Ever Seen a Ferrari Drift Car? This Crazy 458 Spider Comes Close

Ferrari 458 Spider drifting 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube
“Ferrari” and “drifting” might just be the top keywords of the Internet’s automotive side nowadays, and yet, to the best of our knowledge, nobody has yet bothered to build an all-out Prancing Horse drift car and put it to slip angle work.
Sure, there will always be that one guy in Japan, but the guy’s Maranello machine doesn’t pack the all-important pair of drifting mods, namely the extreme steering angles and the hydraulic handbrake.

However, Maranello packs plenty of sideways potential into its vehicles, so Ferrari drivers often indulge in tail-out pleasures. We’ve zoomed in on the phenomenon ever since Ferrari upped the ante on the rear differential and electronic aids with the 458. Now we’re back on the topic to show you a 458 Spider that is probably the closest thing we’ll see to a Prancing Horse drift car until somebody actually puts together such a contraption.

The driver of the open-top 458 decided to see how much abuse the supercar’s rear tires can take earlier this year on the Slovakia Ring. The footage below shows the Spider drifting all over the Slovakian track on multiple laps.

The Spider eventually lets the 458-esque spinning problem surface, with the supercar engaging in tête-à-queue moves on more than one occasion.

Why is the 458 too tail-happy for its own good?

When you want to build a rear-wheel-drive supercar that won’t spin, you end up with creations such as the McLaren that serves as a camera car in the video above. You know, machines that aren’t all that good at drifting.

Ferrari, on the other hand, wants its supercars to be sliding-friendly, and while we applaud that, we can’t get over the fact that the 458 is too tail-happy for its own good.

Maranello was well aware of this, which is why the engineers upped the ante on the electronics front when releasing the 458 Speciale. This packs a piece of software called Side Slip Angle Control (SSC), which allows the driver to make better use of the E-Diff electronically controlled limited slip diff and the F1-Trac traction control system.

Even with SSC, we found the spinning issue to have only been partially solved when we tested the 458 Speciale.

With the 488 GTB, Ferrari has taken another step further, integrating a special function of the magnetorheological dampers into the handling algorithm. When the supercar is at the limit, the shock absorbers soften up in order to allow a bit of extra body roll that provides extra feedback to the driver.

We haven’t drifted the 488 yet, so we’re not sure of the move’s effectiveness. Until we get to do that, we’re inviting you to hit the “play” button below and see what Ferrari owners do when their rear tires reach the end of their life.

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About the author: Andrei Tutu
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In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
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