A mid-engined sports car, the Ferrari 458 Italia was officially announced at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2009 as a replacement for the Ferrari F430. Assembled in Maranello, Italy, the 458 Italia may be coming in as a successor to the F430 but it follows a completely new design and incorporates many technologies that Ferrari was able to develop from their Formula 1 experience. The year it was unveiled, the 458 Italia managed to nab awards like Car of the Year and Supercar of the Year. In 2011, the Ferrari 458 Italia was also recognized by Top Gear magazine as the Cabrio of the Year, by Auto Zeitung magazine as the Best Cabrio, and Motor Trend as the Best Driver’s Car.
As a fitting replacement for the F430, the Ferrari 458 Italia is pretty much a brand-new model. However, it does good work of sticking to established components that have made Ferraris notable, like aluminum space-frames and mid-mounted V8 engines. Aside from the location of the engine though, it is a completely different unit, a 4.5-litre direct-engine model that is closely related to what the California used but is much more powerful at 562bhp and is capable of revs as high as 9,000rpm. To complement this V8 engine, a seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox is also in place, offering quicker and more precise control over the unit to produce power and torque needed for various road conditions.
As for the body, more grip is to be expected which results into better consistency and communication. Improvements have been introduced into the rear multi-link suspension and so better control over wheel centre and camber angle movement are achieved. With the added roll stiffness, more precise steering is also provided. It’s going to take a bit of time to get used to such precise steering but only because the littlest movements move the car so much to the point that simply moving your hands (and not the steering wheel itself) will allow you to navigate through even the toughest of turns. And taking into consideration the added grip, throw in mixed conditions and you can still attain a peaceful drive.
The 458 Italia is a Ferrari so it will be priced like one. But what’s good about being the £160,000 you have to scrounge up for this car is that it will be well-worth it. Sure, it’s more expensive than the F430 it replaced but the 458 Italia is much more complete as a vehicle so it has good reason to have a heftier price tag. Think faster and more entertaining.
The Ferrari 458 Italia utilizes trick exhaust by-pass flaps so it can get quite loud with throttle and revs. Sports cars are known by the sounds they make so this is not essentially a problem. Most performance cars are that way anyway. However, if you prefer a more subtle machine, you’re looking at the wrong car. Then again, this is a Ferrari. You shouldn’t even consider getting the 458 Italia, or any Ferrari for that matter, if you want to simply go through everyday traffic without being noticed.
What do you think?(Average rating: 5 , Total rates: 2 )