AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
10. Chevrolet Corvette: 86.9%
Last month we reported the top 10 cars with the highest percentage of female owners, and now we have a less-than-surprising list of top 10 cars with the highest percentage of male buyers. The list is courtesy InsideLine with the data provided by Polk and reflects total purchases made last year in 2011.
Coming in at number 10 with 86.9 percent of its owners being male is the Chevrolet Corvette. Arguably the most iconic sports car in American history, it’s no surprise that the vast majority of them are owned and driven by men. In fact, there are few surprises on this list considering most of the vehicles are dream cars of teenage boys, or those suffering a mid-life crisis.
A horrible accident involving a Ferrari 458 Italia Spyder occurred in Beijing, leaving the driver dead and his two passengers seriously injured — both female.
While that may not be groundbreaking news in and of itself, the Chinese government is moving quickly to censor any internet searches involving the word “Ferrari” as a result of the accident.
It’s believed that the man behind the wheel of the 458 was the illegitimate son of Jia Qinglin, member of the Politburo Standing Committee (one of China’s leading Communist Parties). Details of the crash are quickly being deleted from the Internet in addition to the censorship of the keyword search.
Regardless of who was behind the wheel, the wreck is devastating and we hope the passengers make a speedy recovery.
GALLERY: Ferrari 458 Italia Accident
The latest attraction at Walt Disney World isn’t based on a cartoon character, nor is it made of animatronics. It will, however, bring out the kid in you – in an adult sort of way. And the best part? It’s shiny, Italian and can go 200 mph.
OK, so you don’t actually go 200 mph, but piloting an exotic sports car on a race track will easily have you testing the car’s capabilities – not to mention your own.
Designed as the ultimate attraction for adults at Disney, the Exotic Driving Experience can get you behind the wheel of a pricey German or Italian sports car starting at as little as just $199. The “ride” is an addition to the long-standing Richard Petty Driving Experience, and is held at the Walt Disney World Speedway – though only makes partial use of the banked tri-oval. Using one of those banked bends, the rest of the course makes use of a large-scale, though rather technical, slalom running through the track’s infield.
We just can’t get enough of the Nissan Juke-R project, and probably won’t until we get our grubby little hands behind its steering wheel. But until then, we’ll just have to continue living vicariously through those fortunate enough to experience the monster first hand.
While it was in Dubai to pace the 24 Hour race, Nissan took its Juke-R out to the Dubai International Marina where a makeshift course was created and the funky Japanese crossover was pitted against a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, a Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 and a Ferrari 458 Italia. You know, just some of Germany and Italy’s finest supercars.
Now it goes without saying that we’d expect the Juke-R to look mighty impressive in the video against the exotics since it was probably staged by Nissan. But there’s no denying just how remarkable its performance looks and how undoubtedly fun it was for Lucas Ordonez, the first GT Academy winner, to pilot it. And obviously by watching the video, the drivers were putting on a show more than they were looking for a fast lap time.
We just hope a better resolution video surfaces soon.
Check out the video below.
Over in the United Kingdom, Hertz has teamed up with Premiere Velocity in order to offer their customers the ability to rent some of the world’s finest exotic supercars. The list of exotics being offered is impressive including Lamborghini‘s LP560-4 Bicolore and Aventador, Porsche‘s Carrera 4 GTS Cabriolet, Ferrari‘s 458 Italia, Range Rover‘s Evoque, Mercedes-Benz‘s Brabus S-Class and SLS AMG Roadster, Rolls-Royce’s Phantom and even McLaren’s MP4.
The full range of cars available is up on Hertz’s website and a 5-percent discount is offered when booking through http://www.hertzsupercars.com. Prices vary, but a C63 AMG for example is £201.25 a day ($314) while an Audi R8 is £362.25 ($565). Hertz wand Premiere will also offer customers with a bespoke meet, greet and delivery system at any agreed location whether it be their home, office, hotel or airport.
The requirements? Enough money, 25-years of age and no more than six points on their driver’s license.
Ferrari confirmed the debut of their 458 Grand Am would happen at this year’s Daytona 24 Hours, set to begin on January 26th at Florida’s Daytona International Speedway. Derived from the GT3 variant of the 458, the Grand Am race car was developed in collaboration with Michelotto and aimed at the American series.
For the Daytona 24 Hours race, Ferrari has their version of a dream team as a crew. Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip will be alongside Travis Pastrana, and endurance race veterans Rui Aguas and Robert Kauffman. Hopefully Ferrari will have better luck than all those other “dream sports teams” like the Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Heat. They’re clearly itching for a victory.
GALLERY: Ferrari 458 Grand Am
There’s something for everyone at Disney World – even exotic car enthusiasts. While your kids are having a blast on Space Mountain, you can tear up the Walt Disney World Speedway in a luxury supercar.
Launching this January (just in time for your winter vacation), the all-new Exotics Course at Walt Disney World Speedway lets you take out your ultimate dream supercar for a spin. The track is a hybrid design that takes a one-mile tri-oval backstretch and turn two that features a series of fast right and left hand turns inside of street-course style barriers. Drivers can test their driving skills in cars such as a Ferrari 458 Italia, a Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4, a Porsche 911 and an Audi R8. An instructor also goes along for the ride with you.
Prices range from $99 to $389 for these six-lap Disney “Thrill Rides.” You can book your ride on the Exotics Course website. Would the Exotics Course at Disney World make you more likely to take the family there for a trip? Let us know in the comments section below.
Underground Racing’s Ferrari 458 Italia has been twin-turbocharged and packs 700-whp. Lamborghini‘s Aventador LP700-4 delivers 700-hp from the factory, so obviously it makes perfect sense to pit the two Italian exotics against one another in one awesome video.
Though the “racing” in the video isn’t exactly perfect in terms of judging which vehicle is truly better or faster, it’s worth watching to hear the sonorous note of two if Italy’s finest exotics.
The 458 features Underground Racing’s Stage 1 bolt-on turbo kit taking the factory 562-hp to a 700-whp on 93-octane pump gas. If you’re not aware of just how big a difference there is between 700-hp and 700 horsepower at the wheels, this video should clear things up pretty fast.
Underground Racing has promised a rematch of the two in the near future, just as soon as it preps a twin-turbo setup for the Aventador’s V12.
Check out the video after the jump:
The Ferrari 458 Italia Spider will retail for a starting price of $257,000 when it goes on sale in January of 2012. The 458 Spider features a retractable aluminum hardtop rather than the soft top of previous Ferrari Spiders.
The new system weighs 55 lbs less than a soft top and takes only14 seconds to deploy. The Spider is expected to hit 60 mph in 3.4 seconds thanks to its 4.5L 570 horsepower V8 and 7-speed dual clutch gearbox. Like other Spiders, the 458 costs about 15 percent more than its hardtop counterpart, and Ferrari expects owners $60,000 in options alone.
[Source: Automotive News]
Ferrari recently held a private unveiling for the new 458 Spider in Maranello and Teamspeed member GrayTT was on hand to capture the action. And in true Ferrari form, the Italian automaker brought out three 458 Spiders, one in red, one in yellow and one in black. All three Spiders feature Ferrari’s fully retractable hard top which is a world’s first in a sports car with this type of layout.
The 458 Spider is powered by Ferrari’s 4.5L V8 power plant with 562-hp and its top will take only 14 seconds to open or close. One thing’s for sure, this is arguably Ferrari’s sleekest and sexiest convertible and we could easily see ourselves in one… or two, or all three.
Check out the video after the break and look for more photos from the official reveal with AutoGuide’s Frankfurt Auto Show coverage beginning September 13th.
GALLERY: Ferrari 458 Spider Unveiling
Watch the video after the jump:
Twin turbo experts in everything from Dodge Vipers to Lamborghini Gallardos, Heffner Performance has introduced a “bolt-on” twin-turbo system for the Ferrari 458, boasting that it’ll increase the factory horsepower rating by 257 ponies, bringing it up to an astonishing 820-hp. Perhaps more shocking is that Heffner claims the setup can do all this on just 5-psi of boost… and on pump gas.
Heffner describes the twin-turbocharged 458 Italia as taking the soul of the legendary F40 and combining it with the technology of a modern F-1 car. And true to all Heffner Performance products, the twin-turbo upgrade looks cleanly integrated in the factory engine bay, as if it belonged there when the car rolled off the lot. Don’t we wish.
GALLERY: Heffner Performance Twin Turbo Ferrari 458 Italia
[Source: Heffner Performance]
Based on the GT3 version of the V8-powered Ferrari, out-of-house tuner Michelotto has pulled the wraps off its Grand Am 458 as testing begins for the new race car at the Fiorano Circuit. The 458 Italia Grand Am will be the first factory-sanctioned Ferrari to compete in the GT Class of Grand-Am’s Rolex Sports Car Series.
The exotic race car will feature 500-hp with a redline of 8000 rpm and to help it conform to GT-class rules, Michelotto made the vehicle less aerodynamic and included a 48-mm restrictor compared to the GT3 version. ABS and traction control were removed from the race car while a full cage was built with NASCAR door bars. It will, of course, be racing on Continental tires, the Grand Am series tire sponsor.
GALLERY: Michelotto Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am
Rule, Britannia, rule the waves! Britons never will be slaves! The boys of Top Gear recorded an impressive laptime around their famous test track with the McLaren MP4-12C, and if you haven’t seen the episode yet, you might want to skip ahead.
The homegrown MP4-12C beat out foreign contenders such as the Ferrari 458 Italia, the Bugatti Veyron, and the Gumpert Apollo, with a time of 1:16.2 around Dunsfold—the second fastest record on the power board.
Then again, the Top Gear folks have a thing for patriotic bias that makes Sean Hannity look like a Communist—even if Ferrari built a 10,000-horsepower Italia that shot cans of London Pride out the exhaust pipes, Jeremy And Company would still find a way to handicap it. Maybe if they stuffed the interior with gnocchetti filling, then dropped a piano on it.
If only the rest of the British car industry followed through on such spirit. We shall fight them on the beaches! We shall fight them on the test tracks!
Click the jump to see the full comparison.
Ah, what’s better than one Ferrari 458 Italia? How about a Novitec Rosso-modified Ferrari 458 Italia? How about two that look identical? Novitec Rosso decided the best way to a man’s heart wasn’t to grab their attention with just one hot, bright red and sexy 458, but with two outfitted with the same modifications. And even better, Novitec knew that photos just doesn’t cut it these days, especially when we’re talking about twins here, so they gave us a video of the bombshells…together of course.
Novitec Rosso’s 458 Italia tuning package bumps horsepower up by 39-hp by outfitting the 4.5L V8 with a new carbon fiber air box and Inconel exhaust system (which also weighs 46-lbs less than the factory unit) that is comprised of new manifolds, sport catalysts and rear muffler with control flap. Combined the bolt-ons with a newly remapped ECU and you’ve got a 458 Italia breathing as fiery as ever.
In addition to the performance gains, Novitec went through thorough wind-tunnel testing for their aerodynamic kit. The carbon fiber pieces are attached to existing body panels, with a subtle front lip, side flaps and wings, a rear spoiler and a carbon fiber rear diffuser. For wheels, Novitec chose their NF3 pieces to outfit the twins with a matching red and black paint scheme. Staggered with a set of 21×9-inch in the front while the rear receives a much wider and larger 22×12, Novitec pairs the wheels up with high-performance Pirelli rubber.
And of course, Novitec lowers the 458 Italia a solid 1.4-inches while incorporating a 1.6-inch front-end lift at the push of a button.
Check out a video of Novitec’s 458′s twins after the break.
Modified Ferraris and Novitec Rosso almost go hand-in-hand, with the tuner constantly paving the way for new packages for Ferrari models. Their modifications are always within the spirit of the automobile, never straying away with aggressive body lines and sharp edges. In short, Novitec Rosso packages tend to accentuate the already existing platform rather than change it entirely. Case in point: This Ferrari 458 Italia built by Street Concepts Elite in Orange County, CA (Novitec Rosso’s Orange County dealer).
The jet black Ferrari 458 Italia is beautiful off the assembly line but with the aid of Novitec Rosso’s suite of parts, it’s now breathtaking. Possibly the best aero kit that’s available for the Italia, Novitec’s package mixes carbon fiber with subtle styling. In addition, Street Concepts Elite outfitted the Italia with Novitec’s stylish NF3 wheels. Up front is a 21×9-inch setup while the rear receives a larger and wider 22×12-inch pairing.
GALLERY: Street Concepts Elite Novitec Rosso Ferrari 458 Italia
[Source: Jon Sibal]
Ferrari‘s complimentary service plan, already available in some world markets, will also be offered in the United States, on vehicles like the FF, 458 Italia and California.
“We are currently working out the terms and details to adapt this plan to the U.S. market, which is the largest one for Ferrari,” said Enzo Francesconi, the man responsible for after-sales matters for Ferrari North America. Ferrari’s plan covers one scheduled visit per year, some parts, fluids and labor, but does not cover high-wear items like brake pads. On the other hand, the program is transferable, so used buyers will be able to use what’s left of the program.
Ferrari’s older models are notorious for outrageous service costs, with many requiring hours of labor to remove the engine even for simple tasks. Newer models have been designed for easier servicing, but an oil change can still cost around $500. Another interesting factor is that Ferraris in the snow belt states tend to rarely ever require a 3000 mile comprehensive service, but often get an annual tune-up at their owners request. With the free maintenance program valued at around $15,000, it’s a nice touch for prospective owners, albeit an inconsequential amount if you’re in the Ferrari demographic.
[Source: Car and Driver]
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It may have more computing power than the Apollo mission, presumably. And it’s dedicated to just one thing: an almost Teutonic discipline of making you go fast—or, uh, even faster. Nevertheless, the bleeding-edge interior of the Ferrari 458 Italia might be confusing to those whose last brush with prancing horse greatness came with a wooden steering wheel and Moreschi driving gloves.
So to help, this video was released by Ferrari to introduce you, the potential six-figure customer, to the driver-centric controls, features, and gee-whiz gizmos of the 458 Italia that will help you go fast. For those of us that don’t have six figures at our disposal, however, it’s nice to know that after watching this video we’re prepared to commandeer a 458 Italia in the wild. Just in case, you know…
Ferrari is aiming for global sales of 8,000 units within 8 years, unprecedented volumes for a sports car maker that has traditionally prided itself on exclusivity and the individual nature of their products.
Sales of 6,800 to 7,000 Ferrari cars are expected this year, with the Japanese market being the deciding factor. Ferrari sells about 400 cars per year in the country. According to Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo, the jump to 8,000 units will have to come from emerging markets. ”A lot depends on India, Latin America and China. There is growth potential there,” he told German magazine Auto Motor und Sport.
China, which will sell 500 cars this year (up from 300) is expected to be the 3rd biggest market for Ferrari, behind the United States and Germany.
[Source: Automotive News]
The great American Le Mans Series begins this weekend at the wonderful 12 Hours of Sebring. And with all first races of the season, great anticipation brews for new race car debuts and at the top of everybody’s list is Risi Competizione’s Ferrari 458 GTC. Luckily for us, Risi Competizione brought along a photographer out on their test days and has finally reveals some photos of the car in race form to the world.
Risi Competizione is a Houston-based race team that has specialized in fielding Ferraris for many years in the ALMS series. They have taken plenty of class victories back with them with their 430 GT2, so it’ll be plenty interesting to see how successful they can get their 458 to become, and more importantly, how qiuckly.
Risi Competizione’s Founder and Team Principal, Giuseppe Risi, had a few things to say about their new car:
“This new car offers a great opportunity for us to show what, I believe, we do best at Risi Competizione,” he says, “which is to technologically develop our cars to race and win GT events at the highest level of competition. I am confident that our total race car preparation will be better than our competitors, and that will allow us to concentrate our efforts on the areas of development and evolution that new race cars inevitably present.”
Risi continues: “We will be concentrating on just one car this season, and will be making a run for the GT Championship. We are under no illusions that the 12 Hours of Sebring – traditionally a happy hunting ground for us – will be a severe test as the F458 is short on testing time and the track is punishing. It’s going to be a true test for the car and for us, although racing is a challenge in itself at any level. I’m completely confident, however, that our guys are up to it.”
We’ll be keeping our eyes glued to this weekend’s Sebring coverage. One of the best races of the year!