What can we say about the eponymous Ferrari 458 Italia, other than it is, quite simply, the best Supercar in the world. No other car in its class has gathered such universal praise and such positive reviews; it is hard to find anyone who doesnt like it or has anything negative to say about it.
This is impossibly, pant-wettingly exciting according to one expert, and trounces the McLaren MP4-12C time and time again in group tests. It has become the definitive Supercar and the benchmark by which all others are measured, which is an astonishing accomplishment given the company that it keeps.
The V8 engine revs to a stratospheric 9,000rpm and does so to the most glorious soundtrack this side of an F1 car, having a hard-edged, snorting sound of an old-school rally car until it clears its throat and starts to sing.
Ferraris of old might have looked fantastic, but their performance and dynamic ability sometimes lagged behind the way that they looked. This is not something that holds true in the case of the 458. It feels invincible according to one motoring journalist, who goes on to say that it feels compact, instantly flickable and amazingly supple, sentiments that are echoed time and time again.
This is a car whose performance is as incredible as it is accessible. Owners can enjoy it on the road and track, exploring its limits in the knowledge that Ferraris engineers have done all they can to excite them and keep them safe.
Few people have 170,000 to spend on a Supercar but the Ferrari 458 Italia appears on countless bedroom walls, inspiring millions of schoolboys around the world to achieve great things in the hope that they will be able to own their own example one day – and that might be the greatest endorsement of them all.
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