Ferrari 458 Italia

Here you go, the all-new Ferrari that will make 360 and 430 owners whip out their checkbooks, or so Ferrari hopes.

The new Ferrari 458 Italia is powered by a new 4.5 litre V8 engine producing 570 horsepower at a mind-boggling 9,000rpm, and 540Nm of torque at 6,000rpm (over 80% of this available from 3,250rpm onwards), thanks to high-revving, a 12.5:1 compression ratio, and direct injection. The torque numbers are pretty darn high for a normally aspirated of this size, thanks to direct injection and the high compression. Ferrari pointed out that out of the 570 total horses, 5 are gained only at higher speeds thanks to a ram air effect.

Ferrari 458 Italia

Power goes to the rear wheels via a new 7-speed dual clutch F1 gearbox (no mention of a stick shift so far?). This combination of a V8, a twin clutch, and a dry weight of 1,380kg takes the car up to 100km/h in 3.4 seconds, and the top speed is set at over 325km/h. For those who even bother, fuel consumption is 13.7 litres per 100km on a combined cycle and Ferrari says this is the best in its segment.

See the triple exhaust setup at the rear? It wasn’t mentioned in the press release but apparently it is said that they work in stages, with all three pipes only working from mid-rev onwards. I’m still looking for more confirmation on this.

Ferrari 458 Italia

Do I like it? No. I mean, it’s not ugly but it won’t win any beauty contests for sure. I’m sure it will be an object of lust and attention in the metal but I’m seriously not digging the overly cab forward design of this new car. It takes after the Enzo too much but ends up looking like a Pagani Zonda from the sides.

I’m not sure if the decision to make the car look overly futuristic was influenced by the fact that many are falling for Lamborghini’s cleaner, simpler, straighter and futuristic fighter jet design cues. The new 458 somehow seems to lack the class that a Ferrari is supposed to have.

Ferrari says the car’s styling is heavily influenced by aerodynamic needs. The nose features small aeroelastic winglets which help generate downforce and contributes to the 140kg of downforce generated at 200km/h.

Look after the jump for a few more photos of the new 458 Italia, and watch a teaser video of the 458 Italia accelerating from a stand-still – however it looks like, the sound and performance of that V8 overshines it all!

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