March 22, 2012

Introducing The Ferrari 458

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Ferrari‘s F430 replacement gets dramatic looks – and serious amounts of power.

The new 458 Italia. Will 562bhp do?

It might look like the lovechild of an Enzo and a 599, but this could be the most significant new Ferrari for decades.

It is called the Ferrari 458 Italia and, although it is the direct replacement for the Ferrari F430, it marks a step change in both styling and technology for the mid-engined Ferrari. Both of these superb machines can be covered via our Ferrari car insurance schemes.

Under the bonnet the new 458 Italia will also have, if the specifications are anything to go by, one of the most stunning engines in Ferrari history. The new V8 displaces 4490cc but develops 562bhp at 9000rpm (up 79bhp on the F430), giving it a specific output of 125bhp per litre. That, Ferrari claims, gives it the highest specific output of any naturally aspirated road car. The 9000rpm red line also eclipses the 8500rpm F430, making the 458 Italia the highest-revving road car in Ferrari history. It is also the first direct-injection engine to be mid-mounted in a Ferrari.

It’s not all about power, however. This also promises to be a pretty flexible engine, with 80 per cent of the 398lb ft of torque available from 3250rpm, with two-thirds on tap all the way through the rev range. Ferrari has also cut down on CO2 emissions and fuel consumption.

Transmitting the power to the rear wheels is a version of Ferrari’s seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, first seen in the California and now fettled so that it shifts more aggressively and faster than the 430 Scuderia’s 0.06secs.

The clever technology continues with the F1-Trac skid control system and E-Diff now controlled by a single ECU rather than individual ones. This helps streamline the 458’s electronic thought processes and helps contribute to acceleration out of corners that’s claimed to be a third better than in an F430.

Large glasshouse promises decent visibility – a must when we consider the Ferrari car insurance!

Another natty techno trick that the new 458 Italia has up it is sleeve is a ‘prefill’ system for the brakes that puts the callipers in contact with the brake discs as the driver lifts off the throttle and before he applies the brakes. Useful when approaching a corner as fast as is likely in a 458, we reckon.

And you will be going fast. Ferrari says the 458 Italia is good for a 3.4-second sprint to 62mph, while top speed is a claimed 202mph – in other words Ferrari’s ‘junior’ supercar model has entered Ferrari F40 teritory. This will no doubt be a future classic in the mould of previous Ferraris – Cherished Ferrari insurance.

The Pininfarina-designed body, which has echoes of 2007’s Mille Chili concept car – focuses on aerodynamics above aesthetic beauty so, while it develops a solid 140kg of downforce at 200kph (124mph), it’s probably best described as ‘dramatic’ rather than ‘beautiful’. The other striking aspect of the 458 Italia’s design is its surprisingly large glasshouse. Could this be the first Ferrari for quite some time with genuinely decent all-round visibility?

Under the skin the double-wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear end is attached directly to the aluminium chassis.

The new Ferrari 458 Italia might have a name that sounds like an Alitalia flight number, but it’s sure to be a hell of a lot more exciting than that. The car will be revealed in the flesh at the Frankfurt show in September, and should go on sale in the UK early next year, with prices starting at around £150k. We really can’t wait. With a value that high you will need our High Net Worth Ferrari car insurance schemes.

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Many thanks to Pistonheads for their kind permission to use the above – the original article can be found here.