Aerodynamics, Automotive Design, Car Design, Car Styling, Ferrari, Motor Shows, Pininfarina, Supercars, Tuned for the road Add comments

In a brilliant move, designed to anticipate all speculative scoops, Ferrari has unveiled today its plan for the introduction of their new Ferrari 458 Italia. The new high performance two-seater supercar will be first unveiled at the Frankfurt’s IAA motor show in mid-September. The company will be taking “advanced booking” but the car will go on sale late this year.

“We are proud to pay homage to Italy with a fabulous new car which offers truly high performance along with the kind of innovation that no other Ferrari has ever reached. The new Ferrari is a tribute to Italy and its unique qualities. The creative flair of its people, the quality and style of its products all go to make up a country that is synonymous with excellence” stated Ferrari President Luca Montezemolo, commenting the news.

Ferrari stresses that its all-new 458 Italia is a massive leap forward from the company’s previous mid-rear engined sports cars and indeed, it promises to be the most advanced and performing V8 Ferrari ever. Despite a slight increase in its kerb weight (up to 1380 from the 1350 kg of the lightweight and stripped down Scuderia) its power-to-weight ratio is easily 10% better (2.42 kg/CV, or 3.24 kg/kW). This is likely to suggest a 10 percent increase in the selling price of the new supercar, bringing to a figure around € 200,000. The sports car will be worth every cents of its price.

The innovations and specifications announced by Ferrari are simply outstanding and unprecedented: engine, design, aerodynamics, handling, instrumentation and ergonomics, just to name a few.

The Pininfarina design, simple and consequent, beautifully enhance the potential: despite the car is a little bigger than the 430 it replaces it looks positively tight, nimbler, lighter and even more dynamic, with clues of past (and very attractive) Pininfarina show-cars. As usual, the design has been inspired by functionality, all-round efficiency and aerodynamics. Ferrari does not provide any Cd figure but concede that at 200 kph the down-force on both axles is equivalent to 140 kg.

The front features a single opening for the front grille and side air intakes, with aerodynamic sections and profiles designed to direct air to the coolant radiators and the new flat underbody. The nose also sports small aero-elastic winglets that generate down-force and, as speed rises, deform to reduce the section of the radiator inlets and cut drag.

With its 7 speed, double-clutch, F1 type transmission, geared to deliver a top speed of more than 325 kph in its highest gear, the 458 Italia sprints from 0 to 100 kph in “under 3.4 secs” time.

According to its maker, the new Ferrari features an innovative driving environment with a new kind of steering wheel and dashboard that is the direct result of racing practice. So much so that a track experience translates the technological into a very emotional affair, because of “the strong emphasis on creating an almost symbiotic relationship between driver and car”.

The Ferrari 458 Italia’s interior is another area, designed under the leadership of Donato Cocco, which enhances its sporty personality. The driver is welcomed by a new layout and a revolutionary ergonomic interface where the main controls are all clustered on the steering wheel.

Ferrari underlines that their new supercar is also a major leap forward when it comes to cutting emissions. Despite the fact that the new engine is significantly more powerful than the V8s that preceded it, the Ferrari 458 Italia produces just 320 g/km of CO2 and fuel consumption is 13.7 l/100 km (combined cycle), the best in the entire segment.

  • scorpione

    The looks of the front-end intake would be improved if the decorative chromed prancing horse were made larger.

  • Giancarlo Perini

    You are probably right. But. A) I would keep my comment until I see the car, B) That is supposed to be the space for the number plate and, indeed, it appears to me that the area may be not wide enough (it must be a wrong impression because of the perspective, though). C) I am sure that, for those who need not to put a number plate on the front, Ferrari will likely offer a bigger “horse”.
    Is this the only criticism? This would make Ferrari very happy and confident indeed.

  • scorpione

    Would a front number plate (European type) partially block the air intakes? That would never do.

    Am also curious about those 3 exhaust pipes–to which (how many) cylinders is each connected? Or is this just for decoration? You haven’t yet shown the interior, but from what I’ve seen of it elsewhere (and actually someone else’s question): Why do the cabin air vents seem to be directed straight at…the driver’s hands?

    But overall, this design is more successful than the California. Pininfarina need the encouragement more than Ferrari these days.

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