The Ferrari 458 Italia is finally here and this might mean that 2010 might be the year Ferrari comes back on the books as an actual competitor to Lamborghini and Porsche, which have been reaping profits and market share from Ferrari for the past 3 years. We first discussed the Ferrari 458 last month as the final rendering had finally been exposed, but it is nice to say the F458 Ferrari Italia is now here and unveiled in the flesh, the real questions will remain on how true the pricing will be and if the cost of ownership will be more than the mighty F430? Here is what we know…
As you can see from the real pics of the Ferrari F458 Italia, it is not going to disappoint, especially with all that carbon fiber everywhere. Scheduled Pricing to start at about $220,000 which is up from the previous expected MSRP base price of $175,000; but still great competition to the Lamborghini LP560-4 as long as the performance number match the all mighty Lamborghini.
Here is what Ferrari had to say about their new weapon in during their press release earlier this year.
Maranello, 27 August 2009 – In the run-up to the official unveiling of the Ferrari 458 Italia at the Frankfurt Motor Show on the 15th of September, enthusiasts can find out more about the car on www.ferrari.com. There they will find the first photographs of the 458 Italia’s interior and of the steering wheel and instrument binnacle which represent a significant step forward in the concept of the ergonomic interface between driver and car.
In fact the main commands are now grouped on the steering wheel, the secondary commands are handily set in two satellite pods either side of the dash and there are now comprehensive instrument displays on the panel ahead of the driver. These solutions represent an important safety aspect, enabling the driver to concentrate fully on driving. Similarly this layout ensures maximum control of the car in highperformance driving, an uncompromising approach that derives directly from Ferrari’s F1 experience.
Working closely with the Ferrari Styling Centre, the engineers have thus reinterpreted the positioning of the major commands to provide a truly driver-oriented cockpit. All steering-column mounted stalks have been eliminated, with the indicators, full beam, flash and windscreen wiper functions now being activated by buttons on the steering wheel boss. The button to select the shock absorber setting is now positioned next to the ‘Engine start’ button where it falls readily to hand. Behind the wheel are a number of secondary functions, such as the stereo, while the gearbox paddles are now longer making shifts even easier from any steering angle.
The right-hand satellite pod on the dash incorporates controls for the infotainment, the Bluetooth connection, sat-nav, digital speedo and rear parking camera. Clustered on the left-hand satellite pod instead are the optional cruise control, buttons for choosing the video setting of the left-hand dash TFT screen and the on-board computer interface. The latter controls the trip computer, the Vehicle Dynamic Assistance and the display of the car’s set-up.
The Vehicle Dynamic Assistance monitors the operating parameters of the most important areas of the car – engine/gearbox, tyres and brakes. The VDA is enabled in the following manettino settings – Race, CT off and CST off – and provides visual confirmation of the status of each component based on an algorithm from parameters reading lateral and longitudinal acceleration, revs and speed. This enables the driver to assess the ideal operating conditions for the car. There are three status settings: WARM-UP (operating temperature too low), GO (ideal operating conditions) and OVER (one or more components are no longer at their optimum level and need cooling).
The Ferrari 458 Italia is very well designed and seems very well balanced but as we know from the past, Ferrari has tough competition from Lamborghini and Porsche and as much as we want to believe that this new 458 Italia is the answer to their problems, the reality remains that only time will tell how this car helps the company out of their hole.