Since being introduced at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show the Ferrari 458 has raised the bar to which all other mid-engine sports cars are judged. The 458 shares this elite class with the lustful Lamborghini Gallardo, the competent Audi R8, and the powerful McLaren MP4-12C. This article is getting up close and personal with a game-changing sports car.

Sports cars - Ferrari 458

The 458 is the successor to the Ferrari F430, but is based off of an entirely new platform and engine. The high-revving V8 screams to a red-line of 9,000 RPM, which is 500 RPM higher than the 430. Ferrari claims 0-62 MPH (0-100KM/H) in less than 3.4 seconds and top is over 202 MPH (325 KM/H).

Sports cars - Ferrari 458

The Engine:

Each engine in the 458 is hand built and is double check for precision, first manually and then by computers.

Engine Specifications

  • 4.5 Liter (4,449 cc) V8
  • 562 horsepower @ 9,000 rpm
  • 0-62 (-100 km/h) 3.4 seconds
  • Top speed is over 202 mph (325 km/h)

Sports cars - Ferrari 458

The Design

The low slung design was created by famed design house Pininfarina. If features an aerodynamic body with aeroelastic winglets that generate down-force at high speeds. The Italia is available in two styles, the coupe known as the Italia and the convertible known as the Spider – which incorporates a powered retractable hardtop.

Sports cars - Ferrari 458

The interior features an entirely new steering wheel which has many controls integrated into the design. Ferrari driver and seven time F1 champion, Michael Schumacher provided input on it’s design. The 458 is only available with a 7 speed dual clutch gear box using formula one style paddle shifts mounted on the steering column. Because of the large paddles Ferrari moved the turn indicators and wiper controls to the steer wheel.

Sports cars - Ferrari 458

Pricing

The Ferrari 458 Italia starts at $220,000 but according to Ben Cochran, Director of Dealer Services at GoAuto, expect to pay north of $245,000 for a nicely equipped Italia. The Spider starts at $257,000. For some models and options the wait list can be up to three years.

Sports cars - Ferrari 458

Racing

Ferrari has developed three official racing variants of the 458: 485 Italia GT3, 458 Italia GTC, 458 Italia Grand-Am which compete in events such as the Le man 24 Hours, FIA GT3 European Championship, and the Grand Am Series.

About the author: James D. writes for GoAuto.ca who is dedicated to doing whatever it takes to help with all your automotive needs.

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