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    Long-term tests: Ferrari 458 Speciale


    The Ferrari 458 Speciale is the last Ferrari released with an atmospheric V8, and as such the most powerful, with this sound so characteristic and so much sought after now that the legislation no longer allows it! It is part of the special versions, such as the Ferrari Challenge Stradale, the Ferrari 430 Scuderia and the Ferrari 488 Pista, more radical and low-diffusion versions.


    What do you need to know before buying one? What are the associated costs? What points to check when buying? Today it is not one, as usual, but three owners of Ferrari 458 Speciale who give you their opinion. Even better to fill up with information on this superb model of Ferrari.


    @Franck: What is your automotive background and why did you choose this Ferrari? What is your use of it? Since when?


    @ceflotron: I have always been attracted to sports cars. The first one I bought was a gorgeous white Renault 5 Turbo 2 when I was 22-23. I kept it for a few months. Then followed all the Golf GTI models (1.6, 1.8, 16S, G60, VR6) then, family obliges, I switched to the BMW M (M3 and M5), then Porsche (G, 993 , 996 , 997 ) and finally Ferrari. Kind of a culmination for me.

    It is my fourth after a Ferrari California, a Ferrari 458 Italia and a Ferrari 550 Maranello that I will keep. This Ferrari 458 Speciale replaces a Porsche 991 GT3 Touring that I really enjoyed for two and a half years. This is the model that makes me dream the most at Ferrari, already having a V12 in the garage. I like the idea of having both and especially having a vintage and a modern one. I had been offered several times the purchase of a new Ferrari 488 Pista but, even if I find it magnificent, nothing to do, I do not get used to the very smooth character of the V8 turbo Ferrari. 

    I use it very regularly (weekends and outings with friends) for an average annual mileage of 7,000.



    @FF78:  I had my “sports coupe” period, starting with the Audi A5 coupe, then the RS5 with its big V8 atmosphere. Then a "hunting break" period with the Audi RS6, the last step before my first Ferrari, an FF. These beautiful GTs have marked my automotive career with their exceptional performance for family cars, real "fire engines". My dream of supercars then materialized with the Ferrari 458 Italia, then the Lamborghini Huracan Performante Spyder and the Ferrari 458 speciale. Today these last two, of exceptional character, share my garage for my greatest happiness.


    @Jérôme46: Since my first steps, I have been fascinated by the automobile and I quickly fell in love with the Prancing Horse. I like all sports cars, but Ferrari has an extra magic for me. However, I only took action very very late. Family and frequent moves to different countries made the dream inaccessible from a practical point of view. I took the plunge with a Porsche 991 GTS. Then the disease progressed very quickly: Ferrari 458 Italia, then Ferrari 458 Speciale, Ferrari F8 Tributo and the youngest: a Ferrari 812 GTS (not forgetting a small Alpine A110).
    The desire for a Ferrari 458 Speciale came to me when I had the Italia. I saw the Speciale as an Italia +++: more sassy, more beautiful, more bewitching. I found mine in September 2019 and have done 4,000 kilometers since then. These are essentially road trips over a few days or weekend outings with friends (especially with the two friends here).


    @FranckWhat were your buying criteria for this Ferrari and how did you find this example?


    @ceflotron: I wasn't necessarily looking for a car in new condition because that's not my priority and I consider that cars are made to drive, so they wear out more or less. Rather between 10,000 and 20,000 kilometers but above all the possibility of having it checked in the network, in order to obtain a Power guarantee, which covers in particular the gearbox whose reliability is not perfect.

    On the other hand, I was very demanding on the configuration because there are essential options for me (size L seats, harnesses, reversing camera, lift, etc.) and I wanted an original color. In short, I was looking for a blue one but they are extremely rare and therefore difficult to find.

    After about a year of active research, I finally found this copy, by chance, on a classifieds site in Sweden. Luckily she was in the network. It is a rather exceptional model because it was configured by the factory for a show with more than 100,000 euros of options. It ticked all my criteria except a slightly high price but, when you want a blue one, you don't have much choice... I bought it in two hours without even going to see it.




    @FF78:  I was looking for an original French origin with less than 10,000 kilometers in an ideal configuration for me, rosso corsa, NART strips, harness. Moteur&Sens found me this rare pearl, a first-hand French car with 6,000 kilometers, in new condition, the original tires were barely worn, fully filmed and a clear maintenance book. Its gold rims add a racing side to it in reference to old racing cars. 


    @Jérôme46: Initially I was looking for a Rosso Corsa with NART stripes, matte gray rims, with lift, less than 10,000 kilometers, ideally in the network, and with the carbon engine bay. Unlike David and Fabrice, harnesses were not a must have for me. When I started my research, I was living abroad and initially I saw a lot of cars that had the right configuration…but not the right COC.
    A friend ended up finding one in Belgium, off the network, with the right COC and the right configuration except… the color: it was Giallo! Everything else (COC, NART strips, lift etc…) was ok, even the carbon engine bay, and even a complete film… But the color questioned me.

    I found the yellow even more visible than the red and I was not too sure to "assume". The fact that it was off the network also stressed me out a bit, even though it had the Power warranty. In the end, I didn't hesitate very long: I told myself that the yellow went well with the spirit of the Speciale and, the more I looked at the photos, the more I found it beautiful. Today I wouldn't change color for anything in the world... In short, after a test drive by my friend in Belgium, expertise and a bit of patience... I was behind the wheel!




    @FranckImmediately after the purchase, what stood out the most to you behind the wheel of this Ferrari?


    @ceflotron: I was surprised by the difference with the 458 Italia. It is an exceptional car that flies over the road with great fluidity, consistency and responsiveness. The feeling is much more precise and rigorous than in the 458 Italia. Braking is much better too. The power of the V8 atmo remains reasonable and does not destabilize the car as would the colossal torque of the current V8 turbos. I had bought a 991 GT3 after having read and heard that it was the ultimate engine but the V8 Ferrari is much better at all levels (resume, character, power, sound...)

    @FF78:  A real scalpel on the road, surgical precision at the wheel, exceptional road holding, a full V8 at all speeds and peaking at 9,000 rpm, a total absence of inertia both in the engine and in the steering. The gearbox/engine couple is a marvel, the reports are linked instantly without any loss of load despite pleasurable jolts for the pilot. It's a car with which you really become one, so much the feedback, the dynamic qualities and the sensations are extraordinary, and what a line! Nothing to throw away, it is beautiful from all angles, one of the most beautiful Ferraris in my opinion.


    @Jérôme46: I share the opinions of Fabrice and David. The Speciale is more rigorous than the Ferrari 458 Italia, it is more precise in the placements, including during braking. It is a very homogeneous car and very pleasant to drive, with a gearbox/engine/chassis combination at the top. It is more brutal than the Ferrari 458 Italia, without being temperamental.
    Be careful to get the tires up to temperature before pushing and be careful when it rains. It is also less soundproofed than the Ferrari 458 Italia; therefore, in the passenger compartment, you can hear the car more “live and come alive” (for example the projections in the wheel arches). On the other hand, the engine sound surprised me: I find that it is much more "round", more serious than that of the Ferrari 458 Italia. We lose the treble in the high revs.




    @FranckCan you tell us about the costs incurred for normal use of this Ferrari (insurance, annual maintenance, major overhaul, contingencies, etc.)


    @ceflotron: I have had it for a short time and it is still covered by the maintenance of the 7 years supported by Ferrari. For insurance it is 1,300 euros in all risks without deductible for 7,000 kilometers per year.

    @FF78:  The costs of use are reasonable for a supercar, compared to other brands, with reliable and widely proven mechanics. An annual maintenance of around €1,500, insurance for less than €2,000/year. To this must be added the classic expenses of consumables. Possibility of having a Ferrari Power guarantee to cover major mechanical breakdowns (box/engine, etc.) (allow €3,500/year)


    @Jérôme46: The next overhaul will be my first out of the 7 year Genuine Maintenance program. I'm counting on 1000-1500 € and it will take about 1000 € for the pads. The tires are still original (12,000 kilometers including 4,000 with me) and they have 55% wear. I am thinking of submitting a Power Guarantee to cover the big risks. In insurance, I pay €1,000 for up to 7,000 kilometers per year




    @Franck: And if you had to do it over again, what would you change? What advice would you give to someone looking for this Ferrari? What are its flaws? What to pay attention to? What improvements can be done?


    @ceflotron: It is for me the best Ferrari, apart from perhaps a LaFerrari, but the question does not arise. And I think I would be too stressed to drive it. It is not for nothing that the Speciale is part of the podium of the best sports cars of all time by the famous English magazine EVO.
    I don't have any specific advice except to be patient: it's better to wait a bit and choose "your" ideal configuration. I didn't care whether it had done a little bit of circuit or not, as long as it was well maintained and with brakes in good condition to avoid the 20,000 euros needed to replace them. When I'll change the tyres, I'm thinking of switching to Michelin Sport 4S (replacing the Sport cup2) because I use it 90% on the road and 10% on the circuit and they are much safer in the event of rain.
    @FF78 : Nothing, she's just perfect for me. My advice, be patient, investigate the off market (the market is so tense that cars don't even have time to find themselves advertised). Be ready to draw quickly to seize the opportunity if it arises.

    Two flaws in my opinion: its price obviously, which continues to climb, which is good for lucky owners but excessive or even unaffordable for new buyers. A second flaw is the original sound, which is too muffled for my taste. Indeed, my Ferrari 458 Italia made more noise thanks to a more permissive catalyst, due to the less restrictive standards at the time of its release (2010). A sports catalyst should do the trick for her to regain her full voice.



    @Jérôme46 : I really like the sound of the engine, but I admit that sometimes I would like a slightly wider range of sounds, with in particular a slightly more metallic sound at the top of the rev counter. For tires, Cup 2s are great for the circuit, but for most of my uses, 4S would suffice. So, like Fabrice, I'm going to think twice about it when I have to change the Cup 2s (why not 4S).
    Regarding research, there's no secret: you have to be patient as my two comrades say, especially if you want a fairly precise configuration. In my opinion, no concessions should be made on the clarity of the history, but I would not say that the fact that it is in the network is an imperative. It's a plus, of course, but if its logbook and history are clear and you can put a Power guarantee, then I wouldn't snub an off-grid car. If in doubt, an independent expert can be commissioned.

    @FranckHow do you use Ferrari for your experience with your Ferrari? What does the Ferrarista community bring you?


    @ceflotron: I log on to the forum almost every day. It's a great mine of information of all kinds, I particularly appreciate the experiences of the members necessarily different from mine. I also watch a lot of events and outings. I also sometimes organize them.


    @FF78: The happiness of sharing his passion with others, his experience, giving valuable advice and receiving it. This forum is a nugget whose scope and reputation do not exist anywhere else




    @Jérôme46:  Usually, I start my day with Ferrarista. I look at the messages during my breakfast. It is a source of information and exchanges, where people are rather benevolent. There are also organized events, which are an opportunity to enjoy your car and meet other enthusiasts.

    A big THANK YOU to @ceflotron, @FF78 and @Jérôme46 for your very interesting feedback on your Ferrari 458 Speciale!

    If you own a Ferrari 458 Speciale, what advice could you add? If you are looking for this model, what additional information would you like? And in which color would you prefer your Ferrari 458 Speciale?


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