Tuesday 28 July 2009

2010 Ferrari 458 Italia - Official Photos and Info

While we knew that the Ferrari F430 was on its way out—myriad spy shots were captured of its replacement—we didn’t yet know all the details of its successor. Until now.

The stunning new Ferrari 458 Italia will succeed the famed F430, and is completely new according to the company. The numeric part of the name is derived from the engine displacement (4.5 liters) and number of cylinders (eight), while the Italia name was chosen because Ferrari feels the car exemplifies the flair and passion of its homeland. Of course, it wouldn’t be a new Ferrari without input from legendary F1 champ Michael Schumacher, who aided in the 458’s development since the inception of the project.

570 Horsepower!

The 458 will use a new, 4.5-liter direct-injected V-8 producing 570 hp at 9000 rpm and 398 lb-ft of torque at 6000 rpm, and over 80 percent of the latter is available from 3250 rpm. That’s a hefty increase of 87 hp and 55 lb-ft of torque over the already-potent F430. The wheels are 20 inches in diameter—one more than the F430’s—and the rubber grows, too, measuring 235/35 up front and 295/35 in back. This should add grip that will no doubt aid the Italia in reaching Ferrari’s estimated 0-to-62-mph time of “under 3.4 seconds.” Top speed is a claimed 202 mph. The exhaust will exit through three tips at the back, and prototype photos show what appear to be active flaps integrated into the two outboard tailpipes. A high-performance ABS braking system is said to halt the 458 from 62 mph in just 107 ft with help from a function that lays the brake pads against the standard carbon-ceramic discs once the driver lifts off the throttle. Power will be delivered through a paddle-shifted, seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission that has been geared to take advantage of the new engine's superior low-end grunt.

The chassis of the 458 Italia is constructed of aluminum and suspended by control arms up front and multilinks in the rear. Ferrari promises an even more direct steering ratio, which should help maintain the fantastic turn-in we know from the F430 despite nearly two extra inches of wheelbase and 0.6 inch of additional length (the Italia’s wheels sit 104.3 inches apart). The 458 Italia is 178.2 inches long, 76.3 inches wide, and 47.8 inches tall, which represent increases of 0.6 inch, 0.6 inch, and nothing, respectively. The 458 will boast essentially the same weight distribution as the F430, with 42 percent of its heft over the front axle and 58 percent over the rear.

Futuristic Ferrari

The Pininfarina-designed shell is sure to spark controversy among those particularly fond of classic Ferrari styling: the company calls it a “complete departure from the past.” The futuristic look is sculpted, according to the company, to aerodynamic requirements. The 458’s flat underbody helps airflow, while the overall shape can generate a claimed 309 pounds of downforce at 124 mph. As with similar devices of dubious legality found on Ferrari’s F1 cars, tiny, trick winglets in the nose add downforce and then deform as speed increases. Here, they reduce the area of the radiator inlets and cut drag. The rear of the 458 Italia is a bit reminiscent of the California’s bulbous posterior, but it’s more artfully executed, with myriad details over which your eyes can crawl.

We have thus far just one image of the interior, captured from Ferrari’s own introductory video, but it’s clear that the focus is all on the driver. Ferrari says the new steering wheel and dash layout come directly from racing practice. We’re sure that once you’re behind the wheel, any personal feelings about the styling will be forgotten, as the 458’s triple-tip exhaust—à la Ferrari F40—blares its 570-horse symphony.


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