The Ferrari 458 pushes the acceptance of the supercar term past its limits, as it manages to be extremely versatile and fits both a racer's and a businessman’s description of "everyday use".
The Prancing Horse's current V8 model is so fast and responsive that it deserves to be called a benchmark. Acceleration, handling, braking - you name the game and it will be eager to show you that it can beat other supercars at it.
Once you're done pitting it against go-fast machines, it will also be happy to take on Grand Tourers, such is the grace with which it delivers its pace. In fact, it's so comfortable that it's not even afraid of city driving.
Nowadays, as an automaker, you simply can't deliver a car with this level of flexibility using a classical approach, no matter how close to being flawless the mechanical assets of you vehicle are. You have to turn to innovation and this is exactly what Ferrari did. Take any major area of the 458 and you'll be impressed by all the technology it incorporates. And despite all this complexity, the car manages to feel extremely natural, the systems work so quick that, most of the times, you don't even notice them.
Predictably, all the technological and performance training of the vehicle have also brought a significant price boost, so the Spider starts at $257,000, or €226,800 if you live in Europe.
Pricing aside, the 458 also demonstrates that Ferrari is seriously on top of its game at the moment, backing up the carmaker's positive sales figures.
Don't worry though, the Prancing Horse won't be firing its engineers anytime soon, there's still work that needs to be done to make the 458 a perfect, complete supercar.
There are two things that the 458 would need to improve and the technological basis for them is already present on the car. This Ferrari doesn't quite make you feel alive when you're driving it outside the top area of the rev counter, like you often do while you're in traffic. And then there's the fact that you have five manettino settings, but none of them perfectly keeps you away from oversteer. This means that you can't be fully confident when encountering less than perfect driving conditions.
Now that the 458 Italia and the 458 Spider are both on the market, we see the acquisition balance tipping towards the open-top model. Half a second on the Fiorano test track, that's the only thing you lose if you go for the Spider. In exchange, you receive bit more flexibility and brilliant open-top driving sensations, backed up by a sportier exhaust note and a similar comfort level thanks to the clever aluminum folding roof.Continue reading