Thursday 20 August 2009

Ferrari's latest the 458 has 570bhp


There are two things that Italy does better than anyone else: outrageous politicians and sports cars.

And while old Silvio has been up to his tricks, Ferrari has been busy building a fabulous new mid-engined sports car to replace the F430, itself a bit of a stunner.

The new car is called the 458 Italia. From the first bit of the name we can deduce that it's powered by a 4.5-litre eight-cylinder engine.

The new engine is direct-injection and has a whopping 570bhp at a screaming 9,000rpm.

It's more powerful than the F430 engine yet it is cleaner and more economical, not that economy is going to bother an owner that much.

What is important is driving slowly past nightclubs and attracting attention by blipping the throttle.

Many car companies claim to learn lots from racing and include the lessons in their road cars. Often it's just marketing talk but with Ferrari it's believable.

The Italia is full of hi-tech gizmos. For starters it has a seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox that changes gear faster than a blink, an electronically controlled differential and something called F1-Trac - a traction-control system that maximises acceleration out of corners without the risk of you flying off into a field.

The major controls are mounted on the steering wheel and by major we don't mean the stereo controls. Ferrari gives you a host of buttons to press that change the traction-control settings, throttle response and lots more. Just like on Raikkonen's F1 Ferrari racer.


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