Ferrari 458 Speciale Vs. Porsche 911 GT3: Video
Fast Porsche 911s used to be pretty good on-paper rivals for mid-engine V-8 Ferraris. Somewhere along the way that changed when V-8 Ferraris started getting faster and much more expensive, and Porsche continued to keep the GT3 and Turbo 911 in the realm of the attainable — relatively speaking. But, that doesn’t mean comparing the two isn’t a ridiculously fun way to spend an afternoon.
Fifth Gear put ex-racer-turned-television-host Tiff Needell behind the wheel of a 2014 Ferrari 458 Speciale and noted tire destroyer Chris Harris in a 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 and set them both loose at England’s Castle Comb Circuit for a knockdown drag-out battle for Italo-German supremacy.
Both cars are faster, more-hardcore variants of the models on which they’re based. The 458 Italia-based Speciale’s high-strung 4.5-liter V-8 produces 596 horsepower at a manic 9,000 rpm. It’s also an entire 200 pounds lighter than the Italia and features an active aerodynamics system that channels air through or around the car, depending on downforce needs.
The GT3 finds itself at somewhat of a disadvantage in face of the Ferrari’s power and tech, but it’s not exactly slow, either. Its 3.8-liter flat six produces 475 horsepower and it weighs a scant 3,153 pounds. Both figures are inferior to that of the Italian car’s, but the 911’s trick rear-wheel steering system endows it with both astounding high-speed stability and low-speed agility. Plus, at about $130,000, it’s less than half what the Speciale costs.
Place your bets, and check out Tiff ’s yodeling skills at 1:50. Seriously, I’ve never seen a car elicit those sorts of mouth noises from anyone.
Nice work if you can get it, huh?