Two flexible winglets. This is what the Ferrari 458 Italia starts with. Placed in the lower front apron, these aero-elastic elements their nature very well. These generate downforce and reduce the drag as speed increases by minimizing the radiator intake surface.
Nevertheless, when you look at them, you wouldn’t say that you’re dealing with active aerodynamics. This hidden nature of the aforementioned twin elements isn’t random. Ferrari wanted the 458 Italia to rely on discrete aero bits.
For example, you shouldn’t be fooled by the moderate size of the air intakes placed adjacent to the rear side windows. These feed the V8 using an air ram effect that offers 5 HP at top speed.
There are vents placed inward of the headlamps
that feed the front brakes with cool air and then dispose of it via the outlets that sit on the exterior of the light clusters.
Lean and look inside the rear wheel arches. Here you’ll find air intakes that not only serve an engine cooling purpose, but also reduce drag by neutralizing the air currents created at the sides of the vehicle. The air they take it is sent out though the grilles on the inner side of the taillights
The engine compartment is also cooled by air collected from under the car, as well as through the intakes at the sides of the rear window. As for the aforementioned sections placed inboard of the rear lights, these also hold the radiators for the clutch and gearbox oil.
At the end of the Ferrari 458 Italia, we find two elements working together. While the rear diffuser is pretty generous in size, the boot only holds a small lip spoiler that generates downforce. Yes you tuners, this means that you’re exaggerating with your huge fixed wings!
Despite the aforementioned subtle aero work, the Ferrari 458 Italia is more aerodynamic and generates greater downforce compared to the F430. Take it to its top speed and the air will add about a quarter of the car’s own weight.
Past this point, we can only say that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” - the 458 didn’t impress us all that much in the press photos, but we liked what we saw when we met it. The Ferrari 458 Italia is placed somewhere in between the function-dictated shape of an Audi R8
and the insanity of a Lamborghini Gallardo
design, combining these assets to offer a balanced appearance.Continue reading