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Ferrari 458 Speciale A

Most hotly contested special edition

The first deliveries of the Ferrari 458 Speciale A will commence in February, but we’ve got bad news if you haven’t ordered one yet: they’re all sold.

In fact, the iconic Italian brand was only able to satisfy 40 per cent of demand for the $635,000 plus on-road costs convertible supercar in Australia, leading the region’s boss to label it “the most hotly contested special edition in Ferrari’s history”.

Ferrari (2)The 458 Speciale A (the ‘A’ stands for ‘aperta’, which means ‘open’ in Italian) is effectively a folding-roof version of the 458 Speciale hardtop. It’s powered by Ferrari’s most powerful naturally aspirated V8 – the 4.5-litre unit churning out 445kW and 540Nm. Tipping the scales at 1340 kilograms, the open-air model matches the fixed-roof Speciale’s 3.0-second 0-100km/h sprint and 1 minute 23.5 second lap time around the company’s Fiorano test circuit.

As with the 458 Speciale, the Speciale A gets louvre vents near the headlights, a more aggressive front bumper and air intakes, winged side sills, rear diffuser and five-spoke forged alloy wheels, along with lashings of carbonfibre throughout the cabin. The Ferrariretractable aluminium roof takes 14 seconds to either open or close.

Partially explaining its unprecedented popularity is the fact the 458 Speciale A appears likely to be something of the last of its kind. The naturally aspirated model is set to be succeeded at March’s Geneva motor show by an updated 458 powered by an up-rated version of the twin-turbocharged 3.9-litre V8 from the California T. The engine produces 412kW and 755Nm in the entry-level convertible, but could reportedly be tweaked to pump out up to 500kW for the updated 458.

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