On Sunday the 26th of January, I was invited to Biel, Beirut to attend the launching of the new stallion from Ferrari, the awaited 458 Speciale. The event was very well organised and the setting was perfect. We had a couple of F12 Berlinetta, Enzo, 599 GTO and other custom made 458 to admire while waiting for the rest of the guests to arrive. All the pictures of the event are available by clicking right here.
The Major announcements before the Speciale arrived were the official transfer of the Ferrari importer-ship in Lebanon from Sport Motors Group s.a.l. to Scuderia Lebanon s.a.l. and the introduction of a ultra-modern facility located in Dbayeh, offering showrooms for new and pre-owned Ferraris in addition to a “state of the art” workshop all under the management of Mr. Hassan Haidar.
“So, that Speciale, what do you think of it and is it worth upgrading from a regular 458?” Is the question I asked to a couple of 458 owners to which they all answered with a radical No. No because the regular 458 is so good, so well balanced, so fun to drive, that topping it is very very hard. Ferrari did add 30hp and melt its weight by 90kg and add a couple of active aerodynamics here and there but that is not a major enhancement compared to the awesomeness of the 458, it is not ground braking (Yep they had already test driven that Speciale!!). They all added that, upgrading from a F430 to a F430 Scuderia was worth it at the time but in that new generation not really. You are free to check the full review of the 458 Speciale by clicking right here. Oh and btw we got that awesome gift on the way out signed by Luca di Montezemolo himslef!
Faster, lighter, sexier, the perfect ingredients to create a “scuderia” version of the 458 Italia, so called, the 458 Speciale. So what’s the fuzz all about you shall ask. To start with, the naturally aspirated 4.5 liters V8 has been given some steroids contributing to a total gain of 30 ponies. This adds up to a total of 592hp and 398 lb-ft of torque making it the most powerful naturally aspirated V8 Ferrari has ever built. The weight of the 458 has been reduced by 90kg. The attention to detail in the design of the interior is just staggering. Last but not least, its look. The front grille has been enhanced, the bonnet is more structured to improve aerodynamics, the rear has been equipped with a bigger diffuser and two integrated tailpipes replacing the 458’s trademark central triple pipes. The aero elements are active and help make this Ferrari’s most aerodynamic road car yet. Ferrari claims some of the 458 Speciale’s technology will make it onto its future road cars, with SSC and that active aero seeming dead certs. I love every single bit of this new creation by Ferrari. It will be officially announced at the Frankfurt motor show in September. Hope I’ll be able to make it!! [updated] The official video has just been released! Just look at those active aerodynamic components!
Jonny Lieberman and Justin Bell finally get their turn to hot lap eleven of the world’s greatest sports cars at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. After eliminating 8 contenders from the competition, they decide to head out on the open road with the Top 3 finalists to decide the 2011 Best Driver’s Car.