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2015 Ferrari 458 Italia

Overview
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2015 Ferrari 458 Italia Review

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There's nothing quite like a Ferrari, and fans of the Italian exotics will tell you there are few Ferraris like the 2015 Ferrari 458. Already boasting a pedigree edge over rivals like the Audi R8 V10 and Lamborghini Huracan simply because of its breeding, it boasts a considerable performance advantage as well. Using its racing expertise, Ferrari has imbued the 458 Italia and 458 Spider with a 562-horsepower V8 teamed with a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox. It also boasts a design that not only looks breathtaking, but includes features like active winglets in front that deform at speed to improve downforce and aerodynamics. It's all managed by a race-inspired suspension that, with little modification, underpins the race-ready 458 Speciale models.

You'll Like This Car If...

The Ferrari 458 is not for the weak of skill or thin of wallet. If you have the money and ability, it will reward you with its exceptional ability as one of the best exotic luxury-performance cars ever made.

You May Not Like This Car If...

With passion playing an important role, buying a Ferrari is not a numbers game. However, if you're looking for a performance bargain, you can get a Chevrolet Corvette Z06 AND a Porsche 911 Turbo and still pay less than you would for a single 2015 Ferrari 458 Italia.

What's New for 2015

This is the last year for the Ferrari 458, as it will be replaced with the upgraded, turbocharged 488 next year. However, we're going to go out on a limb and suggest that Ferrari won't be offering year-end clearance sales on them.

Driving the 458 Italia
Driving Impressions

It's entirely possible that the Ferrari 458 is the best performance car ever built. All exotic sports cars offer something special – extreme styling, an incredible soundtrack, otherworldly performance among...

... them. Yet we've found that the 458 is in a class of its own. The perfectly tuned chassis and suspension increase your confidence, the precise steering feels perfect in your hands, and the fabulously-quick dual-clutch transmission ticks off gear changes in just nanoseconds. Are there flaws? Sure. Ferrari has crammed too many controls onto the steering wheel, and there's no manual-transmission option (although it's hardly missed). Our biggest complaint is that with a starting price of about a quarter-million dollars, even the one-percenters need to think twice.

RETRACTABLE HARDTOP
Mid-engine convertibles too often look ungainly and awkward compared to their hardtop cousins. However, in just 14 seconds the lightweight aluminum hardtop on the Ferrari 458 Spider comes down, and the result is just as stunning as the fixed-roof Italia.

4.5-LITER V8
The 4.5-liter V8 engine in the Ferrari 458 puts out a remarkable 562 horsepower, or 597 in the Speciale. Think about that for a moment: Each one of the eight cylinders in this Ferrari puts out at least 70 horsepower. That's as much as some economy cars.

2015 Ferrari 458 Italia Details
Interior

The Ferrari 458 is a mid-engine sports car, so the bulkhead separating the engine and passenger compartment means tall drivers may not be able to recline quite enough. However, legroom is terrific, and the interior styling is just as stunning as the exterior. There are fine leathers and eye-pleasing shapes all around, and if that's not enough Ferrari allows you to enhance the interior further with numerous upgrades. Okay, fine, the steering wheel doesn't need quite so many buttons, and analog gauges might be more pleasing than the cluttered multi-role LCD screens.

Exterior

The Ferrari 458 Italia and 458 Spider are proof that one need not compromise between form and function. For example, those exciting-looking vents atop the fenders and the cool carbon-fiber section below the rear bumper are both there to improve airflow around the car and high-speed handling, not just to look cool. On the convertible Spider, the hardtop actually weighs less than many soft-top convertibles, adding only 100 pounds compared to the coupe. Besides that, the Spider looks stunning with its top down, avoiding the awkward, tail-heavy look many mid-engine convertibles suffer from.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

You'd expect a lot for $250,000, and you get it. The standard-issue Ferrari 458 Italia and Spider include sublime leather seating and trim, light and powerful carbon-ceramic brakes, a power-adjustable steering wheel, low/high-beam automatic bi-xenon headlights, dual-zone climate control, and an 11-speaker JBL Professional sound system with a basic auxiliary audio jack for portable music players. Oddly, basics such as cruise control, power seats and navigation are not part of the standard-equipment roster, although you do get a cool launch control for speedier getaways from stoplights. Safety-wise, every 458 for 2015 includes performance-tailored traction and stability control.

Optional Equipment

Options for the Ferrari 458 include the kinds of racy things you'd expect, such as 4-point seatbelts, carbon-fiber racing seats and carbon-fiber body pieces. On the luxury side, there's a 1,000-watt premium audio system by JBL, along with things like cruise control and navigation. Of course, being a Ferrari the 458 is highly customizable, with bespoke items including contrast stitching, a carbon-fiber steering wheel with integrated LED shift lights, numerous paint and interior color schemes and a choice of three different seat designs (standard, Daytona-style and diamond-tufted).

Under the Hood

The 2015 Ferrari 458 Italia and 458 Spider boast an aluminum 4.5-liter V8 engine connected to a 7-speed dual-clutch high-performance automatic transmission. The engine puts out an incredible 562 horsepower, and if that's not enough the Speciale versions add another 35 horsepower on top of that. The 7-speed dual-clutch automatic performs surprisingly well when left on its own. However, with a quick flick of the steering-wheel-mounted paddles, driver involvement increases exponentially, with nearly instantaneous up/down shifts and perfectly timed rev-matches.

4.5-liter V8 (Italia and Spider)
562 horsepower @ 9,000 rpm
398 lb-ft of torque @ 6,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/17 mpg

4.5-liter V8 (Speciale)
597 horsepower @ 9,000 rpm
398 lb-ft of torque @ 6,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/17 mpg

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