Head of the stretch…
The Ferrari 458 Italia is a tribute to Italy. It was introduced at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show on September 15, 2009. The dashing two-seat berlinetta is the result of track-derived technical innovation. The man/machine (woman/machine) interface is apparent in this F1-inspired supercar. It has received numerous accolades since its inception. The Prancing Horse kicks the starting gate open and its recalcitrance to status-quo leaves the rest of the pack by several furlongs. This Prancing Horse is always a sure bet across the board for win – place – and show. With an indomitable spirit, it is no bad actor. Yes it’s vain…hard to tame…albeit still a Ferrari –
The Ferrari 458 is a versatile series. It includes the fire-breathing 458 Speciale that produces 597 hp @ 9,000 rpm…the track-scorching 458 Challenge that laps the Fiorano test track in 1:16.5…the ferocious 458 Italia GT2 that won the 24 hours of LeMans in 2012 and 2014…the vicious 458 Italia GT3 that has numerous wins including the famous Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst…the formidable 458 Italia Grand-AM that garnered the Grand-AM Rolex GT Championship…and the lightning-quick 458 Italia. The 458 series is a serendipitous adventure in high-performance motoring…second to none.
The 458 Italia is another winner from the Scuderia Stables and Pininfarina Design Studios. It is the sportiest two-seat berlinetta with a “winner takes all” demeanor. It romps the track never needing a ‘hotwalker’ with its indomitable spirit. This elegant coupe was designed in a wind tunnel. Its aerodynamic efficiency battles cross winds, reduces drag effectively, and increases the car’s downforce. It is built with a lower center of gravity which is important to a supercar. Its structural integrity was also modified to increase its torsional strength and rigidity.
The 458 Italia is equipped with a traditional Ferrari-style cabin. F1 DNA was the inspiration to the designers. All important information is available to the driver at a glance. The ergonomically designed cabin is upholstered in natural grain leather with Alcantara accents throughout. Its console uses an aluminium casting. It houses the Launch Control with controls for the secondary gearbox for reverse and auto settings, also the power window switches. The door panels house side airbags.
All important gauges are mounted to the steering wheel for convenience. This allows the driver to concentrate to maintain the Prancing Horse and all its spirited power. Steering column stalks have been eliminated. Its steering wheel mounted manettino is derived from F1 racers.
Right and left satellite pods further enhance the convenience. The right pod houses the infotainment system, Bluetooth connection, satellite navigation, digital speedometer and rear parking camera. Clustered to the left pod are the controls for the Vehicle Dynamic Assistance display, the controls to the dash mounted TFT monitor, on-board computer interface, and trip computer. All controls are in sync for the legendary Ferrari man/machine (woman/machine) interface.
With its natural instinct to win the Daily-Double, the 458 Italia ‘easily’ hits the first turn of the track long before its competition. Its ‘action’ is due in no small part to the Ferrari Tipo F136 4.5 litre 32-valve DOHC V8 engine. This naturally-aspirated powerplant produces 570 hp @ 9,000 rpm with 540 Nm of peak torque @ 6,000 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 3.3 seconds, 0-100 mph in 6.7 seconds with a top speed of 211 mph.
It can do the ¼ mile @ 131 mph in just 11.1 seconds. The engine redlines @ 9,000 rpm. Its high compression ratio of 12.5:1 ensures prompt pick-up from the entire rev range. It produces 80 percent of its torque @ 3,250 rpm. Formula 1 DNA is apparent with its reduced piston compression height. Thinner compression rings reduces friction between the piston and liner with a graphite coating applied to the piston skirt.
The engine components are highly influenced by racing technology lessons learned. The engine is equipped with Gasoline direct injection (GDI), with split injection to enhance engine performance by modulating the injection into two phases. This increases combustion efficiency and torque at low revs by up to five percent. The 200 bar high-injection pressure ensures efficient lean-burn with optimal air/fuel mixture up to 9,000 rpm. This results in better performance and increased fuel economy. This is the first Ferrari to use direct injection on a mid-rear mounted engine.
Its ‘all-out’ performance uses a dry sump system as its medium for lubrication. Helping to reduce internal friction, the engine is equipped with two scavenge pumps. Two pick-up oil from the cylinder heads, also the front & rear of the engine via oil recovery ducts outside the crankcase. The remaining two retrieve oil from below the crank throws. The recovery ducts outside the crankcase creates a strong 800 mbar vacuum around the crankshaft. This also helps to reduce windage from the pumping sequence of the pistons.
The engine oil pressure pump is smaller featuring variable displacement geometry reducing the amount of power available to the crankshaft for the same amount of fuel consumption. It also prevents oil from splashing out of the sump onto the crankshaft which reduces power. The oil is the life of the engine; therefore extra measures such as these are necessary for the extra high-performance of the Prancing Horse.
Continuously variable valve timing enhances the operation of both intake and exhaust phases. Engine mapping provides four different valve configurations for optimal torque values during all revs. A redesigned aluminium intake manifold is lighter with straighter inlet tracts to reduce losses and a system that varies manifold geometry to optimize volumetric efficiency for the entire rev range.
The award-winning V8 engine is a new benchmark for a naturally-aspirated production engine. The 458 Italia has received numerous accolades during its tenure. The 4.5 litre V8 engine has won “Best Performance Engine” for 2011 & 2012, in the prestigious “International Engine of the Year Awards. The Ferrari dry-sump, flat-crank 90 degree V8 also took the “Above 4.0 litre category for the 2nd time.
The 458 Italia continues to receive critical acclaim world-wide with nearly 40 internal awards. Auto Motor Und Sport, the prestigious German magazine voted it “Best Sports Car” award for two consecutive years. The 458 Italia has become one of the most popular cars in the legend of the Prancing Horse.
Auto Express magazine awarded the 458 Italia “Performance car of the Year” for 2010 & 2011. Just a few of this celebrity’s many accolades also includes: BBC Top Gear’s “Car of the Year” and “Supercar of the Year”; “2011 Best Driver’s Car” from Motor Trend magazine, and the prestigious US magazine The Robb Report, voted it “2011 Car of the Year.”
Unique innovation for the 458 Italia abounds. It includes the 7-speed F1-inspired dual-clutch gearbox which guarantees faster, smoother shifting. This sophisticated system manages odd and even gears which are pre-selected using two separate input shafts. The overlap between opening and closing phases of the two clutches is zero; therefore there is no interruption of engine torque to the drive wheels. The F1 7-speed DCT, E-Diff, and F1-Trac control software are integrated into vehicle dynamics and are managed by a single electronic control unit (ECU) to minimize communication time between the systems to improve overall vehicle performance.
The ECU also governs the high-performance ABS. It offers precise control over the logic threshold with greater efficiency. The brakes feature a prefill function that moves the pistons in the calipers moving the pads closer to the discs on lift-off, minimizing a delay in braking response time. The ABS combined with the prefill function reduces braking distance.
The 458 Italia is equipped with a Brembo Carbon Ceramic braking system. Its four-wheel discs are fade-free designed for performance. Rotors, calipers, and pads are all extremely heavy-duty, with this type of power, the 458 Italia must be adequately equipped for the mission. Brembo high-performance products combined with F1-inspired technology makes this Prancing Horse mind its manners. The pads are made from a hybrid material that provides improved heat dissipation. Special channels in the architecture also aid heat dissipation which is crucial in extreme driving situations. This results in shorter stopping distances without any compromise in performance under severe use.
The horse did fire when asked
The Vehicle Dynamic Assistance monitors the operation of the engine, transmission, tires, and brakes. It is enabled via steering wheel mounted manettino. Three settings are available to fine tune the 458 Italia to the driver’s taste: RACE, CT off, and CST off. It provides visual confirmation as it reads lateral and longitudinal acceleration, revs, and speed. Algorithms define the parameters set to alert the driver to the status of WARM-UP, (operating temperature too low), GO (ideal operating temperature), and OVER (one or more components no longer at peak performance and need cooling).
The 458 Italia is built as body on frame construction. The chassis incorporates various types of advanced alloys combined with aerospace industry-inspired bonding techniques. Its suspension features twin wishbones in the front and a multi-link set-up in the rear. The suspension is tuned for maximum road holding and superb handling. The 458 Italia has a more direct steering ratio which offers extremely rapid turn-in and body control further refining ride comfort.
Its rear diffuser helps the Prancing Horse to maintain its grace under pressure creating maximum downforce. The stainless steel exhaust tips has acoustic levels enhanced for comfort but the “throaty baritone” of its V8 engine is prominent. This all-new aluminium exhaust system is lighter with fewer parts reducing vibration and augments the experience with the Prancing Horse. This thrilling soundtrack is calculated to gain favor of the loyal following of the iconic passion –
According to Daily Racing form, the 458 Italia impresses in a six-furlong lead. It gallops ahead of the stretch with a naturally aspirated 4.5 litre V8 engine and F1-inspired 7-speed DCT gearbox. The Prancing Horse remains the front runner by producing 570 hp @ 9,000 rpm. It trots the ¼ mile @ 131 mph in a mere 11.1 seconds. The Prancing Horse will always be the pacesetter winning across the board: win, place, and show. The Eclipse Awards are constantly bestowed upon the 458 Italia for demonstrating its outstanding achievements in stamina. The Prancing Horse is always in the deep stretch well before the others, leaving them distanced…as it rounds the clubhouse turn, it will never be the closer – Cheers to the Prancing Horse, long may it reign!
Hey guys…the ladies drive Ferraris too! Check this out:
“A kiss on the hand may be quite continental…but Ferraris are a girl’s best friend”
“Be it Enzo…Testa Rossa…I don’t mean Toyota…but Ferraris are a girl’s best…best friend!”
Photos courtesy Ferrari Media Club
2015 Ferrari 458 Italia
Prancing Horse Passion continues…long may it reign!