Rumoured to continue the Italian car maker’s shift towards turbocharged engines, the upcoming 2015 Ferrari 458 Italia has the potential to become “the best Ferrari”, according to the head of the brand’s local division.
Ferrari Australasia president and CEO Herbert Appleroth refused to comment specifically on the facelifted Ferrari 458 Italia – expected to debut next year powered by a heavily modified version of the new California T’s 412kW/755Nm twin-turbocharged 3.9-litre V8 powerplant (pictured below).
“We don’t speculate on rumours, we prefer to deliver deliverables,” Appleroth said.
Claiming he was not aware of any specifications for the upcoming high-performance model, Appleroth said advances Ferrari makes in any form, particularly in and through its Formula 1 involvement, are always transferred to its road cars.
“So you would expect the next Ferrari to be the best Ferrari, wouldn’t you? With the latest technologies? So who knows what it’s going to be, our engineers keep us guessing.”
Asked how he thought brand loyalists would react to a possible all-turbocharged future Ferrari line-up, the local chief replied: “I think positive”.
“If the drivability is improved … and it still has the aural sensation of what a Ferrari should sound like, I think they’re all for it.
“I don’t think, if you look at the F40 – what a legendary car that was – I don’t think it’s determined on if it’s turbocharged or not, that’s for sure.”
Believed to be internally referred to as the Ferrari 458M, the updated 458 Italia will reportedly produce about 500kW of power – up 75kW on the current 425kW/540Nm naturally aspirated 4.5-litre V8-powered 458 Italia and Spider and still 55kW more than the 445kW 458 Speciale (pictured below).
Ferrari’s switch to a turbocharged engine in the new California T has resulted in reductions to its claimed fuel consumption and CO2 emission figures of around 20 per cent each.