Automakers are, for the most, part filled with tradition and tend to stick to it; be it a naming system, model cycles or color schemes, they all seem to have something they do regularly. Ferrari is no exception, and one more recent Ferrari trend is to release a convertible version of a vehicle only a year or so after the coupe version debuts. So, when we saw the 458 Speciale debut last year, we knew what was coming soon. Well, there’s no more waiting because Ferrari has officially released the 458 Speciale A, the convertible follow up to the 458 Speciale.
Let’s start with that name; why did Ferrari name it the Speciale A instead of thee Speciale Spyder? The “A” stands for “Aperta,” which is Italian for “Open.” I can only guess Ferrari grew tires of the word “Spyder.” Giving it this name is its retractable, aluminum hard top that takes only 14 seconds to drop or put back up. Additionally, this lightweight top helps minimize the weight gain caused by adding the convertible hardware, resulting in the 458 Special A weighing just 1340 kg (2,954 pounds), which is just 50 kg (110 pounds) more than the coupe version.
Behind the seats is the familiar 4.5-liter V-8 that produces 605 CV (596 horsepower) and 540 Nm (398 pound-feet) of torque. Ferrari didn’t mention the gearbox, but logic tells me that it features the same seven-speed F1 dual-clutch unit as the 458 Speciale Coupe. This powertrain is enough to get the Speciale A to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just three seconds and to 200 km/h (124 mph) in just 9.5 seconds.
With all of this awesomeness crammed into a 458 Speciale body, the Speciale A earns itself a few records in the world of Ferrari. First, it has the most powerful naturally aspirated V-8 ever used in a Ferrari convertible. Secondly, it is the most aerodynamic convertible ever built by Ferrari, thanks to active aerodynamics on the front and rear, and Side Slip Angle Control.
Ferrari didn’t go into detail on the interior, but you can clearly see from the images that it is slathered in Alcantara to give the occupants a luxurious feel without extra weight. Carbon fiber highlights the dash, floor panels and central tunnel to help lighten things up even more.
Pricing hasn’t been released yet, but Ferrari did mention that it will limit the 458 Special A to just 499 units. We’ll learn more once the 458 Speciale A debuts at the Paris Auto Show, which opens to journalists on October 2nd.