Drive a Ferrari 458 Italia On a Racetrack!
Ferrari continues to improve upon perfection with the 458 Italia. The Ferrari 458 Italia is a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive V-8 Berlinetta that was first unveiled to the public on September 15, 2009 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Designed to be a successor to the Ferrari F430, the 458 Italia is derived from an entirely new design platform, which intergrates technology developed from Ferrari’s involvement in Formula 1. more on the Ferrari 458 >
Expectations were high for the 458 especially after the success of the 430. Needless-to-say the F430 and the 430 Scuderia are very impressive, and any replacement would have very large shoes to fill. Ferrari did not disappoint. The 458 Italia tops its predecessors in all categories, not only raising the bar at Ferrari, but setting a new standard for all exotic supercars. With blinding acceleration and superior handling, the Ferrari 458 Italia can do a quarter mile in 10.8 seconds and corners like it's glued to the asphalt leaving drivers begging for more. This car is so exciting it should have come standard with a heart defibrilator.
Derived from the shared Ferrari/Maserati engine department, (Maserati has essentially been the luxury division of Ferrari since Ferrari took full control in 1999 after having a majority stake in the company since 1997) the 458 Italia produces 560 hp at a screaming 9,000 rpm. 398 foot pounds of torque are delivered at 6,000 rpm, with 80% percent of the torque at 3,250 rpm! The naturally aspirated engine features direct fuel injection, a first for Ferrari mid-engine street cars. 0-60 mph takes just 3.3 seconds with a top speed of 202 mph. Breaking the 200 mph barrier, makes the Ferrari 458 Italia the first volume production Ferrari to scale the 200 mph mark.
Unlike other models of Ferrari, the 458 Italia has only one transmission option. The 458 utilizes a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox that directs power to the rear axle. The 458 does not come with the option of a manual transmission, marking it only the fourth model in Ferrari’s long history in which a manual transmission is not offered. The other models not to include a manual option were the Enzo, Challenge Stradale and the 430 Scuderia.
Ferrari introduced a new design concept whereby the 458 Italia carbon-ceramic brakes include a prefill function that forces the pistons within the calipers to push the pads into contact with the discs on launch, eliminating the delay when the brakes are applied. This concept added to the pre-existing antilock braking system (ABS) creates a drastic improvement to braking, bringing the vehicle from 62 mph to 0 mph in 107 feet.
Ferrari Formula 1 driver and racing superstar, Michael Schumacher participated in the exterior and interior designs of the 458 Italia. In collaboration with Carozzeria Pininfarina, who have been involved with all of Ferrari’s exteriors of late, the F458 was designed with aerodynamic efficiency and downforce as a top priority including the deformable winglets of the front grill that lower at high speeds to reduce drag and increase downforce. An ironic turn of events considering it was the late Enzo Ferrari himself who said, "Aerodynamics are for people who can't build engines." Nevertheless, Ferrari engineers remain confident that Enzo would have been pleased with the 458 Italia.
The interior design features many changes, notably the relocation of many column stock controls to the steering wheel, giving a more Formula 1 type feel. This was done to create unimpeded access to the paddle shifters. The turn signals take a little getting used to since they have been turned into buttons on the steering wheel, initially creating a very unnatural feel. Other questionable design choices include placing navigation controls along with audio controls in pods that flank the steering wheel, making access to these items impossible for a passenger. Additional cabin improvements include a repositioning of the driver seating position, creating a much more comfortable seating position than what was offered in previous Ferrari models.
If you thought that Ferrari could not top the success of the 430 line, prepare to be pleasantly surprised with the superior handling and performance of the Ferrari 458 Italia. Being that Ferrari has once again raised the bar considerably higher than what was available to previous volume production models, this begs the question: what will Ferrari do next?less >
Ferrari 458 Italia
- 202 MPH
- 562 HP
- 3.3 S
- $US270 000
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