Video: Chris Harris Puts a Ferrari 458 Speciale Against a Porsche 991 GT3
After quite a few weeks away, our favorite YouTube hooligan Chris Harris is back. Not only is Chris back, but he came back with one hell of a bang as he decided to spend the day flogging both a 2014 Ferrari 458 Speciale and the new 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 around a damp Anglesey Circuit. As you would expect, there is a lot of noise, a touch of tire smoke and plenty of sideways action.
This video is one of the longer Chris Harris on Cars videos, clocking in at nearly 16 minutes, but it is easily one of the best ones I have seen in a while. Rather than focus on condensing everything into a short segment, Chris takes the time to just enjoy the cars and expand on the little details he likes about each. It gives you a much better idea of what he really thinks and why. The video also takes time to do a full timed lap of each supercar so you have a good performance metric to compare between the two of them.
If you want a great way to let that tryptophan-induced grogginess wear off from last Thursday, press that play button and let the battling noises of a Ferrari V-8 versus a Porsche flat-six brighten your day. When the show is over and you get Chris’s verdict, be sure to hit the comments and tell us if you think he is right or wrong.
The Ferrari 458 Speciale is the latest and fastest mid-engined coupe to come from the storied Italian brand. It takes the standard 458 Italalia and sees performance improve by way of decreasing weight and adding power. The interior is more track focused with the carpets and stereo removed. Other weight has been cut thanks to a prodigious use of carbon fiber throughout the cabin.
The engine of the 458 was already a record setting mill and considered by many to be one of the greatest naturally aspirated V-8s ever created. For the Speciale Ferrari found a way to turn the power up even further on the 4.5-liter engine to 596 rampaging horses. Torque has also been increased to 398 pound-feet. With that lightened weight, the 458 Speciale is able to break the 60 mph barrier in less than three seconds. The increased horsepower allows the top speed to move higher and crest over the 200 mph mark.
As what is very likely the last naturally aspirated V-8 Ferrari to ever be created, this is one hell of a swan song.
When comparing the numbers between the Porsche 911 GT3 and the Ferrari 458 Speciale, the German seems to be at a disadvantage at every turn. The 911 has two less cylinders in its flat-six engine, makes less horsepower with 475 ponies, and even comes in low on the torque side with only 324 pound-feet. With a heavier curb weight and less power, the GT3 manages a slightly lower acceleration time with 60 mph showing up in 3.3 seconds, and the top speed is “only” 195 mph.
Despite these disadvantages, the GT3 is a near equal on the track thanks to an advanced chassis that has features like Porsche Active Suspension management and four-wheel steering. With the added weight of the engine being placed directly over the rear axle, the GT3 also has superior traction to basically any rear-wheel drive car in the world.
The GT3 also wins accolades in general livability. Despite the track-focused nature of this machine, Porsche hasn’t ripped out all the carpets and sound deadening material, so the cabin is more comfortable for use as a daily driver. With the exception of the rear seats being replaced with a roll cage, the GT3 is just as easy to drive and live with as the standard 911.