Ferrari has just released photos and details of a new model that both succeeds and exceeds the incredible F430. Named the 458 Italia, this new mid-engine exotic is powered by a 4.5-liter V8 that puts out an incredible 570hp at 9000 rpm and 398 ft-lbs of torque at 6000 rpm – 80 percent of which is available at just 3250 rpm.
The new engine it a typically high compression Ferrari V8 rated at 12.5:1 and uses direct-injection technology. This means it gets better fuel economy that otherwise might be expected with a combined city/highway rating of 17.2 mpg. In comparison, the F430 only got 16 mpg on the highway.
Using an aluminum chassis and plenty of other light weight metals and materials the 458 Italia weighs an astonishingly low 3,043 lbs in its dry form (expect an extra 100 to 200 lbs with all fluids in place).
Combining these factors with a new smooth-shifting dual-clutch 7-speed transmission (that Ferrari claims is faster than the current F1 tranny), the 458 Italia can hit 62 mph in just 3.4 seconds and blast on to a top speed of 202 mph.
As expected, however, the 458 is about far more than straight line speed and so Ferrari has worked hard at applying its racing technology to improve the E-Diff differential and F1-Trac traction control systems to allow the newest prancing horse to put down 32 percent more power out of the corners.
Ferrari will officially debut the 458 Italia at the Frankfurt Auto Show this September.
GALLERY: Ferrari 458 Italia
Official release after the jump:
ITALIA – Ferrari’s innovative new V8
The 458 Italia is the latest incarnation of the mid-rear engined berlinetta
and will be unveiled at the next Frankfurt Motor Show
Maranello, July 28th 2009 – While it’s true that every Ferrari is innovative by definition,
it’s equally true that in the course of the Prancing Horse’s history, certain cars have
marked a genuine departure from the current range. This is very much the case with the
Ferrari 458 Italia, which is a massive leap forward from the company’s previous mid-
rear engined sports cars.
The new model is a synthesis of style, creative flair, passion and cutting-edge
technology, characteristics for which Italy as a nation is well-known. For this reason
Ferrari chose to add the name of its homeland to the traditional figure representing the
displacement and number of cylinders.
The Ferrari 458 Italia is a completely new car from every point of view: engine, design,
aerodynamics, handling, instrumentation and ergonomics, just to name a few.
A two-seater berlinetta, the Ferrari 458 Italia, as is now traditional for all Ferrari’s road-
going cars, benefits hugely from the company’s Formula 1 experience. This is
particularly evident in the speed and precision with which the car responds to driver
inputs and in the attention focused on reducing internal friction in the engine for lower
fuel consumption than the F430, despite the fact that both overall displacement and
power have increased. However, Ferrari’s track experience makes its presence felt in the
458 Italia not only in terms of pure technological transfer but also on a more
emotional level, because of the strong emphasis on creating an almost symbiotic
relationship between driver and car. The 458 Italia features an innovative driving
environment with a new kind of steering wheel and dashboard that is the direct result
of racing practice. Once again input from Michael Schumacher – who was involved
from the very start of the 458 Italia project – played an invaluable part.
The Ferrari 458 Italia’s Pininfarina design provides further evidence of the complete
departure from the past that this new car hails. The Ferrari 458 Italia has a compact,
aerodynamic shape, underscoring the concepts of simplicity, efficiency and lightness
that inspired the project. As with every Ferrari, the car’s styling has been very heavily
influenced by the requirements for aerodynamic efficiency, as can be seen from the
downforce of 140 kg at 200km/h generated by the new model. The front features a
single opening for the front grille and side air intakes, with aerodynamic sections and
profiles designed to direct air to the coolant radiators and the new flat underbody. The
nose also sports small aeroelastic winglets which generate downforce and, as speed
rises, deform to reduce the section of the radiator inlets and cut drag.
The new 4499 cc V8 is the first Ferrari direct injection engine to be mid-rear mounted.
It has a very low piston compression height typical of racing engines which contributed
to achieving its compression ratio of 12.5:1. Equipped with the traditional flat-plane
crankshaft, the engine delivers 570 CV at 9000 rpm and, with an outstanding power
output of 127 CV/litre, sets a new benchmark not only for the whole Ferrari range and
the history of company, but also for the entire market segment. Maximum torque is
540 Nm at 6000 rpm, over 80 per cent of which is available from 3250 rpm. Specific
torque is a record 120 Nm/litre. However, what is truly extraordinary is the amount of
torque available while still maintaining high levels of power at low revs.
The car’s soundtrack is also typical Ferrari, with an exciting, powerful growl emerging
from the engine before it channels through to the exhaust’s three rear tailpipes.
The 458 Italia is equipped with the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission which
increases performance whilst providing very smooth shifts even at full throttle. The
engineers have developed specific, sportier gear ratios to match the power and torque
curves of the new V8, guaranteeing high torque even at lower engine speeds and
allowing the car to reach its maximum speed in top gear.
This new Ferrari is also a major leap forward when it comes to cutting emissions.
Despite the fact that the new engine is significantly more powerful than the V8s that
preceded it, the Ferrari 458 Italia produces just 320 g/km of CO2 and fuel consumption
is 13.7 l/100 km (combined cycle), the best in the entire segment.
The engineers also focused on weight reduction during the design phase for similar
reasons. Consequently, the Ferrari 458 Italia has a dry weight of 1380 kg with a power-
to-weight ratio of 2.42 kg/CV. Weight distribution is also optimal with 58 per cent over
the rear axle. The result of the engineers’ endeavours can be summed up in to two
simple statistics which together perfectly encapsulate the Ferrari 458 Italia’s
exceptional performance: 0-100 km/h acceleration in under 3.4 seconds and a
maximum speed in excess of 325 km/h.
For the new chassis, once more in aluminium, Maranello’s engineers incorporated
various types of advanced alloys along with aerospace industry-derived manufacturing
and bonding techniques.
With regard to vehicle dynamics, the Ferrari 458 Italia’s suspension features twin
wishbones at the front and a multi-link set-up at the rear tuned for maximum
roadholding and superlative handling. Along with a more direct steering ratio, the 458
Italia thus offers extremely rapid turn-in and body control whilst maintaining superior
The integration of the E-Diff and F1-Trac (now controlled by the same ECU) and their
respective mappings is even greater, resulting in a 32 per cent increase in longitudinal
acceleration out of corners compared to previous models. The evolution of the control
logic, with even faster and more accurate calculation of levels of grip, ensures even
greater roadholding, better handling and ease of control on the limit.
The same ECU also governs the high-performance ABS, providing even more precise
control over the logic threshold and greater efficiency. The brakes also feature a prefill
function whereby the pistons in the callipers move the pads into contact with the discs
on lift off to minimise delay in the brakes being applied. This combined with the ABS
has cut the 100-0 km/h braking distance to a mere 32.5 metres.
The Ferrari 458 Italia’s interior is another area of the car that exalts its sporty
personality. The driver is welcomed by a new layout and a revolutionary ergonomic
interface where the main controls are all clustered on the steering wheel.
With the Ferrari 458 Italia, Maranello has brought a highly distinctive new car to its 8-
cylinder range. The company now offers two models that share a common, race-
derived DNA, both exceptionally sporty and fun to drive in true Ferrari tradition, but
aimed at two very different kinds of client. While the Ferrari California was created for
owners requiring a more versatile sports car with a practical edge, the 458 Italia is
designed for owners for whom the priority is uncompromising on-road performance
with occasional track day capability, but who still demand a car that is useable in day-
to-day driving like all Ferrari’s recent models.
Ferrari 458 Italia – Technical specifications
Length 4527 mm (178.2 in.)
Width 1937 mm (76.3 in.)
Height 1213 mm (47.8 in.)
Wheelbase 2650 mm (104.3 in.)
Dry weight 1380 kg (3042 lbs)*
Weight/power ratio 2,42 kg/CV (7.16 lbs/kW)
Weight distribution fr/r 42%/58%
Type V8 – 90°
Displacement 4499 cc (274.5 cu in.)
Maximum power 570 CV (425 kW)** @ 9000 rpm
Maximum torque 540 Nm (398 lbs/ft) @ 6000 rpm
Specific power output 127 CV/l
Compression ratio 12.5:1
Front 235/35 ZR20 8.5”
Rear 295/35 ZR20 10.5”
Maximum speed >325 km/h (>202 mph)
0-100 km/h <3.4 s
Fuel consumption + emissions
Fuel consumption*** 13.7 l/100 km
Emissions*** 320 g CO2/km
Dual-clutch, 7-speed F1
E-Diff3, F1-Trac, high-performance ABS
* With forged wheels and Racing seats
** Including 5 CV of ram effect
*** Combined cycle (ECE+EUDC)