Tokyo, 8 October – A special day for Alonso in Tokyo. The Scuderia driver was the main attraction today of the Japanese launch of the 458 Speciale, the new Ferrari sports car, unveiled back in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show, at the Tokyo Dome City Hall.
Along with Kamui Kobayashi, who flies the flag for the Prancing Horse in the FIA World Endurance Champioship, Fernando literally burst into the room where the event was taking place, where he was met by Giuseppe Cattaneo, the head of the Far East Ferrari hub and by Herbert Appleroth, the President of Ferrari Japan KK.
“It’s a fantastic car,” said Fernando. “Better performance, faster and lighter than the 458 Italia: it would be difficult to do better than what our engineers have managed!”
It’s hardly surprising that the owners were interested in the next round of the Formula 1 season, which takes place at Suzuka this weekend. “We need to have a good race. There is still a lot up for grabs: second place in the Constructors’ championship and it’s not yet over in the Drivers’, commented the Spaniard, under the watchful eye of Team Principal Stefano Domenicali. “This is a key moment in the championship: Suzuka is a track I like a lot and the best possible place to have a good race on Sunday. We come from a place where the crowd was not so big, while in Japan the fans are fantastic and they really love Formula 1. We hope we can give them the result they want as they pack the Suzuka grandstands, as they do every year.”
The new special edition from the Maranello company, like all cars produced by Ferrari, features a range of technical innovations which make this car unique and special, aimed at the most demanding sports-oriented owners, who are looking for maximum driving excitement. Patented by Ferrari and a world first, the innovations concern the car as a whole, in particular the power unit, the aerodynamics and the vehicle dynamics, which make the difference between it and the base model even more marked, when compared to past special editions, such as the Challenge Stradale and the 430 Scuderia.
On road or track, the driver of a 458 Speciale will feel part of the vehicle system, which ensures immediate response to all inputs and total control in even the most complex of manoeuvres. All drivers can therefore attain high performance levels, experiencing great excitement at the wheel of Ferrari’s highest performance 8 cylinder car.
The most powerful naturally aspirated engine (605 cv) and the one with the highest specific power output (135 cv/l) in the history of road-going Ferrari V8s, an amazing power to weight ratio (2.13 Kg/cv,) aerodynamic efficiency (index E equivalent to 1.5,) and electronic control of its set-up angle (SSC:) these are some, but not all, of the characteristics that make this car really ‘Speciale’ and which are destined to set the standard for Ferraris of the future.
Agile and responsive, the new rear-mid engined 8 cylinder sports car has been designed with the aim of raising performance and excitement to the maximum level, especially on a mix of race tracks and twisty roads, featuring tight hairpins and high speed corners with a variety of gradients, ensuring that is it very controllable, whatever the situation.