Ferrari 458 Italia Review

I am only old enough to remember Ferrari’s sort of everyday cars from the 512 TR onwards. That was an astonishing car, but then the F355 came along which was magnificent, then the F360 which was Ferrari’s ride to the new century and amazing in every way.

After that we had, and still have, the F430 and that is a car many people think of as perfect. And it really was the perfect Ferrari until the new 458 Italia arrived!

First off, you have to say unlike the previous model, the 458 is bite the back of your hand beautiful. No picture or even video can judge the real beauty of this Pininfarina masterpiece. They managed to create an artistic sculpture which just happened to have spot on aerodynamics and amazing aesthetics.


The critics, and I used to be one of them, say that 458’s design is a bit overdone at places, talk about those triple exhausts or those mustache thingy at front, and that makes it more appealing to kids than gentlemen. But that is the whole point of a supercar. With the F430 Ferrari deliberately held back and tried to make a discrete looking car, and that resulted in one of the ugliest Ferraris of all time!

The f430 was an evolution of the 360, but the 458 is a whole new car. And that is best understood when you set foot inside the cabin.

The interior looks quite like the futuristic concept cars, which always look great but a bit hard to fathom. And that is just the case with the 458. Take the steering wheel for instance, you get the paddle shifters behind it and then everything else on it! There’s the wipers switch, the lights switch, manettino, start button, other mechanical control and the indicators on that wheel, which to be honest make it a nightmare to use until you get used to it.


One thing that will leave you speechless in the new Ferrari is the overall quality of the thing. Inside and out the materials and the fit and finish is just perfect, and it’s even better with the mechanical parts. In the 430 for example the launch control could be used 3 or 4 times before it ruins the clutch, but in the 458 it can be used all day without any kind of glitch.

That leads us to the amazing performance of the car, which is by far and away the best thing about it. The new 4499 cc V8 is the first Ferrari direct injection engine to be mid-rear mounted. It has a very low piston compression height typical of racing engines which contributed to achieving its compression ratio of 12.5:1. Equipped with the traditional flat-plane crankshaft, the engine delivers 570 CV at 9000 rpm and, with an outstanding power output of 127 CV/litre, sets a new benchmark not only for the whole Ferrari range and the history of company, but also for the entire market segment. Maximum torque is 540 Nm at 6000 rpm, over 80 per cent of which is available from 3250 rpm. Specific torque is a record 120 Nm/litre. However, what is truly extraordinary is the amount of torque available while still maintaining high levels of power at low revs.


The Ferrari 458 Italia is equipped with the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission which increases performance whilst providing very smooth shifts even at full throttle. The engineers have developed specific, sportier gear ratios to match the power and torque curves of the new V8, guaranteeing high torque even at lower engine speeds and allowing the car to reach its maximum speed in top gear.

The combination of the weapons-grade V8, dual-clutch gearbox and the computer-controlled E-differential result in a flawless handling, almost too perfect. You see, becasue this car is so technical, so precise, it’ll give you almost no sense of thrill when you drive it, and that’s not very Ferrari-ish! It is not unforgiving like a pure Fezza.

Also some people argue that because of all the engineering work, this car has grown a bit soulless, that it’s just a bit cold… But that does not change the fact that Ferrari 458 is an astonishing machine.

Further Readings:

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