1. Ferrari 458 Speciale (2014 – 2015)
I didn’t get a chance to drive the 458 Speciale until the fall of 2018. Porsche’s GT3 RS 4.0 had sat atop my list of the best cars since 2012 and in just a few short minutes behind the wheel of the Speciale all those fond memories of the Porsche faded into the past. While the Porsche was amazing, the Speciale was revelatory.
There are just under 600hp on hand mated to a seven-speed, lightning-fast, double-clutch transmission. All that power is fed to the rear wheels only and you might think that would make the Speciale a tail-happy “wreckloose”, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Everything in the Speciale happens instantly yet progressively…if that even makes sense. The 458 Specialie just delivers anything you require. Steering, throttle, braking, just ask and ye shall receive.
I’ve had a chance to sample the new F8 Tributo from Ferrari and it is also an absolute thrill ride. But the twin-turbo V8 can’t match the naturally aspirated engine of the Speciale for immediacy and aural pleasure. I fear that we will never see the likes of the 458 Speciale again.