As a followup to the incredibly popular F430, Ferrari needed something extraordinary. The Italian automaker needed something with technical sophistication, world-class performance, and the kind of visual flair that would place it comfortably as either a bedroom poster or multimillion dollar estate accessory. What it delivered was all that and more.

When it was first released to the public in 2009, the 458 instantly had the critics and journalists floored. The first thing to strike you is the shape of the thing. Wrought by both engineers and artists, the bodylines exhibit a penchant for maximum downforce, minimal drag, and gaze-snaring lust. As expected, Ferrari’s racing prowess is immediately apparent as soon as you hit a curve with any kind of exuberance, and once the road straightens, you’re pinned back by 562 prancing ponies that announce their presence via an aural psychoactive that will render anyone within earshot intoxicated and giddy.

That sound is the product of a naturally aspirated, 4.5-liter V-8, the history of which stretches all the way back to Enzo Ferrari and his son Alfredo, otherwise known as “Dino." In this review from XCAR, we are treated to a brief review of the 458’s origins, including the genesis of the mid-mounted, V-8 platform that we know and love today. There’s also plenty of stunning footage of the 458 carving up some country roads, not to mention that epic 4.5-liter soundtrack. Skip to 6:20 if you forgot your morning coffee; it’s sure to wake you up a bit.

There’s no spoiler here: the 2012 to 2014 Ferrari 458 Spyder is amazing. But XCAR leaves the question of Ferrari’s future up for speculation. Is the hybrid power of the LaFerrari or the turbo efficiency of the California a sign of things to come? Where will the company go next? Only time will tell, but if Maranello can somehow build upon the brilliance of the 458, the outlook is bright indeed.

Ferrari 458 Italia

2010 Ferrari 458 Italia
- image 312717
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: