One look at the Ferrari 458 Italia and words like “beautiful”, “majestic” and “stylish” will be streaming out of your mouth. It is such a beautiful car that its Italian manufacturer decided it was fit enough to have the name of their homeland added to the title.
The car is not limited to its good looks; in fact, it has been designed from the ground up making the body work, aerodynamics, suspension, motor and interior totally unique to the Ferrari collection. This means that nothing has been left to question and everything has been designed and perfected for optimum use, on and off the circuit. So much so that Michael Schumacher was involved from the outset of the design and development of the 458 Italia.
The aerodynamic efficiency of the new design sets new standards with both air directing and down force being focused on greatly. One of the more interesting enhancements can be found in the nose, which has small aeroelastic winglets which generate down force and, as speed rises, deform to reduce the section of the radiator inlets and reduce drag.
As in Ferrari tradition the numbers in the name stand for engine size and the number of cylinders. The 4.5 V8 (458) is the first Ferrari direct-injection engine to be mid-rear mounted. It can push out about 425kW of power at 9000RPM and a maximum of 540Nm of torque at 6000RPM. With a dry weight of 1350kg, a very respectable 0-100 km/ hour acceleration time is achieved in less than 3.4 seconds and it will just carry on going until it reaches its maximum speed – in excess of 325 km/h.
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.
Despite the fact that the new engine is significantly more powerful than the V8s that preceded it, the Ferrari 458 Italia fuel consumption is 13.7 litres/ 100 km (combined cycle); the best in the entire segment.
Stopping power has also been a major focus on the 458 Italia which has a pretty decent braking system built into it which includes ABS. This includes a new pre-fill function in which the pistons in the callipers move the pads into contact with the discs when you lift off the power to minimise that fraction of a second of delay. This attention to detail and focus on perfection means that the 100-0 km/ hour braking distance is a mere 32.5 metres.
This high-revving red machine will definitely be turning heads in the Sandton, Fourways, Camps Bay and Clifton areas. You have been warned.