Functional design is timeless so I hope the look of the 458 Speciale grows on me because this is the direction sports car design is headed. With so many new vents and winglets on the car, I’m struggling to find the beauty so abundant in Ferrari’s previous mid-engine specials like the 360 Challenge Stradale and 430 Scuderia. The 458 Speciale’s radical modifications relative to those found on the Stradale and Scuderia signal one thing: the competition is growing fiercer.
As mentioned by Chris Harris when he drove the 991 GT3, large sports car manufacturers like Porsche, Ferrari and McLaren simply can’t launch cars that are slower than their predecessors. As the performance envelope continues to escalate, design will increasingly give way to function (note the rise in popularity of hood mounted air extractors like the Speciale’s shown above). So while I’m not a huge fan of the Speciale’s awkward aero, I appreciate the impetus behind it. You can’t see those bits from the driver’s seat anyways.