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499 cars, that’s as many as Ferrari will produce of the 458 Speciale A – that’s A for Aperta, ‘open’ in Italian – the most powerful spider in Ferrari’s illustrious history.  But this open-top 458 is more than just a spider version of the 458 Speciale, it’s a farewell to the current 458, and a farewell to the age of naturally aspirated V8 engines from Maranello.

The 458 Speciale A, based on the regular 458 Speciale, features a folding aluminium hard top which takes only 14 seconds to open or close.  The Speciale A features the same naturally aspirated  4.5-litre V8 as its closed top sibling, boasting  445kW @ 9000rpm and 540Nm @ 6000rpm, enabling a 0-100km/h sprint of 3 seconds dead, a 0-200km/h time of 9.5 seconds, and a top speed of 325km/h.  The folding top only minimally affects performance, adding only 50Kg to the overall weight at 1340Kg.

The 458 Speciale A previewed at the Paris Motor Show features a striking triple layer yellow livery with a Blu Nart and Bianco Avus central stripe.  Additionally, the show model is wearing five-spoke forged wheels in Grigio Corsa.  The cockpit, much like the closed top Speciale, is racing inspired, in this particular case finished in blue carbon fibre.

But the 458 Speciale A is far more significant than merely being Ferraris most potent Spider ever – this is perhaps the last car from Ferrari to ever carry a naturally aspirated V8, as the 458F (due for reveal next year) will retire the 3 time international Best Performance Engine winner in favour of a more efficient turbocharged V8, as was done with the California T.

Perhaps it is fitting tribute then that the last naturally aspirated V8 of Maranello be housed within an open-top package – all the better to hear that glorious engine noise with.  Farewell free breathing V8 and hello 458 Speciale Aperta, you gorgeous thing, you.

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