Published on April 4th, 2010 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Naza Italia Launches the 458 Italia 1st in the region
Ferrari 458 Italia –Maranello’s new V8
The new Ferrari 458 Italia was unveiled in Malaysia even before Singapore and some other hot Ferrari selling nations in the region. The successor to the F430, the 458 Italia is the new entry-level V8 in Ferrari’s range – but it’s hardly the weakling of the pack. A two-seater Berlinetta, the Ferrari 458 Italia, as is now traditional for all Ferrari’s road-going cars, benefits hugely from the company’s Formula 1 experience. This is particularly evident in the speed and precision with which the car responds to driver inputs and in the attention focused on reducing internal friction in the engine for lower fuel consumption than the F430, despite the fact that both overall displacement and power have increased. However, Ferrari’s track experience makes its presence felt in the 458 Italia not only in terms of pure technological transfer but also on a more emotional level, because of the strong emphasis on creating an almost symbiotic relationship between driver and car. The 458 Italia features an innovative driving environment with a new kind of steering wheel and dashboard that is the direct result of racing practice. Once again input from Michael Schumacher – who was involved from the very start of the 458 Italia project – played an invaluable part.
The Ferrari 458 Italia’s Pininfarina design provides further evidence of the complete departure from the past that this new car hailsThe 458 Italia’s mid-mounted 4499cc V8 has a flat-plane crank and direct injection to muster 562bhp at a stratospheric 9000rpm. Torque stands at 398lb ft at a high 6000rpm (although 80% of that is on tap from 3250rpm), confirming the high-revving, ballistic power bias of the new Ferrari V8. It’s the highest specific output engine in Ferrari’s road going history, at 125bhp per litre. But it won’t be an all-or-nothing sports car; the Italia has a quarter more torque than the 430 Scuderia. Ferrari has paid plenty of attention on reducing internal friction in the enlarged V8 and, combined with an aluminium kerb weight of 1380kg, it helps liberate more performance and economy. The transmission is a dual-clutch affair like on the California. Drive is sent through seven forward ratios and back to the rear wheels. Pilots can, naturally, tweak the gearbox and stability systems through a mannetino. Although no interior photographs have been issued yet, Ferrari says the driving position is inspired by its F1 grand prix racers – and one Michael Schumacher helped develop the cockpit ergonomics. The 458 can be viewed at Naza Italia’s showroom along Federal Highway in Petaling Jaya.