Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ferrari unveils new 458 Italia

Ferrari has unveiled its new 458 Italia, a mid-engined replacement for the F430. Unlike the launch of its California model, Ferrari hasn't drip-fed us the details, instead dropping them all in one release today (July 28). They take a bit of digesting too, the stunning 458 Italia exceeding even our lofty expectations as to what Ferrari would deliver to replace the highly regarded F430. Like the F430 the Italia is mid-engined, with 58 percent weight distribution to the rear, the 458 badge referring to the engine's 4.5-litre capacity and V8 layout.
Its engine produces 562bhp at a high 9,000rpm from its eight cylinders, which combined with its torque output of 398lb.ft at 6,000rpm allows the Italia to sprint to 62mph in under 3.4 seconds and onto a 202mph top speed. Driving through a seven-speed, twin-clutch, paddle-shifted transmission the 458 Italia benefits from all of Ferrari's latest F1 know-how. Making up its impressive electronic driver aid arsenal is Ferrari's E-Diff and F1-Trac, which will enable the 458 Italia to corner with staggering speed. The suspension comprises of double wishbones up front and a multi-link rear set up and the Italia is certain to be offered with Ferrari's variable magnetic damping system. Like its predecessor, all the electronic control systems are likely to be controlled by the Manettino dial mounted on the steering wheel, much like Ferrari's F1 drivers use.
The 458 Italia's development has been heavily influenced by Michael Schumacher, his input into cars like the 430 Scuderia underlining that the Italia should be very special to drive. Ferrari suggests that the 458 Italia is quite a departure from the usual replacement model cycle, its all-new car even more driver focussed thanks to the inclusion of the more practical California at the 'entry' point of Ferrari's line-up.
It's clear then that Ferrari is aiming the 458 Italia at a hardcore driving audience. Setting records for specific output per litre and torque output per litre Ferrari describes the Italia as 'designed for owners for whom the priority is uncompromising on-road performance and occasional track day capability.' Like all cars in Ferrari's current range the 458 Italia's shape is honed as much to cleave through the air as efficiently as possible as it is for style. The results are certainly spectacular, its shape more sensuous and organic than the F430, its rear reminiscent of Ferrari's Enzo hyper-car. The front exhibits some real aggression, with the LED equipped headlamps cutting dramatically into the bonnet.
It's not just efficient in the wind-tunnel either, the 458 Italia improving economy and emissions over its predecessor. CO2 emissions of 320g/km and a combined fuel consumption figure of 20.6mpg might not sound brilliant in isolation, but in the context of the 458 Italia's performance they are rather impressive. Production models will already be working their way down Ferrari's lines in Maranello in anticipation for the rush of orders following its Frankfurt show unveiling, so if you've not got your order in already then it's likely you'll be in for a long wait. It sounds like it will be worth it though.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post.I like it very much.

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