You've seen spy pictures, you've read predictions and rumours and now, here's the whole deal. The Ferrari F430 is not being replaced by a 500 bhp V8 called the F450. Instead it will be called the 458 Italia, featuring a naturally aspirated 4.5-litre V8 (now you know the roots of its name!) with 562 bhp! And there are official pictures to support it as well.
Ferrari says its specific output is greater than turbocharged cars and in fact is 'like a superbike'. The peak power figure arrives at a staggering 9000 rpm, making it one of the highest revving production cars since the demise of the Honda S2000 a while ago.
To derive such horsepower, Ferrari have created a lighter engine with fewer and lighter internal moving parts and a compression ratio of 12.5:1. While it is the second Ferrari after the California to receive direct injection technology, it makes it the first mid-engined Ferrari to do so.
All of this translates to pretty impressive acceleration figures. The company states a figure of just 3.2 seconds to 100 kph and a top speed in excess of the magical 200 mph mark or 322 kph. It is also thanks to the low kerb weight of just 1380 kg, that has been achieved due to the use of an aluminium shell and other exotic material.
Ferrari also claim that the car produces about 55 kgm of torque at 6500 rpm, but 80 per cent of it is available as low as 3250 rpm, thus making it more driveable in an urban environment than before. It also produces 320 g/km of C02 which it rates as best in its segment.
While a Ferrari is nothing without an engine, driving dynamics are key too. A set of double wishbones in the front and multi-link at the rear have been tuned for handling and grip. E-Diff and F1-Trac which were available on the F430 as well are now controlled by the same ECU on the F458 with a 32 per cent increase in longitudinal acceleration out of corners compared to previous models. The ECU is also connected to the ABS unit while the brakes have a prefill 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. The company claims a braking distance of just 32.5 m to zero from 100 kph, a fairly remarkable figure.
With the car to be publically witnessed first at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September and deliveries to begin after that, the F458 is certain to create ripples in its segment. Expect it to be in India sometime next year when Tata-Fiat officially plan to launch the prancing horse in the country.