Limited to a production run of just 499 units, the Speciale A is indeed a special Ferrari 458. The 597 hp V8 powered 458 Speciale A (the A stands for Aperta, which means “open) features a retractable hardtop, and this topless rocket gets from 0-62 mph in just three seconds. The increase in performance largely comes from advanced aerodynamics and the use of lightweight materials (the chassis alone incorporates 10 aluminum alloys). More air scoops and aggressive spoilers help set the Speciale A apart from other Ferrari’s, and they even moved the tail pipes so they could redesign the rear diffuser for improved airflow. While the paint options, or lack thereof, are limited to yellow with blue and white racing stripes, the wheels will be available in three colors – Oro, Grigio Corsa and diamond-finish matt black. We’re a little partial to red when it comes to Ferrari’s, but were still insanely jealous of those 499 drivers that will get their hands on this prancing pony.
The Ferrari 599 was a beast, and its replacement is simply intimidating. The Ferrari F12 Berlinetta is the most powerful road car to ever wear Ferrari’s prancing horse badge. The Ferrari F12 Berlinetta packs a 740hp V12 which warps the car from 0-62mph in just 3.1 seconds via a lighting fast dual-clutch F1 transmission. The style of the F12 appears to be a bit of a blend of of the 458 Italia and theFF. Luckily, the car comes with massive ceramic brakes, which will be helpful when you hit the car’s top speed of 210+ mph.
McLaren and Ferrari have had a long rivalry in the F1 circuit, but that fight has now been brought to the street. The McLaren MP4-12C takes dead aim at the Ferrari 458 Italia and certainly lands some blows. For starters, the chassis of this supercar is based around a single-piece carbon “MonoCell” which essentially looks like a carbon fiber tub. This helps the McLaren maintain it’s lean 3,161 lb curb weight and also provides strength and stability. You’re going to want that stability when you tap into the 592 hp twin-turbo V8 engine – which will get you from 0-60 mph in 3.3 seconds. This car is no joke, top speed for the MP4-12C is around 205 mph and the starting price is $229k.
The Paris Auto show is going on now, and like most Americans, I’m unable t0 attend. I did however go to a great free (and open to the public) auto show at the World Financial Center in NYC a few weeks ago. Some of the highlights were the Bugatti Veyron, Mercedes SLS, Corvette LSI, Ferrari 458, Audi R8 Spyder, and Aston Martin v12 Vantage. It wasn’t a very large show, but you got to see some real awesome cars that were spread out in the large marble lobby of the building. Also, you could step outside to check out Yachts docked along the Hudson and grab a drink by the water. I should have brought my camera with me, but here are some lousy pics from my iPhone.