Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Officially Official: Ferrari announces the 458 Italia!

After months of speculation and spy shots, the crew from Maranello have finally revealed their new mid-engined V8-powered creation to replace the F430. The all-new 458 Italia won't be shown in public until September's Frankfurt Motor Show, but the details were released early this morning. A new direct-injected 4.5-liter V8 ups the power ante to 570 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque. Eighty percent of that torque is now available at an impressively low 3,250 rpm, thanks probably in part to the 12.5:1 compression ratio.

Like last year's California, the 458 gets a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox to send power to the rear axle. A lot of work has been done on reducing the internal friction of the powerplant, in addition to work on reduced aerodynamic drag. The results help improve the 458's mileage to a combined 17.1 mpg (US) on the EU test cycle. No mention is made so far of incorporating any type of KERS hybrid system, something that has been entertained in a lot of rumors... perhaps it will come at a later date.

Like its predecessor, the structure is fabricated out of aluminum giving the 458 a dry weight of just 3,042 pounds. As this is a Ferrari, talk of fuel consumption really does seem a bit pointless. The real question, is how quick is it? Based on specs at least, this new coupe does not disappoint. Acceleration to 100 km/h (62 mph) takes just 3.4 seconds, and this will be the first volume production Ferrari V8 to top the 200 mph barrier, with a top whack of 202 mph.

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[Source: Ferrari]