The high-revving 4.5-liter V8 redesigned pistons increase the Speciale's compression ratio from 12.5:1 to 14.0:1. The efficiency increase it brings is the main reason the engine produces 596 hp, 34 more than the regular 458 Italia's, at the same 9000 rpm.
The shape has been optimized to improve the flame velocity
The pressure in the combustion chamber is increased (+10bar at wide open throttle)
Barrel throttles have an inherent advantage over butterfly throttles in regards to flow and power.
Barrels are suitable for engines running at over 15,000 RPM and must be designed to suit a particular engine type. (Source: Jenvey Dynamics)