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570-hp V8 Engine
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 hp at 9000 rpm and, with an outstanding power output of 127
hp/liter, 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
398 lb-ft at 6000 rpm, over 80 per cent of which is available from 3250 rpm.
Specific torque is a record 72 lb-ft/liter. However, what is truly extraordinary
is the amount of torque available while still maintaining high levels of power
at low revs.
The car's soundtrack is also typical Ferrari, with an
exciting, powerful growl emerging from the engine before it channels through to
the exhaust's three rear tailpipes.
The 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.
engineers also focused on weight reduction during the design phase for similar
reasons. Consequently, the Ferrari 458 Italia has a dry weight of 3042 lbs.
Weight distribution is also optimal with 58 per cent over the rear axle. The
result of the engineers' endeavors can be summed up in to two simple statistics
which together perfectly encapsulate the Ferrari 458 Italia's exceptional
performance: 0-60 mph acceleration in under 3.3 seconds and a maximum speed in
excess of 202 mph.
For the new chassis, once more in aluminum,
Maranello's engineers incorporated various types of advanced alloys along with
aerospace industry-derived manufacturing and bonding techniques.
Suspension and Electronic Aids
With regard to vehicle dynamics, the
Ferrari 458 Italia's suspension features twin wishbones at the front and a
multi-link set-up at the rear tuned for maximum roadholding and superlative
handling. Along with a more direct steering ratio, the 458 Italia thus offers
extremely rapid turn-in and body control whilst maintaining superior ride
The integration of the E-Diff and F1-Trac (now controlled by the
same ECU) and their respective mappings is even greater, resulting in a 32 per
cent increase in longitudinal acceleration out of corners compared to previous
models. The evolution of the control logic, with even faster and more accurate
calculation of levels of grip, ensures even greater roadholding, better handling
and ease of control on the limit.
The same ECU also governs the
high-performance ABS, providing even more precise control over the logic
threshold and greater efficiency. The brakes also feature a prefill function
whereby the pistons in the calipers move the pads into contact with the discs on
lift off to minimize delay in the brakes being applied. This combined with the
ABS has cut the 60-0 mph braking distance to a mere 103 feet.
The Ferrari 458 Italia's interior is another area of the car
that exalts its sporty personality. The driver is welcomed by a new layout and a
revolutionary ergonomic interface where the main controls are all clustered on
the steering wheel.
With the Ferrari 458 Italia, Maranello has brought a
highly distinctive new car to its 8-cylinder range. The company now offers two
models that share a common, race-derived DNA, both exceptionally sporty and fun
to drive in true Ferrari tradition, but aimed at two very different kinds of
client. While the Ferrari California was created for owners requiring a more
versatile sports car with a practical edge, the 458 Italia is designed for
owners for whom the priority is uncompromising on-road performance with
occasional track day capability, but who still demand a car that is useable in
day-to-day driving like all Ferrari's recent models.
Ferrari 458 Italia: Photo Gallery, Review (1/2) and Specifications