Ferrari Introduces 2010 458 Italia
Supercar automakers generally don't introduce new products on a regular basis, so after Ferrari launched the all-new California last year it's a bit of a surprise to see another new model on the market so soon. After months of speculation and spy shots, Ferrari has finally taken the wraps off its latest sports coupe, the 2010 458 Italia. Set to replace the aging but still beautiful F430, Ferrari will officially introduce the all-new 2010 458 Italia at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September. Like the 2009 California, the 458 Italia exhibits a much sleeker and sexier exterior design than past Ferraris, but it is the latest to carry on the tradition of a high-horsepower, rear mid-mounted engine. With the addition of the new 458 Italia, the oldest car in Ferrari's current lineup is the 612 Scaglietti that made its debut in 2004.
Although the F430 was only on the market for five years, the design of the 458 Italia instantly made that car look aged. Up front, the 458 Italia shows its influences from both the Enzo and the California with the tall, skinny headlamps and the flared front fenders that seem to hug the front tires. Likewise, the rear wheel arches cut up into the body forming a curvaceous beltline and creating some very interesting body lines. The rear view of the car features single taillights (similar to the 599 GTB Fiorano) that sit up high on rear fenders like jet thrusters. Finishing off the unique design of the rear end, the 458 Italia uses triple exhaust outlets mounted centrally in the rear fascia between the massive lower diffusers. Standing just 47.8 inches tall and 178.2 inches long, the 458 Italia is very close in size to the car it replaces, but the width and wheelbase have both increased (76.3 inches and 104.3 inches, respectively) that should give the new car even better handling capabilities. Furthermore, the curb weight now stands at 3,042 pounds, which is down almost 150 pounds compared to the F430.
Peering our from beneath the rear glass hatch, the 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia uses a direct-injected 4.5-liter V-8 to produce 570 horsepower @ 9,000 rpm and 420 lb-ft of torque at 6,000 rpm (although Ferrari claims that 80 percent of the torque is available at just 3,250 rpm). The Ferrari 458 Italia will send all that power to the rear wheels using the same seven-speed dual clutch gearbox found in the California. When it comes to performance, the 458 Italia's powertrain and sleek design help give it impressive numbers as Ferrari states the car will run from 0-62 miles per hour in just 3.4 seconds with a top speed of 201 mph. As a secondary concern, emissions and fuel consumption have also been improved as the car is expected to emit 320 g/km of carbon dioxide and average close to 17 miles per gallon.
No official images have been released of the cabin, but thanks to a short video (that also gives a good sample of what the engine will sound like) at least the design of the driver's view is apparent (albeit digitized). Inspired seemingly by the cockpit of a Formula 1 race car, the 458's cabin offers the drive a simplistic, yet high tech, view of the road. The instrument cluster features a large, central tachometer that redlines at 9,000 rpm and measures up to 10,000 rpm, a smaller speedometer to the right that exceeds 200 mph and a digital information display to the left. The race-inspired steering wheel offers a clear view of the instrument cluster and is equipped with shift paddles, start/stop switch and other pertinent controls. The layout of the rest of the instrument panel is straight forward with a small pod for headlight controls on the left and another small pod on the left most likely for stereo controls. The HVAC system is easily operated by controls mounted lower on the instrument panel helping to give the cabin a cleaner appearance.
So far, pricing has yet to be announced for the new model, but we're expecting a starting pricing somewhere around the current F430's $187,925. Details regarding availability and production figures haven't been announced either but should be released closer to or following the car's debut during the press days at Frankfurt which start September 15.
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