Frankfurt 2009: Ferrari 458 Italia

* F1-influenced sportscar * Replaces F430 * Likely to cost 150,000...

Frankfurt 2009: Ferrari 458 Italia

What is it?
The all-new Ferrari 458 Italia is a replacement for the F430 and it will go on sale in the UK next year.

Whats new?
Ferrari says the 458 Italia 'benefits hugely from the company's Formula One experience' and is 'a massive leap forward' over the car it replaces.

The 458 Italia's styling is the first major difference. Ferrari says it's 'a complete departure from the past' that's heavily influenced by the need for aerodynamic efficiency.

There's a single grille opening at the front, with sections that direct air to the coolant radiators and the flat underbody. There are also 'aerolastic winglets' that generate downforce and deform to cut drag as speed increases.

The heavily sculpted sides and rear window shape echo Ferrari's new California, and at the rear there are three centrally mounted exhaust tailpipes.

The interior is equally forward-thinking, with more F1-inspired details and what Ferrari calls 'a new kind of steering wheel' and a 'revolutionary ergonomic interface.'

What's under the bonnet?
Power for the 458 Italia comes from a new direct-injection 4.5-litre V8 engine. Maximum power is 562bhp, which is 101bhp up on the standard F430 and a 59bhp increase over the 430 Scuderia.

Power is channelled to the rear wheels through a seven-speed semi-automatic transmission.

With emissions of 320g/km, the more powerful 458 Italia undercuts the F430's CO2 figure of 345g/km.

Ferrari claims best-in-class fuel economy, achieving an average of 20.6mpg, along with a 0-62mph time of less than 3.4 seconds and a top speed of more than 200mph.

Ferrari has kept the 458 Italia's weight as low as possible, with the use of aluminium and 'various types of advanced alloys', along with aerospace-derived manufacturing and bonding techniques.

A single system that governs the stability control system, throttle sensitivity and braking should give the kind of handling that Ferrari buyers expect.

Prices haven't been announced, but they're likely to start at around 150,000.

See the Ferrari 458 Italia
Click here to view the Ferrari 458 Italia

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