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The Ferrari 458 is a mid-engined sports car produced by the Italian sports car manufacturer Ferrari. The 458 replaced the Ferrari F430, and was first officially unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.
- 1 Specifications
- 2 Design
- 3 Variants
- 4 One-offs
- 5 Racing
- 6 Awards
- 7 Recalls
- 8 Marketing
- 9 Illicit trade practices investigation
- 10 References
- 11 External links
In Ferrari's first official announcement of the car, the 458 was described as the successor to the F430 but arising from an entirely new design, incorporating technologies developed from the company's experience in Formula 1.
The 458 is powered by a 4.5 L (270 cu in) V8 engine of the "Ferrari/Maserati" F136 engine family, producing 570 PS (419 kW; 562 hp) at 9,000 rpm (redline) and 540 N·m (398 lb·ft) at 6,000 rpm with 80% torque available at 3,250 rpm. The engine features direct fuel injection, which is a first for Ferrari mid-engine setups in its road cars.
The only transmission available on the 458 is a dual-clutch 7-speed GETRAG gearbox, in a different state of tune shared with the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. There is no traditional manual option, making this the fourth road-car after the Enzo, Challenge Stradale and 430 Scuderia not to be offered with Ferrari's classic gated manual. It is the first mainstream model to not be offered with a manual transmission.
The car's suspension features double wishbones at the front and a multi-link setup at the rear, coupled with E-Diff and F1-Trac traction control systems, designed to improve the car's cornering and longitudinal acceleration by 32% when compared with its predecessors.
The brakes include a prefill function whereby the pistons in the calipers move the pads into contact with the discs on lift off to minimize delay in the brakes being applied. This combined with the ABS and standard Carbon Ceramic brakes have caused a reduction in stopping distance from 100–0 km/h (62-0 mph) to 32.5 metres (107 ft). Tests have shown the car will stop from 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 90 feet (85 with run flat tires), 85 feet from 60 mph (97 kmph) and 80 feet from 60 mph (97 kmph) with run flat tires.
Ferrari's official 0–100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration is 3.4 seconds, while top speed is 325 km/h (202 mph). It has fuel consumption in combined cycle (ECE+EUDC) of 13.3 L/100 km (21.2 mpg-imp; 17.7 mpg-US) while producing 307g/km of CO2.
In keeping with Ferrari tradition the body was designed by Pininfarina. The car’s exterior styling and features were designed for aerodynamic efficiency, producing a downforce of 140 kg (309 lb) at 124 miles per hour (200 km/h). In particular, the front grille features deformable winglets that lower at high speeds, in order to offer reduced drag. The car's interior was designed using input from former Ferrari Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher; in a layout common to racing cars, the new steering wheel incorporates many controls normally located on the dashboard or on stalks, such as turning signals or high beams.
According to British car magazine Autocar, the 458 Italia's design has drawn inspiration from the Enzo Ferrari and its Millechili concept car. It has been designed to be Ferrari's sportiest V8-engined car, to distinguish itself from the recently launched Ferrari California.
The 458 was also reviewed on 15th season of Top Gear, where it received acclaim for its styling and performance. In a drag race against James May's Ferrari F430, it won by a considerable margin. The car also lapped the Top Gear test track in 1:19.1, just 0.1 second slower than the Ferrari Enzo.
458 Italia (2009–)
458 Italia Special Edition (2012)
It is a limited (20 units) version of 458 Italia for the Chinese market, commemorating 20th anniversary of Ferrari in China since the first Ferrari, a 348 TS, was ordered in Beijing. It is distinguished by its Marco Polo Red body colour, golden dragon graphic on the front bonnet, gold and black livery stripes symbolising a racing track, gold painted wheels, gold aeroelastic winglets, gold embroidery on the car's head rests, engine start button inscribed with the simplified Chinese characters for 'start' and a '20th Anniversary Special Edition' plaque in dash.
458 Spider (2011–)
The 458 Spider was premiered at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. This convertible variant of the 458 Italia features an aluminium retractable hardtop which, according to Ferrari, weighs 25 kilograms (55 lb) less than a soft roof such as the one found on the Ferrari F430 Spider, and can be opened in 14 seconds. The engine cover has been redesigned to accommodate the retractable roof system. Ferrari plans to make 1,500-2,000 458 Spiders every year. It has the same 0–100 km/h time as the hard-top but has a lower top speed 199 mph (320 km/h).
458 Speciale (2013–)
The 458 Speciale is the top performing 458 Italia. Distinctions of the Speciale are the new forged wheels, vented bonnet, finned side sills, taller rear spoiler and redesigned bumpers, which include active aerodynamics designed by Ferrari Styling Centre in cooperation with Pininfarina; front and rear movable flaps balance downforce and cut drag at speed. The engine was revised, with power increased to 605 PS (445 kW; 597 hp) at 9,000 rpm, 540 N·m (398 lb·ft) of torque at 6,000 rpm. Electronic systems were updated too, introducing side slip angle control (SSC) to improve car control on the limit. SSC performs instant-to-instant analysis of the car’s side slip, comparing it with the target value and then optimising both torque management (via integration with F1-Trac traction control) and torque distribution between the two wheels (via integration with the E-Diff electronic differential). The weight/power ratio (1,290 kg dry, 1,395 kg at the kerb, 90 less than the standard 458) is equal to 2.13 kg/cv, sprints from 0 to 60 mph in just three seconds (0-125 mph in 9.1 seconds with a response time of just 0.060 seconds). Ferrari declared a Fiorano test track lap time of 1:23.5, only 0.5 seconds slower than the F12berlinetta. Lateral acceleration now reaches 1.33 g.
 The 458 Speciale A is a spider variant for the 458 Speciale. The 'A' stands for 'Aperta', which is Italian for 'open' – and it is limited to only 499 examples. The Aperta has a 4.5 liter naturally aspirated V8 which produces 597 horsepower and 398 pound feet of torque. 0-60 mph takes only 3.0 seconds and it is capable of a top speed of 202 mph. It is the most powerful, street-legal, naturally aspirated V8 Ferrari has ever launched in a spider variant.
Ferrari SP12 EC (2012)
|Ferrari SP12 EC|
|Designer||Centro Stile Ferrari and Pininfarina|
The Ferrari SP12 EC is a one-off sports car built by Ferrari for English musician Eric Clapton under Ferrari's Special Projects programme, and based on the 458 Italia. It was revealed in May 2012 and shown at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed. The bespoke SP12 EC's bodywork is inspired by that of the Ferrari 512 BB, and was designed Centro Stile Ferrari in collaboration with Pininfarina. It utilises the mechanicals of the 458 Italia, including its 4.5-litre V8 engine and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, however many of the car's technical details are considered confidential. The car reportedly cost £3,000,000 (USD $4.7 million).
Pininfarina Sergio (2013)
This Pininfarina concept car, named in memory of long standing chairman Sergio Pininfarina, is a modern interpretation of the 2-seater barchetta built upon 458 Spider mechanicals. In keeping with the traditional open barchetta body style, it has no windshield; two matching helmets are provided for the driver and passenger.
The vehicle was first shown in March 2013 at the Geneva Motor Show. According to Pininfarina the Sergio was developed like a production car, and therefore it could be produced in limited numbers.
The 458 Challenge is a track-only racecar designed to be fielded in the Ferrari Challenge. It was presented at the Ferrari Annual Dealer Meeting on 14 July 2010. According to Ferrari it can lap the Fiorano test track in 1:16.5, which is two seconds faster than its F430 Challenge predecessor and only 0.2 seconds slower than the Ferrari FXX. Weight was reduced from the standard model through the use of thinner body panels, carbon fiber replacement panels, and polycarbonate windows and windshield. The differences over the regular road legal 458 include a racing cockpit, windows which only open through small slots, air-jack mounting on the rear to lift the car up, racing fuel filler cap, center-lock wheels, racing exhaust as well as tow hooks front and rear.
|Suspension (front)||Double wishbone|
|Axle track||Front: 1,720 mm (67.7 in),
Rear: 1,688 mm (66.5 in)
|Wheelbase||2,650 mm (104.3 in)|
|Engine||Ferrari F136 4,497 cc (274.4 cu in) V8 Naturally aspirated mid-engined, longitudinally mounted|
|Transmission||Hewland 6-speed sequential manual|
|Weight||1,245 kg (2,745 lb)|
|Tyres||Michelin, Pirelli, Dunlop, Hankook Tire|
|Notable entrants||AF Corse,
Extreme Speed Motorsports,
|Notable drivers||Toni Vilander,
|Debut||2011 12 Hours of Sebring|
458 Italia GT2
Ferrari unveiled their new GTE class racer for the 2011 races sanctioned by the ACO. The 458 Italia GT2 drops the "flex splitter" found in the road cars and replaced with a more conventional inlet, with the air exit out through louvers in the bonnet. Under new restrictor regulations, the 4.5L engine produces 464 hp (346 kW; 470 PS), which is less than the road car and the 458 Challenge. Unlike the road car, which has a high-revving low-torque engine, the GT2 version only revs to 6,250 rpm, but maintains a close-to-stock torque number even with the horsepower loss. The double-clutch gearbox had to be replaced, but paddle-shifting is retained since rules in 2011 allow them.
So far the 458 Italia GT2 has had an excellent racing record. The car won the 2012 and 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 2012 12 Hours of Sebring in the FIA WEC GTE PRO class and two editions of the Petit Le Mans, the first in 2011 and the second in 2012. In 2011 the 458 Italia GT2 took the GTE Manufacturers' and the GTE PRO Team Titles of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, the GTE Manufacturers' and GTE PRO Team and Drivers' Titles in the Le Mans Series and the Overall and Super GT Team and Drivers' Titles in the International GT Open. The following year, with the creation of a FIA-managed World Championship, the car obtained the GTE Manufacturers' and GTE PRO Team Titles in the FIA World Endurance Championship. In the same year the Italian car won the European Le Mans Series GTE PRO Team and Drivers' Titles and the International GT Open Overall and Super GT Manufacturers', Team and Drivers' Titles. In 2013 the car repeated its success', winning the FIA World Endurance Championship GTE Manufacturers', GTE PRO Team, GTE Drivers' and GTE AM Team Titles, the European Le Mans Series GTE Team and Drivers' Tiles, the Asian Le Mans Series GTE Team and Drivers' Titles and the International GT Open Overall and Super GT Manufacturers' and Drivers' Titles.
458 Italia GT3
Ferrari also unveiled a GT3 version of the Ferrari 458 Italia in 2011. The car is slightly lighter and more powerful than the GT2 version, producing closer to 550 HP and running all the way to a 9000 rpm redline. The engine thus performs more similarly to that of the road car than the GT2 version. The aerodynamics of the car are also slightly different due to different aero regulations.
The 458 Italia GT3 has achieved many important wins in its career. It took four wins at the 24 Hours of Spa, two at the Gulf 12 Hours, the 2013 12 Hours of Sepang, the A6-AM class win in the 2014 24 Hours of Dubai and the 2014 Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour at the famous Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst.
The 458 Italia GT3 won four GT3 PRO AM and two Gentlemen Trophy Title in the Blancpain Endurance Series, the 2011 FIA GT3 Drivers' Title, two GTC Titles in the European Le Mans Series, two GTC Titles also in the Asian Le Mans Series, six International GT Open Titles, three GT3 Asia Titles, three French GT Titles, two British GT Titles and five GTSprint Titles.
Actually the 458 Italia GT3 is involved in numerous racing series including the Blancpain Endurance Series, International GT Open, European Le Mans Series, Pirelli World Challenge, GT3 Asia, Australian GT Championship, Campeonato Sudamericano de GT and numerous other National GT3 Championships.
458 Italia Grand-Am
In 2012, Ferrari developed a modified version of the 458 GT3 for Grand-Am. The car weighs the same but produces less downforce than the GT3 car; the engine is also restricted more heavily, producing roughly 500 hp (373 kW) and having an 8000 rpm redline. Instead of a dual-clutch transmission, the car is fitted with a traditional sequential transmission
The rollcage is also modified due to stricter safety regulations. The Grand-Am version lacks traction control and ABS. The car debuted at the 2012 24 Hours of Daytona. AimAutosport.com is the first team to win with the new 458 Italia Grand-Am spec. On Sept. 9, 2012, drivers Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato finished second at Laguna Seca and clinched the Grand-Am Rolex GT championship.
The 458 won "Car of the Year 2009" and "Supercar of the Year". It also won "Cabrio of the Year 2011" for the Spider, from Top Gear magazine. Auto Zeitung magazine awarded Ferrari 458 Spider "Best Cabrio 2011". Motor Trend awarded the Ferrari 458 Italia with the title of "Best Driver's Car" in 2011. The 458 Speciale won Top Gear's Supercar of the Year 2013 and James May's Car of the Year 
Wheel-arch adhesive fires
On 24 August 2010, BBC News reported that ten 458s had either crashed or caught fire in just three months. Ferrari responded later that it was aware of the fire-related cases, and was in the process of investigating them.
On September 1, 2010 Ferrari officially recalled all 1,248 of the 458s sold to date. A spokesman commented that the problem had been traced to adhesive used in the wheel-arch assemblies and that, in certain circumstances, the glue could begin to overheat, smoke and even catch fire. In extreme cases the melting adhesive could lead to the heat shield deforming, and hence moving closer to the exhaust, causing the wheel-arch lining to catch fire. Owners who had reported fires, that were later confirmed by independent engineers to be due to this problem, will now receive a new car. All other cars will be modified replacing the adhesive with mechanical fasteners.
In 2012, Ferrari recalled certain 2011 and 2012 cars because the engine can seize suddenly and possibly cause a crash. The F136 engines have crankshafts that were machined incorrectly. The automaker learned of one such incident from a review car lent to critics. Owners can choose from having a new engine installed by their dealer, having the engine removed and the work done by Ferrari North America or having a new crankshaft and bearings installed at the dealership.
Illicit trade practices investigation
After Ferrari 458 Italia had been reported to cost much more in China than the U.S., China Automobile Dealers Association (CADA) began working in conjunction with the National Development and Reform Commission for possible price-fixing, despite automakers' claim of 25% import tariff, 17% value added-tax and a consumption tax added to the vehicle price.
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