Monday, January 23, 2012

Ferrari 458 Italia; Still the King

Written by Harri@Shmee150

Today on Shmee150, I'm going to discuss my favourite Ferrari, the 458 Italia. It's one of the best V8 cars of the last decade and upon launch in 2010 it won many awards and stole fastest lap times all over. Due to the obvious ability of the car it rapidly reached an incredible waiting list of over 2 years for a new car and reached the homes of the rich and famous. Personally it is the best Ferrari after the F40 as it's easily one of the best in the class and the hottest car available to get the attention of girls!

The 458 Italia's computers are sheer genius and it is almost a machine that lets any driver jump in and become the next Fernando Alonso with an incredibly easy set of controls. The 458 engine produces 562 horsepower, turbocharger and supercharger free as it's a naturally aspirated V8. A few months ago Tim and our friend GF Williams took the Ferrari out alongside its biggest rival, the (Hewlett-Packard) McLaren MP4-12C.

Deciding between these cars is an almost impossible task; the performance is similar, the cost is near-on identical, everything about them puts them head-to-head in the chase for customers. Possibly the McLaren is faster around the track but the counter argument in very of the Ferrari is the extra feel and soul when driving it - the noise for starters!

Evidently the 458 Italian in stock form is not fast enough as Oakley Design have worked their magic to produce their own version of the car:

Power is boosted by more than 10% to an astonishing 618hp in the Oakley car.

Different magazines and shows have compared the 458 and MP4-12C and come out with different results, Auto Express with the ex-Stig at the wheels achieved faster lap times in the 458 but Top Gear managed vice-versa. In any case, the stock Ferrari 458 is so beautiful and can be rather flirty!

The 458 is a very pretty car as even Jeremy Clarkson who at the time owned a Lamborghini Gallardo agreed; Captain Slow is also a fan! However perhaps one of the most important aspects is that Tiff Needell from Fifth Gear gave the 458 vs MP4-12C prize to the Ferrari, and he's usually a fan of British cars.

Ferrari have many plans for the future of the 458, first up they have introduced a new programme where owners are able to customise the design and appearance in any way they can dream up:

This is the new demo car for Maranello Ferrari in Egham, UK, design in a 'Scuderia'-esque style with stripes and highlights around the car. From this one can only presume that when Ferrari do release their racing road-going variant it is going to be quite a stunning piece of kit! All of this and we haven't even mentioned quite how good the 458 sounds:

The car is so fast that if it was available in 1847, Graham Bell wouldn't have needed to invent the telephone, he could have delivered his messages in it. The 458 is so perfect that Alexander the Great could have conquered the World driving it.

The Ferrari 458 Italia is such a personal favourite of mine, but if you were in the market, is it what you would choose? Would you buy one?

By Harri

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