Ferrari 458: The Definition Of A Supercar
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Ferrari 458: The Definition Of A Supercar

Auto Tech
-Enzo Ferrari once said, "The Ferrari is a dream. People dream of owning this special vehicle and for most people it will remain a dream apart from for those lucky few. Just look at it. Drink in its lines, its precious curves, subtle vents, giant carbon ceramic brakes, massive engine, and most importantly that badge." The 458 is just stunning to look at and let's just look at it. Well, personally, I think it's the best looking Ferrari for years. I mean, the 360 was too muted; the 430, well, it wasn't visually stimulating enough. But this, well, well done. The President of Ferrari Luca di Montezemolo when he was showing this, he looked to the exterior, the interior, the engine, he went, "This is the perfect car to represent Italian motoring." Its style, its speed, its power, its grace, its looks, and that is why it's called the 458 Italia. This is Italy's car. The 458 isn't just beautiful to look at. Its design has purpose. So, check out these wings here in the grill. They deform at speed to improve aerodynamics and reduce drag. Air froze down the body of the car into here where it then cools the dual-clutch transmission. The result of that though, warm is forced out the back and reduces drag in the car. It's all but clever. You're also looking at one of the slipperiest Ferrari has ever made, its drag coefficient or how easily it slices through the areas it goes along. It's just knot 0.33 north which is a very, very small number. The thing is it's not just how it cuts through the air. It's how it uses it to improve airflow aerodynamics and reduce drag. Someone has put a lot of though into this. My two favorite bits, well, that's the engine on full look-at-me display and its triple pipe exhaust system which haunts back. It's the F40 of old. If I'm honest, I could happily stare at it all day, just sit and appreciate it, or I could as Enzo intended, drive it like I stole it. Now, a certain Mr. M. Schumacher had a lot of input in this cabin. The reason everything is so driver focused, everything is within easy reach of the driver, that's because he wants it to be like a Formula 1 car, so it becomes second nature just to fiddle with your controls. You don't have to take your eye off the road, which is really smart because in something like this you really should be looking at the road. There's no real straight harsh lines in here. It's so very modern and very, in this case, carbon fibery. Also, I've got loads of information at my fingertips. This wheel is absolutely incredible. I've got everything I need. You have a little gear change indicator. So, what it does is when you're going at some pace, as you reach the end of the gear, the red lights light up up here. You got that in a Ferrari, Enzo, and the Formula 1 car as well as, you know, the giant engine start button, the suspension adjust, and the indicators, and all the rest. I've got the manettino switch, which is a wonderful little invention because what that does is that switches instantly between the traction control modes, it's basically derived from Formula 1 tech. And we've got 5 modes to choose from. We go wet for if it's wet. We've got sports, which is Ferrari used for Noble, then we have race, which turns the traction controller off a little bit. Then we have CT-off, which turns it off quite a lot, and then you have to press and hold it for ESC-off, which turns everything off. Also, I've got 2 screens in this vehicle as well as the rev counter. The one on the left gives me lots of information about the car tire pressure, oil pressure, that kind of thing. Also, there's a little speedometer and the fuel gauge. And on the right-hand side, well, when I'm not using the set nav, or the phone, or anything like that, I have a giant speedo, nice big numbers you can see just at the corner of your eye, which is really quite handy. The big question I keep getting asked is, "What's it like to drive?" Well, I went in with an open line. Will it be heavy, light, wayward, slippery, tricky even? None of the above, thankfully. It's awesome. The 4.5-liter V8 behind me pushes out 570 brake horsepower and 398 pound feet of torque. Now, to try and put that into a baby sort of understandable term, well, it will be north to 62 in 3.4 seconds. And if you're feeling particularly brave, 202 miles an hour. But Ferrari claims that if you drive it like a saint, you can get up to 22 miles per gallon out of it. The gearbox in this thing is absolute masterwork. It is once again derived from Formula 1 technology. It's dual clutch obviously. It has one clutch always resting on the even gear. It has one clutch always resting on the odd gear. Now, I always ask just how long the transition between the changes are. It would be nice to stay in the film. So, I asked the Ferrari rep and the response I got was we've really stopped measuring that because, well, it's pretty instant. And yeah, they're right. It really is your foot pedal down, foot pedal down, foot pedal down. It's just bang, bang, bang. It is that instant. It's absolutely incredible. It really, really is. A first for Ferrari, good work. The steering in this thing is absolutely incredible. It is so direct. You can just [unk] and well away you go. There's no hint of under-steering. There's no threat of nasty over-steering or any spinning into a forest. I mean, it's absolutely incredible and you can get it out of shape if you drive like a bit of the numpty or you really know what you're doing. But as a car for a normal person, it's amazing. It's kinda like a revelation. It's really, really, really good. Comfort wise, you expect a car like this, a big, big sports car, to be very uncomfortable, very hard riding so you sit on the [unk] and go, oh my God, I regret spending nearly 300,000 pounds on this. Oh, it's so uncomfortable. Oh, for the love of God, make it stop. But really, now, there are lots of suspension modes to choose from. So, you kind of have a nice costy, comfy, little Ferrari. My favorite bit though, my absolute favorite bit of this car, well, gotta be the noise. It's music. Absolutely music to my ears. The 458 Italia is, as Enzo intended, a dream. It causes a stir wherever it goes. It has a visual drama that other cars struggle to match. It combines performance, agility, and style in a way that few will ever see, let alone experience. It's a true Italian thoroughbred. It's the definition of excess, of desirability, of a dream. It's a Ferrari, the definition of a super car.

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