Ferrari 458 Speciale A makes powerful entrance

FERRARI launched the most powerful convertible in its history – the 458 Speciale A – at the 2014 Paris Motor Show as a book-end to the brilliant sports car's line-up.

The A stands for Aperta (Italian for 'open'), but this car is essentially a 458 Speciale spider.

It shares the same 4.5-litre naturally aspirated V8 that gives the car its numerical designation, but, with 445kW, it is the most potent drop-top Ferrari ever built.

Only 499 will be produced.

"We present here a car ... that represents the end of the 458 era," said departing Ferrari boss, Luca di Montezemolo.

"It is the fastest-performing spider Ferrari has ever made; 0-100km/h in 3.0 seconds, a record in terms of specific power – 135 horsepower per litre [101kW/litre] – but, even more important, a record in terms of C02 low emission and consumption.”

The rumoured 458M did not appear at the show, but is coming, as a potent farewell to the glorious 458 series that debuted five years ago.

It will use turbochargers, following the lead set by the California T, which was the first turbocharged Ferrari since the 1988 Ferrari F40.

"The 458 has been for us a very important family, very successful," Montezemolo said.

"This car is full of innovation and technology, and I think the best way to celebrate the last 458 family member ... we are  preparing a new 458 that I am sure we will be ready  to present before next summer, and this event is the end of a very important era."

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