Better for the environment apparently

Ferrari has just unveiled its latest supercar, the 458 Italia, claiming much improved green credentials. But who really cares? It's a new Ferrari with more power, better performance and an all-new style.

Update: Ferrari has now released photos of the car's interior, as well as more information about its entertainment/Bluetooth/navigation system, as well as the 458's electronic driving aids.

We can't think of too many people who would choose a Ferrari over a Lamborghini or a Porsche just because it emits fewer grams of CO² per kilometre, but even supercar makers are feeling the need to reduce their line-ups' CO² output. As such the new 458 emits 320g/km (down from 420g/km) thanks to a lower EU fuel consumption rating of 13.7L/100km (down from 18.3L/100km), although we doubt many drivers would go that easily on the gas.

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Photo by: Ferrari / Caption by:

Slightly bigger and heavier

More impressive, though, is that this improved economy occurs despite the fact that it's slightly taller, wider, longer and heavier.

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Photo by: Ferrari / Caption by:

New, new, new

Whereas the car it replaces, the F430, was a major reworking of the 360 Modena, the 458 is, essentially, an all-new car. Like the F430 and 360, the 458's body is made from aluminium, helping the car to tip the scales at 1380kg.

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Photo by: Ferrari / Caption by:

Growl

The new 4.5-litre V8 churns out 425kW of power and 540Nm of torque. It also looks gorgeous underneath its glass canopy.

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Photo by: Ferrari / Caption by:

No more stalks

Ferrari promised a revolution interior and to that end the designers have removed the high-beam/indicator and windscreen wiper stalks. Indicators reside on the steering wheel spokes, a switch for the high-beam lives on the left side of the steering wheel controls, with wiper functions on the right. Pressure pads for the 458's horn reside underneath the thumbrests at 10 and 2 o'clock. Stereo controls are on the back of the steering wheel.

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Photo by: Ferrari / Caption by:

iDrive a Ferrari

The instrument cluster features three displays: a central analogue dial for the tachometer, flanked by two LCD screens; each screen is linked to a satellite control pod. The left pod features a D pad and is in command of the cruise control and vehicle settings; the left screen shows the cruise or vehicle settings screens, as well as ancillary gauges, like the voltmeter and temperature gauge. The right pod features an iDrive-style controller that directs the entertainment, navigation and phone systems; the right screen also displays those controls or a digital rendering of an analogue speedo.

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What's Italian for quick?

The 4.5-litre V8 can propel the 458 from zero to 100km/h in 3.4 seconds, 0.6s faster than the F430 it replaces, which had an itty bitty 4.3-litre motor.

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Would sir like some assistance?

The handy manettino switch on the steering wheel allows the driver to select the amount of driver assistance offered by 458's Vehicle Dynamic Assistance system; it can be switched off completely for track work.

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Rage with the machine

Headlights with extraneous slashes are all the rage, as are LED driving lights, and the 458's naturally got a pair.

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Automatic for the people

Naturally only the rear wheels are driven. They are, however, linked up to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission; no manual gearbox will, initially, be offered.

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Playing three in the middle

We're not sure if three tailpipes are actually required, but it sure looks different.

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Patience, my dear

Deliveries to Australians begin in mid-2010 and, although prices and specifications have yet to be released, the order books are open.

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Photo by: Ferrari / Caption by:
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