Introducing the Ferrari 458
A lot rested on the Ferrari 458 Italia when it was launched back in 2009. It was replacing the Ferrari F430, which had seen a successful production run for 5 years prior. However the predecessor was a continuation of the Ferrari 360 Modena, and so the design was getting dated.The competition was stepping up too, with the Lamborghini Gallardo pretty quickly becoming the highest volume selling Lamborghini ever. This was a car that was in direct competition to the mid-engine V8 cars from Ferrari. As if that wasn’t enough, everybody knew that there was a new car coming from McLaren, and although it was still a few years away it was gunning for the same market.
The Ferrari 458 in the Ferrari Lineage
The self-set task for Ferrari was not easy. The new model had to take everything that they had done in the past 62 years and make it better. They had to produce the best mid-engine V8 sports car on the market. But it wasn’t just about beating the competition because there was another car from the Ferrari family that the 458 Italia had to beat. The Ferrari F355. Even today this is widely seen as one of the most beautiful modern Ferraris ever made.
When the Ferrari 458 Italia was launched to the world in 2009 the result was immediately clear. Mission accomplished.
When was the Ferrari 458 made?
The Ferrari 458 Italia was made from 2009 to 2015. Production for the Ferrari 458 Spider started a few years later in 2011. The track-focused Ferrari 458 Speciale started production in 2013, and the open-top version the Ferrari 458 Speciale Aperta started production in 2014. Finally, the track-only version, the Ferrari 458 Challenge car started production in 2010. Production ended when the Ferrari 458 Italia was replaced with the Ferrari 488 GTB in 2015.
How many Ferrari 458 models were made?
Ferrari has never officially released production numbers for the Ferrari 458 series. However, in total it is estimated that approximately 13-15,000 Ferrari 458 Italias of all varieties were built over a 6 year period.
Ferrari 458 Italia variations
2009 Ferrari 458 Italia
As is always the case with Ferrari, the first car to launch was the coupe version, known as the Ferrari 458 Italia. Although this is the “entry-level model” for the 458, it is by no means lesser in any way. In fact, purists will want to go for the Coupe over the Spider as it is often considered to be more of a driver’s car rather than something to enjoy the sun in.
The mid-engined V8 is capable of over 202 mph and accelerates to 62mph in 3.4 seconds. To put that into the context that is both quicker and faster than the mighty Ferrari F40! Translating that onto the track, the Ferrari 458 Italia can lap the Fiorano test track in only 1 minute 25 seconds, almost 5 seconds quicker than F40! Such is the rate of progress.
2010 Ferrari 458 Challenge (Track only)
Ferrari Challenge racing series was really starting to take off around this time, and to capitalise on its success Ferrari launched the 458 challenge car just a year later. By stripping out the interior, adding more power, and aerodynamic improvements, the Challenge car was able to hit a top speed of 210 mph.
Accelaration was rapid too with an amazing 0-62mph time of 2.9 seconds. Perhaps not surprisingly it also smashed the Fiorano record for the Ferrari 458, completing a lap in 1 minute 16.5 seconds.
2011 Ferrari 458 Spider
Historically the Ferrari Spider, when compared to the coupe models, has always been a bit compromised. As much as manufacturers tried to ensure that convertible cars had minimal flex,, the coupe is always more fun to drive. But the Ferrari 458 Spider was a different type of convertible to the cars and had gone previously. Rigidity had been fixed.
All previous models had a soft fabric roof, while the Ferrari 458 Spider had a two-piece folding metal roof. This made the car significantly more usable, almost looking like a coupe with the roof up whilst having open-top benefits for the summer.
The performance was only marginally compromised, with a top speed of 199 mph and 0-62 mph time of 3.4 seconds, the same as the Coupe. To the average driver, there would be no difference in performance between the coupe and the Spider.
2013 Ferrari 458 Speciale
The launch of the Ferrari 458 Italia Speciale was hugely anticipated. This particular track-focused series started with the Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale from 2003. The recipe was simple, strip out the interior, and make it more powerful. Essentially add speed and drama.
Everyone knew the track-focused version was the one to have, but no-one expected it to be as good as it was. It really did not disappoint improving the already stunning looks of the 458 Italia. There were more scoops and curves to improve downforce. This fully street legal car reduced 0-62 mph time down to 3 seconds, a reduction of 0.4 seconds. Top speed was very much the same.
Differences to the standard Ferrari 458 Italia also included forged wheels, a vented bonnet, side fins behind the doors, a taller rear spoiler, and redesigned bumpers which now included active aerodynamics. Although the theoretical Fiorano time was only marginally quicker shaving off just 1.5 seconds, the improved exhaust note meant it sounded a hell of a lot better while achieving it.
2014 Ferrari 458 Speciale Aperta
The final version of the Ferrari 458 was the 2014 Ferrari 458 Speciale Aperta. Offering very similar performance to the 458 Speciale Coupe, this of course had the benefit of also being an open-top car when required. Having the open-top meant that both driver and passenger get a much better exhaust note in the experience, although it was hardly muted in the Coupe. The Speciale Aperta is by far the most desirable of all the Ferrari 458 models, as only 499 were made.
Ferrari 458 Key Details
Ferrari 458 Performance Figures
Although only 5 years separated the Ferrari F430 and 458 Italia, the pace of improvement was substantial. Both use a V8 Engine but technically the 458 is in a different league. Power was up from 490CV @ 8500 rpm the F430 to 570CV at 9000 rpm for the 458 Italia.
Here is a summary of all the Ferrari 458 performance figures:
|FERRARI 458 ITALIA
|FERRARI 458 CHALLENGE
|FERRARI 458 SPIDER
|FERRARI 458 SPECIALE
|FERRARI 458 SPECIALE APERTA
|Engine: V8 – Mid-Rear Engine
|Engine: Mid-Rear V8
|Engine: Rear Mid-Engine V8
|Engine: V8 – Mid Rear Engine
|Engine: V8 – Mid Rear Engine
|Power: 419 kW (570 CV) @ 9000 rpm
|Power: 570CV @ 9000 RPM
|Power: 419 KW / 570 CV @ 9000 RPM
|Power: 445 kW (605 cv) @ 9000 rpm
|Power: 445 kW (605 cv) @ 9000 rpm
|Torque: 398 lbs/ft (540 Nm) @ 6000 rpm
|Torque: 398 lbs/ft (540 Nm) @ 6000 rpm
|Torque: 540 Nm at 6000 rpm
|Torque: 540 Nm (398 lb ft) at 6000 rpm
|Top Speed: Over 202 mph
|Top Speed: 210 mph
|Top Speed: 199 mph
|Top Speed: over 202 mph
|Top Speed: 199 mph
|0-62 mph (0-100 kmh): Less than 3.4 secs
|0-62 mph (0-100 kmh): 2.9 secs
|0-62 mph (0-100 kmh): <3.4 secs
|0-62 mph (0-100 kmh): 3.0 secs
|0-62 mph (0-100 kmh): 3.0 secs
|Replaces: F430 Challenge
|Replaces: Ferrari F430 Spider
|Replaces: Ferrari F430 Scuderia
|Replaces: F430 Scuderia Spyder
|Fiorano Lap time: 1 min 25 secs
|Fiorano Lap time: 1min 16.5 sec
|Fiorano Lap time: N/A
|Fiorano Lap time: 1 min 23.5 secs
|Fiorano Lap time: 1 min 23.5 secs
Ferrari 458 Engine
The Ferrari 458 impressed the motoring industry so much that over the years it gained over 30 international awards in just 5 years. Two of the awards were for the V8 Engine, winning “Best Performance Engine” and “Best Engine Above 4 Litres”.
The new 4497cc engine was the first Mid-Rear mounted Direct Injection Engine to be made by Ferrari. Power was impressive giving 419 kW (570 CV) @ 9000 rpm. Power output was now 127CV per litre, allowing the car to accelerate to 62 mph in less than 3.4 seconds.
Ferrari 458 Transmission
Previously the Ferrari F430 was available in a manual or F1 gearbox, but with the 458 a manual was no longer an option. In fact, the interior had been designed to actually eliminate the space where a manual gearbox would normally be. As a result, even retrofitting manual would be impossible.
However with the 458 Italia, significant progress has been made with the F1 gearbox. The car now had 7-speed dual clutch setup and coupled with the latest software, gear changes were significantly faster. As well as the increase in engine power the gearbox is one of the main reasons why it’s much faster on the track itself.
Ferrari 458 Braking
Standard equipment for the Ferrari 458 Italia was carbon-ceramic brakes, which had also been made standard for all cars in the Ferrari range. Carbon-ceramic brakes were made by Brembo, and on the 458 Italia it is equipped with 6 pot aluminium calipers with 398 X 223 X 36 MM discs at the front, and four-pot aluminium calipers with 360 X 233 X 32 MM discs for the rear.
What is most impressive though is how much space it needs (or doesn’t need) to stop. 100-0 km/h could be achieved in just 32.5 meters, with 200 km/h needing just 128 meters.
Ferrari 458 Body & Interior
First the exterior styling. There is no doubt but Ferrari nailed it. The benchmark was never Ferrari F430 but the Ferrari F355 which is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful modern Ferraris.
There is not a single angle from where the 458 Italia does not look anything less than stunning. Whether it’s the sweeping curves or the single tail lights at the rear, Ferrari 458 set a new standard. A new benchmark, beating the mighty F355.
The exterior skin is all aluminium. Underneath the modular chassis is an all-new design combining new alloys and traditional aluminium. The manufacturing process has been borrowed from the aviation industry and is a key reason for weight reduction while also improving chassis performance and handling.
The results were no less than spectacular with structural and torsional rigidity up by 15%, and stiffness up by 5%, when compared to the Ferrari F430. This all leads to better handling in the corners, and together with improved performance, it’s a winning combination.
As with the rest of the car, the interior was all new. The design was a huge leap forward in comparison to the Ferrari F430, and instantly dated it.
Rather than a flat dash, the dash of the 458 Italia curves around the driver to be much more driver-focused. Interior materials are industry-leading, and the carbon options were plentiful.
Poorer quality of previous models was well known, often suffering from sticky switches, melted by the sun. The Ferrari 458 doesn’t suffer from any of these, and any wear and tear are really down to how much the car is used and not due to poor materials.
What it is actually like
Ferrari 458 Driving Experience
We’ve picked the best of the magazine reviews so you don’t have to. Here is what they say.
Ferrari 458 Owners Experience
Ferrari 458 Italia – Thomas G. MD – New Jersey, USA
“IMHO the Ferrari 458 will go down as one of the greatest Ferraris ever produced. The 458 has set the standard in modern-day “exotics” where form seriously impacts function. Every single line and angle on the car not only imparts beauty but is there for a reason.
The flexible moustache wings in the front lower grill create downforce with speed to plant the car. The air intakes behind the rear driver and passenger side windows on the coupe allow air passage directly into the engine compartment. These are subtle ingenious design cues that are unique to the Ferrari 458.
The 458 successors have lost these fluid lines and are slowly taking on the look of any other exotic brand. From a design perspective, the 458 can truly be described as rolling sculpture.
The other thing about the 458 is the driving experience which is purely visceral and raw. It is glorious. It is a race car completely comfortable at speed or in daily traffic.
The sound that emanates from its naturally aspirated engine is intoxicating. The first time I drove a friend’s 458 I was immediately hooked and ordered a new one the very next day.
I have since sold that car but bought another one this year because I couldn’t get the 458 out of my system. It’s that special. I think it’s not only a beast on the road but it defines what superior automotive design is all about.”
Ferrari 458 Spider – Buddy G – West Michigan, USA
“I have a 2013 Ferrari 458 Spider – Russo Corsa with Black interior and loaded up. Tons of Carbon Fiber which I personally love. I have had many cars from Camero IROC Z’s when I was young to a Porsche 993 turbo, Porsche 996 turbo and a Lamborghini Diablo SV. The 458 is the best car I have ever owned.
It is simply gorgeous to look at and the engine is a masterpiece. Dropping the top and running it up to 9000 rpm especially under an overpass tunnel is incredible! The fact that it is the last of the naturally aspirated mid-engine V8 Ferrari’s just makes it all that much better.
Simply the best car ever, a true masterpiece!”
Pros & Cons
Why should you buy a Ferrari 458?
- Last of the naturally aspirated Ferrari V8s – it’s sad to say but the replacement to the Ferrari 458 is turbocharged, something that will define every future Ferrari. If you want that non-turbocharged experience, the 458 is the car to have.
- Stunning looks from every angle – the Ferrari F335 was the previous benchmark, widely acknowledged as one of the most beautiful Ferraris of the modern era. Improving on this is a tall order but the Ferrari 458 Italia does exactly that. The car not only looks amazing for all its aerodynamic features and curves but is also purposeful to increase downforce and performance. The 458 Italia is even better looking than the car that replaced it, the Ferrari 488 GTB.
- It’s very reliable – Historically Ferraris have been very temperamental, and not the type of car you want to be driving on a daily basis. But Ferraris from this era onwards are so much more reliable. You can still use this on the odd occasion if you want, but be safe in the knowledge that the car will also be reliable.
- Depreciation proof – Ferraris have always been good at holding their value or depreciating less than rivals, and the 458 Italia seems to be exceptional at this. I’ve been watching the classified section 4 years and I can’t remember a four-sided Italia falling below £110,000 for a clean RHD car. Future prices should definitely be upwards.
- You can actually use it every day – Many supercars were designed only for special occasions. Driving them around town is a chore and they don’t really settle. However, set the suspension to “Bumpy Road” and the transmission to Auto and the 458 Italia is actually very comfortable to drive. As far as storage space is concerned, the front boot can surprisingly hold a fair amount of luggage too. Certainly for day to day driving the 458 Italia and Spider can more than cope.
Common problems with the Ferrari 458
Usually, “problem” and “Ferrari” are two words sit quite naturally together. Reliability has often been a key issue and a concern for owners, but the Ferrari 458 is truly is a step forward in this regard. Common issues are actually quite minor such as the odd electrical problem. More isolated issues have included transmission or crankshaft problems.
Most problems in the Ferrari 458 occur when the car is either not used often enough, or when the maintenance schedule is not kept up to date. In fact, we did a podcast interview with a Ferrari mechanic on this exact issue that he experienced with a 458 Italia.
You can check it out here: Podcast: How not to Destroy a Ferrari 458 Engine.
We went out and asked owners for problems that they had encountered and here are some of the responses we got back:
“No issues at all”
I think it’s safe to say that’s Ferrari have really turned a corner since the production of the Ferrari 458 Italia started. But to be safe you should always get a PPI (Pre Purchase Inspection) carried out on any exotic car before purchase. When things go wrong, they are expensive!
Ferrari 458 Timeline changes
These are the key changes to the Ferrari 458 lineup over the years:
|Ferrari 458 Italia is launched to the world at the Frankfurt Motor Show on 15th Sept 2009
|Customer deliveries for the 458 Italia start (coupe only).458 Challenge car is unveiled at Maranello on 14th July 2010, making its way into the Challenge series.
|The Ferrari 458 Spider was launched in September 2011 and was mechanically the same as the Coupe. The Spider has a retractable hardtop, comprising of two parts which fold in only 14 seconds. The car loses it’s glass engine cover due to the roof mechanism in the Spider.
|Cars supplied from 2012 had the benefit of a no additional cost 7-year maintenance package, ensuring cars stayed in the official dealership service network for longer.
Software changes tamed the exhaust pops and crackles making the car quieter overall. Further changes were made to the software to change the engine mapping, and handling was improved through damper and chassis updates.
Earlier cars could benefit from the same updates through a $10k handling pack.
|Launch of the Ferrari 458 Speciale at the September Frankfurt Motor Show. The Speciale is the track-focused, road-going version. Ferrari showed their design awesomeness once again by improving on the already amazing looks of the 458 Italia.
|2014 saw the launch of the Ferrari 458 Speciale A, where A stands for Aperta or open top. This again was more aggressive and powerful than the standard Spider and was the final version of the Ferrari 458 range.
|Final versions rolled off the production line and the Ferrari 458 was replaced by the turbocharged Ferrari 488 GTB. Only 499 Ferrari 458 Speciale Aperta were made.
Buying and running costs
I’m sure at the time the Ferrari 458 looked expensive. In hindsight, the price seems like a bargain now as prices have held steady or started to creep higher.
How much was a Ferrari 458 new?
The price started at $225,325 for the Ferrari 458 Italia with the range-topping Ferrari 458 Speciale Aperta costing $322,764 new. The Aperta is now being sold for over £1m after just 4 years.
|162,900 + tax
|458 Speciale A
But with Ferrari its not just the price of just the car, but the options too. Below is the price of the options when new.
Ferrari 458 Italia Options prices
When sifting through the classifieds, it is often useful to know how much some options cost so you can know the true value of any vehicle. For this reason, we have included this below.
What is the current price of a Ferrari 458?
In the UK, the Ferrari 458 currently sells for between £118,000 and £175,000 for dealer sold cars. Prices in the US are between $128,678 and $219,900 for cars available through a Ferrari dealer. In Europe, cars start at €120,000 and go up to €209,000 for high spec examples.
How much does it cost to run a Ferrari 458?
From 2012 Ferrari offered the 458 range with a 7-year service package, so regular maintenance costs were nil. This naturally excludes the irregular items which are changed at the time of service. However, cars are now falling outside this 7-year window now, so many owners are now starting to pay for their maintenance bills.
Prices in the UK from specialist service centres are:
- Inspection & Report: £395
- Oil & Filter: £595
- Annual Service: £795
- Major Service: £1,145
Cambelt services are not required as the engine is chain driven not belt driven, allowing owners to breathe a collective sigh of relief!
Is the Ferrari 458 Italia a good investment?
Nearly all Ferraris are good investments, and of the modern Ferraris available the Ferrari 458 is a great investment. To give an example the Ferrari 458 Speciale Aperta originally sold for $322,000. Now used examples are being sold for as much as $1m.
However, the first advice that I would give is to always buy a car because you like it, rather than because you want to make money. There are many, many examples over the last 30 years of people who have invested in cars to speculate, only to then lose substantial sums of money. If you buy a car and make money, great! If you lose money on the car but enjoyed the experience, it’s still worthwhile.
Even the entry-level Ferrari 458 Italia has either held rocksteady on its new price, or depreciated marginally. Prices are unlikely to fall any further, so in the long term, one can expect to make modest gains.
One of the key factors that affect the prices of Ferraris is the specification. Rosso Corsa is often called “Re-sale Red” for good reason. Also as you will see from the options list above, the specification can be wildly different for each car made.
One of the most desirable options is the interior carbon pack, which really makes the inside a more special place. The asking price of used models will usually reflect the original specification. It is not uncommon for a car to have $50,000 – $80,000 worth of options when new.
Conclusion & what we think
If I were to rank all Ferraris in order of preference, I think it’s fair to say that the Ferrari 458 would be in my Top 5. Firstly and perhaps most importantly, the car looks stunning. They really nailed the design, and will probably go down as one of the best looking sports cars ever.
Secondly, you have to love that this car is the last of the naturally aspirated Ferrari V8s ever to leave the factory. I understand why we now have to have turbocharged cars, but naturally aspirated engines cannot be beaten for driver experience. New cars will be faster and more economical, but none will give you the experience you get from the Ferrari 458’s V8 engine.
The transmission was also a huge step forward over what was available from the Ferrari F430 too. The dual-clutch system works really well in all conditions. You can if you choose to use it every day, or alternatively only for special drives. In either scenario, you will not be disappointed.
My favourite of the bunch is the Ferrari 458 Speciale, as a Coupe and not as an open-top. The Coupe is still in the achievable to buy price bracket, and that means you can still use it on a regular basis. In comparison the Ferrari 458 Speciale Aperta is now at the price level of around $1m, making it truly a collectors car. Sadly that means all 499 examples will be tucked away in a garage and pulled out only on very special occasions.
Question is would I buy one? How could one not?