A “Speciale” Ferrari 458

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The Ferrari 458 Italia has quickly become a very popular super-car to own! A 2013 Ferrari 458 Italia will cost $233,509 and carries a 4.5L V8 engine that powers out 570hp. But hey, it’s a Ferrari, so of course engineers went to the drawing board and made something a bit more extreme. The result is the 2014 Ferrari 458 Italia Speciale!

The beautiful 458 Speciale with some original 458's in the background!

The beautiful 458 Speciale!

The new exotic cranks out a huge 597hp and is a full 200lbs lighter than the regular 458. For $298,000 the Speciale will launch to 60mph in a swift 2.8 seconds and will max out at a mere 202mph. Of course with all this power comes poor gas mileage, the vehicle gets just 13mph city and 17mpg highway. The exhaust note is louder and the car even shifts faster than the base 458.

The heart of the beast!

The heart of the beast!

Styling wise the car features a unique air intake right above the Ferrari badge on the hood of the car. Also, above the headlights, the exotic has numerous small air intakes, adding a good flair to the vehicle. The most notable added touch is the white and blue stripe that runs down the center of the car. I find that this gives the vehicle a more sexy, sleek and fast look.The exhaust pipes have gone from three down to two and are now spread farther apart.

Notice the different tailpipes.

Notice the different tailpipes.

The interior of the car is just as beautiful as the exterior. To help shave off some weight, pure racing seats were inserted into the car which really gives the driver and passenger a true race car feel. To hold the the riders in place, the car is equipped with a 4-point harness seatbelt. The interior is stripped out of most common amenities giving it more of a super-car feel. I had the rare opportunity to sit inside the exclusive vehicle. The bucket seats, known to be uncomfortable in other cars, were shockingly not too bad. Of course I would not recommend very long drives, but for short drives the riders won’t be sore when they get out.

Beautiful bucket seats and a true race car interior.

Beautiful bucket seats and a true race car interior.

DSCN3788The dashboard was clean and just screamed “drive me”. The steering wheel was a piece of art, with numerous options like start engine and race mode. The paddle shifters sat tucked in behind the steering wheel allowing the driver good maneuverability. Sitting out in front, the yellow tachometer clearly shows the insane rev’s of the car. Two beautifully crafted electronic screens sit on either side of the tachometer that display all of sorts of information, like speed, to the driver. Most of the interior is made from carbon-fiber, offering not only sexy styling but weight reduction.

"Drive me".

“Drive me”.

In summary, Ferrari has done it again. They have continued the legacy of the Challenge Stradale and Scuderia series vehicles with this Speciale edition 458!

A big thank you goes out to Ferrari-Maserati Long Island, a division of Experience Auto Group. Located in Plainview, New York, they give customers a superb buying experience and offer the most beautiful cars on the market. They host great events and are always supportive of my passion for exotic vehicles. Be sure to stop by to check out their cars, and follow them on Twitter @FerMasLI!

Follow carzach on Twitter @CarZachdotCom and now follow along on Instagram @CarZachdotCom! Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions! Check out all the photos of the exotic in the gallery below!

A Thrilling Drive In An Audi R8

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As an exotic car enthusiast who doesn’t own any exotic vehicles, it leaves me with a lot of hopeful dreams for the future. Last year, while on a vacation in Mexico I had an opportunity to get behind the wheel of the exclusive Audi R8. Here in the USA these high-performance vehicles rarely get the chance to have someone really put the pedal down and show off their power. Luckily, I was behind the wheel on a closed track and was able to reach speeds up to 100mph. It was a bit challenging to go over 100mph due to the lay-out of the course, which featured a very small straight away and a few different turns.

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In 1997 Audi purchased the all ready highly regarded exotic car producer Lamborghini. Since then, Audi has put some of its excellent engineering into Lamborghini streetcars. In 2007, Lamborghini returned the favor and put some their engineering into the car that would now be known as the Audi R8. To date, more than 50,000 units have rolled off the production line as the vehicle continues to be a high selling, powerful exotic.

Today a 2014 Audi R8 will set a buyer back anywhere between $124,000-$173,000 (depending what on trim levels). The model I had the privilege of driving was the Audi R8 Base Coupe, which costs $124,000. The vehicle has a 4.2L V8 engine that muscles out 430hp. The car will rocket to 60mph in just 4.3 seconds. As the price increases, the more power becomes available such as the 5.2L V10 that boasts 550hp.

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Besides the sleek exterior, the interior is truly exquisite. The seats were a beautiful red leather and surprising very comfortable for an exotic. The dashboard was clean, well-lit and certainly made the driver know they were in an exclusive vehicle.  Visibility out the front windshield and two side windows was great and would definitely make for easy road driving. I did not have the opportunity to check out how the view out the back, as I did not need to reverse the car for any reason. The steering wheel was light and very easy to maneuver which allows the driver to make those quick turns. The vehicle was an automatic, but did have the option to use paddle shifters (I did not).

Starting up the car was truly music to my ears. The V8 had an extraordinary rumble that not only gets the drivers adrenaline pumping but would certainly let on-lookers know that this baby can go. With my seatbelt fastened and my silly racing helmet on I tapped the gas. Wow. The AWD instantly lurched the car forward. Having to watch out for my friend driving the Ferrari 360 Modena I nervously tapped the breaks and came to instant halt.

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With the go ahead, I put the pedal to the floor and launched onto the track. The V8 screamed as the car accelerated heading into the first ‘S’ curve. With no issue at all the car flew out of the curve and continued to annihilate the open pavement ahead. Through the tighter turns the R8 remained perfectly flat and never gave any sign of over or understeer. It seemed like the tires would never stop hugging the road on every turn.

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Soon enough, my three laps of heaven was over and I was told to slow down and pull over. The R8 handled like a true super-car should. The V8 let out beautiful music but was never too loud that it would be an annoyance to the driver or passenger (I could never get annoyed at that). What Audi had done was put forward their very best in engineering and Lamborghini provided the heart of the beast (the engine). It was an experience of a life time in a car that many only dream of sitting in. When the time comes to buy my first exotic, the R8 would be very high up on my list. It was a great car, with out of this world performance!

Enjoy the video below of my thrilling drive!

Be sure to follow carzach on Twitter @CarZachdotCom! As always, feel free to share your thoughts and opinions! Stay tuned   as some big features are to come such as a peek at the Ferrari 458 Speciale and a 500hp Dodge Challenger!

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A Red Horse Ready to Pounce!

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IMG_0579Lets roll back to 1999 when the super car company Ferrari stopped production of the beloved 355 and brought to life the 360 Modena. The Modena went on to have a very successful  5 year model run with a production line of about 17,500 units! Ferrari made 3 different models of the 360- the 360 Modena, the Spider and the Challenge Stradale.

The 360 Modena and the 360 Modena Spider were identical except that the Spider was missing its roof. The Challenge Stradale was the most extreme model. This special edition model   was 242 pounds lighter with a bonus 25 horsepower making a total of 425hp, compared to the regular 400hp in the Modena. In the rear of the car lay a 3.6 liter V8 engine which gave off a pitch perfect exhaust note every time.

The super car was named in honor of Modena, Italy– the hometown of the late Mr. Enzo Ferrari. The number 360 represents the supercar’s 3.6 liter engine. The prancing horse is able to launch to 60 mph in just over 4 seconds, making it very difficult for others to catch up.

Unlike most exotics at the time, the 360’s interior was just as striking as the outside. The car’s plush leather seats made long distance rides more enjoyable. The Stradale was completely stripped down of everything except the AC, making this model better off for quick runs. If you’re looking for a car with good rear window visibility then you may want to research another car. All Modena models have a very limited view of what they leave behind in the dust. One of the most notable features on the horse was the F1-like paddle shifters that swiftly change gears in just milliseconds. And of course a manual 6 speed transmission was still available for the old school.

The whole fleet of Ferrari’s had a top speed of around 180mph (the Challenge went 189mph), which for the late 90’s was groundbreaking. At the time, one could become an exclusive Ferrari owner if they dropped around $155,000 on this high-end vehicle. If you just so happened to have an extra $34,000 lying around, then you could obtain the Challenge Stradale. If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to spend a lot of time at the pump, this car, or any Ferrari for that matter, is not for you… the car gets just 11mpg city and 16mpg highway. Yes, I know that’s enough to drive any Prius driver crazy!

Yes, this is me (below) driving a 360 Modena around the track at speeds over 100mph! Turn up your volume and listen to the music at the bottom of the page!

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