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by George Skentzos

Ferrari has unexpectedly released the first official photos and details for its latest model, the all-new Ferrari 458 Italia, which is set to replace the current F430 as the brand’s iconic mid-engine V8 sportscar.

This new model represents a dramatic leap forward in Ferrari design and innovation, marking a genuine departure from the current range – including the recently released California.

The Ferrari 458 Italia has been named not only by the traditional figure representing the displacement and number of cylinders but also for its homeland – combining a synthesis of style, creative flair, passion and cutting-edge technology, characteristics for which Italy as a nation is well-known.

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Far more than a facelift or overhaul, the Ferrari 458 Italia is a completely new car from the ground up, boasting an all-new engine, design, aerodynamics, handling, instrumentation and ergonomics.

The latest Ferrari echoes the design of the iconic Ferrari Enzo, although Ferrari says the Pininfarina design is like no other Ferrari seen before, with a compact, aerodynamic shape, underscoring the concepts of simplicity, efficiency and lightness that inspired the project.

The radical bodywork is also functional, providing downforce of 140 kg at 200km/h and includes small aeroelastic winglets that generate downforce and, as speed rises, deform to reduce the section of the radiator inlets and cut drag.

The new V8 engine boasts displacement of 4499 cc and is the first direct injection engine to be mid-rear mounted in a Ferrari.

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The engine delivers peak power of 425kW at 9000rpm, setting a new power per litre benchmark for not only Ferrari but also the entire market segment, along with maximum torque of 540Nm at 6000rpm.

This is mated to the new seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission that sports new gear ratios to complement the power and torque curves of the V8 engine.

Perhaps the most amazing figure however is the fuel efficiency, with Ferrari paying specific attention to cutting emissions with the Ferrari 458 Italia producing just 320g/km of CO2 and fuel consumption is 13.7 litres per 100km, the best in the entire segment.

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Ferrari’s engineers also focused on weight reduction as means of improving both economy and performance, with the Ferrari 458 Italia boasting a dry weight of just 1380kg, with 58 per cent of it residing over the rear axle.

This has resulted in exceptional performance with zero to 100km/h acceleration reduced to less than 3.4 seconds and a maximum speed in excess of 325km/h.

The suspension features twin wishbones at the front and a multi-link set-up at the rear tuned for maximum roadholding and superlative handling.

The integration of the E-Diff and F1-Trac has been optimised to the point where longitudinal acceleration out of corners has been improved by 32 per cent compared to the previous model.

The braking system features a pre-fill function whereby the pistons in the callipers move the pads into contact with the discs on lift off to minimise delay in the brakes being applied, this combined with the ABS has cut the 100-0km/h braking distance to a just 32.5 metres.

While the interior is being kept under wraps for now, Ferrari has promised an all new layout and revolutionary ergonomic interface where the main controls are all clustered on the steering wheel.




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