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.
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.
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
Nothing lets your peers know that you’ve “made it” quite like parking a Ferrari on your driveway. And nothing lets your fellow Ferrari owners know that you’re a connoisseur quite like a one-off. Now, an opportunity to own such a specimen has arisen.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Pininfarina, Ferrari unveiled the “Pinin,” a Pininfarina designed sedan, at the 1980 Turin Motor Show in Italy. Now, you can have the chance to bid for it at the RM Auction at London, England.
With proportions suggesting an Italian interpretation of the earlier 1976 Aston Martin Lagonda sedan, this low slung, wedge shaped four door is the work of designer Diego Ottina under the direction of Leonardo Fioravanti, who was behind the work of many iconic Ferraris including the Dino, Daytona and P5.
Originally, the Ferrari Pinin was only a design study, and remained a static concept until the current owner of the Pinin decided to have Ferrari outfit it with 512BB’s 4.9-liter horizontally-opposed 12-cylinder engine with Weber carburetors and a double overhead camshaft, producing 360-hp. A 5-speed gearbox was taken from a Ferrari 400GT to transfer power to the rear wheels. Finally, chassis strengthening, the addition of a fuel tank, and a set of suspension and brakes completed the car.
Ready to be sold at the RM Auction in London, experts predict the car will be priced somewhere in between $742,000 – $850,000.
GALLERY: 1980 Ferrari Pinin
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
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]
Apparently a new trend has been set in China. If you’re wealthy and getting married, better whip out every supercar exotic you can get your hands on and take them out on the street. This particular wedding, in Wenzhou, featured 28 exotic supercars from Ferrari’s 458 Italia to Bentley’s Flying Spur.
At first, it was fun to watch all the supercars parade around for a wedding, but now many local Chinese are finding it a tad repulsive. As with any country experiencing an abundant of wealth, the separation from lower to middle class and middle class to upper class starts to widen. Without surprise some aren’t finding it as amusing as others back in China. As for us? We can’t wait until someone rolls out their own wedding entourage with millions of dollars worth of exotics.
Check out the video after the break.
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!
GALLERY: Risi Competizione Ferrari 458 GTC
The Ferrari-Ford rivalry is back on! Just in case it was possible to confuse America’s best-selling pickup truck with Ferrari’s newest F1 car, the Prancing Horse has chosen to spell it out painfully and slowly for the rest of us. The two companies have come to an agreement over the name F150, which Ferrari sought for their newest F1 entry.
Ford objected to this, filing a lawsuit and disputing Ferrari’s similar logo. In response, Ferrari added a “th” to the end of the name, for “Ferrari F150th Italia,” in honor of the 150th anniversary of Italy’s unification. Ford was ok with this—after all, the 150th anniversary of Italian unification only comes around once.
But Ferrari wasn’t pleased enough at this frankly crass comparison between their almighty racing team and a mere blue-collar work truck! So they tweaked the name further, just to be sure—and the 2011 Ferrari Formula 1 racing car is now known as the “Ferrari F150° Italia.” The symbol is the Italian representation of the “th” suffix, a further change from the name that Ford agreed with, and gives the Ferrari car even more Italian-ness than an entire Olive Garden parking lot of Raptors.
And just to drive the point home, Ferrari issued a sardonic press release labeling the situation “Kafkaesque” and applauding the prevailing of common sense, “order to avoid the slightest risk of anyone confusing a Formula 1 car with a pick-up truck…which should make it clear even to the thickest of people.” Just in case, you know, you do forget.
No word on whether Ford will hire Carroll Shelby to vanquish the ghost of Enzo Ferrari behind the wheel of a Lariat, or if Ferrari will introduce a special Harley-Davidson Edition with a “man step” in the tailgate. What would Hank the Deuce do?
Famed Ferrari tuner Novitec Rosso will be debuting its rendition of the new 458 Italia at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. Since the debut of Ferrari’s 458 Italia, several aftermarket manufacturers have revealed their own versions, but few can rival what Novitec Rosso brings to the table. With every exotic Ferrari model that’s been designed and manufactured, it’s a guarantee that Novitec finds a way to refine it towards automotive perfection. Their 458 Italia is no different, with an additional 39-hp (609-hp total) over stock, a staggered set of 21-inch/22-inch wheels and an aerodynamic kit thoroughly developed in the wind tunnel to maximize performance.
The 4.5L V8 receives its power boost thanks to a new carbon fiber airbox and high-performance exhaust system. The exhaust system includes high performance manifolds, sport catalysts and a rear muffler design featuring a control flap that can be adjusted through the Manettino button on the steering wheel. All this plus the weight savings from the new exhaust contribute to the performance gains, with the majority of the power gain coming from a new ECU retune.
Through wind tunnel testing, Novitec also developed a sleek carbon fiber aerodynamic kit for the 458 Italia. The front spoiler is simply attached to the factory front bumper while flaps are added to the right and left of the central air inlet to help minimize lift on the front axle. Wings and fender-mounted ventilation louvers (also made from carbon fiber) gives the Italia a sportier design, along with the carbon fiber mirror covers.
On the side, Novitec also designed new side skirts that create optimal airflow between the front and rear wheels. Speaking of the rear, the Italia is outfitted with a new spoiler and carbon fiber diffuser. Carbon fiber touches are also seen on the roof, engine hood, ventilation louvers and fog lamp surround.
For suspension, Novitec outfits the 458 with a set of their sport springs that lower the vehicle around 1.4-inches, while the front lift system can raise the car by 1.57-inches to avoid curbs and speed bumps. While many of Novitec’s wheels will probably fit the 458 Italia, they chose a custom set of NF3 rollers for this demo car. Up front is a 21×9-inch fitment while the rear is outfitted with 22×12-inch wheels.
Lastly, interior upgrades are available – fully catered to the needs of the customer of course. Leather and Alcantara upholstery is available along with carbon fiber accents in the cabin.
GALLERY: Novitec Rosso Ferrari 458 Italia
We’ve checked out Oakley Designs’ rendition of Ferrari’s 458 Italia before and now we’ll have a chance to see it in person in the HRE booth at this year’s SEMA show. By far one of the cleanest styling packages we have seen for the new Italia, the British tuner looks to to give it the American spotlight with its North American debut at the largest aftermarket show in America.
Since the Oakley Design 458 comes exclusively with HRE P40S Monoblok wheels, it’s no surprise Oakley Design opted to go with a co-branding opportunity in HRE’s booth. And for those that don’t know the details behind Oakley Design’s 458 Italia, it gets a power boost from 562-hp to 618-hp thanks to a remapped ECU and larger carbon fiber intake box.
The exterior is accented with a new front spoiler that provides plenty of additional down force while the rear gets a spoiler with Gurney flap.
Press release available after the break.
GALLERY: Oakley Design Ferrari 458 Italia SEMA Car
EVOMS is known for its “intelligent tuning” capabilities on some of the world’s finest luxury and exotics. Their lineup of ECU upgrades includes products for Porsches, Lamborghinis, AMG Mercedes, Bentleys, Bugattis, Ferraris, Maseratis, VWs and Audis. In short, some of the greatest creations that sport four wheels.
This time around, EVOMS has teamed up with FabSpeed Motorsport to refine the brand new Ferrari 458 Italia. Equipped with FabSpeed’s headers and high-flow cats, EVOMS was able to retune the Italian beauty for an increase of 87-hp and 57 ft-lbs more torque. That’s extremely impressive when you consider just how expertly tuned the Italian exotic’s V8 already is with with 562-hp on tap.
Even though the focus is on EVOMS and their tuning prowess, it’s worth noting the craftsmanship in FabSpeed’s headers and high-flow cat creations. Their headers sport a fancy 4-into-1 high velocity merge collector and offer a 13 lb weight saving. Their high-flow cats incorporate extremely expensive 200-cell genuine German imported catalytic converters which then offer a nice 12 lb weight savings.
We’re guessing this 458 Italia sounds wicked and hopefully we’ll see some video of it soon.
[Source: EVOMSit Facebook]
GALLERY: EVOMSit / FabSpeed Ferrari 458 Italia
Yes, you’ve got yourself a Ferrari 458 Italia and while you absolutely love the vehicle, you want to do a little something to spice it up and set it apart from your neighbors identical version. But you don’t want to go overboard or scream “Hey look at me!” so what do you do? Well now you’ve got yourself a great option with replacement carbon fiber accessory parts straight from Maranello.
The side skirts come painted or unpainted, which makes sense since carbon fiber side skirts sometimes seem odd and don’t flow with the rest of the car when not painted. The front wings and rear diffuser however can be enjoyed in all their carbon fiber glory as accents to the front and rear bumpers.
The front wings are compatible with the parking sensors while the rear diffuser comes complete with vertical fins and fog lamps/rear grill frames.
No pricing has been announced, but we’re guessing it’s all a pretty penny.
[Source: Top Speed]
GALLERY: Ferrari 458 Italia Carbon Fiber Accessories
With the Ferrari 458 Challenge official revealed just last week, we have come to expect plenty more Ferrari 458 Italia race cars coming around. Now as realistic as this Ferrari 458 Italia may look, it’s simply a render done by the uber-talented Jon Sibal. We all know = that inevitably there will be a Ferrari 458 Italia GT race car to replace the current F430 GT, so why not indulge ourselves in what it could potentially look like?
Jon had the luxury of seeing one of the first (if not the first) 458 Italia’s in Southern California in person. He was once again inspired to render up a 458 GT race car and we’re thankful he took the liberty to. He claims that this is just a “quickie” and for us to “excuse the roughness.” Huh? We couldn’t spot any flaws in his work even if we wanted to nitpick.
We have to admit, the 458 Italia is starting to really grow on us. In race car form it’s just looks straight sexy with its sleek and low profile. We can’t wait to see these hit the track!
GALLERY: Jon Sibal Ferrari 458 Italia GT Renders
[Source: Jon Sibal]