale Apertas ever built. Its black wheels sit in front of black brake calipers to give this most engaging of drop-top Ferraris a sinister look. This highly optioned example boasted a $410,000 sticker price when new and is equipped with a striking two-tone blue-and-black interior upholstered in Alcantara. The grippy fabric covers not just its seats but the top of its door panels, its center console, and its dashboard as well. What few pieces inside are not draped in Alcantara are composed of carbon fiber. The composite material is echoed on the car’s exterior as well as its engine cover. On their own, the extra optioned carbon-fiber panels constitute upwards of $30,000 on the car’s suggested price.
Covered by Ferrari Genuine Maintenance until 28 May 2022, the Speciale A is also protected by a full, factory-applied anti-stone chipping film, making it ready to be enjoyed immediately as Il Commendatore would have wanted.