Ferrari 458 Italia Rent in Dubai
Ferrari may have been founded on a series of V12-powered cars, but some of its most successful models were those fitted with a mid-rear-mounted V8. And so it is with the Ferrari Italia 458 Coupe – the name meaning 4.5-litres and eight cylinders, with Italia thrown it at the end in homage to its home country.
This two-seater coupe faces the might of the Porsche 911 turbo, McLaren 650S and Audi R8 in its standard form while the 458 Speciale needs to better the recently introduced McLaren 675LT for the honours.
There are two choices of 458 Berlinetta available – the standard Ferrari 458 Italia Rent in Dubai and the lightweight, more powerful and more focused 458 Speciale.
Both use broadly similar 4.5-litre V8 engines, and the Italia squeezes out 562bhp and 540Nm of torque, the former figure arriving at a screaming 9,000rpm. That’s enough for the 458 Italia to sprint from 0-62mph in 3.4 seconds, and onto 124mph just seven seconds later.
The Speciale uses new materials and techniques for the engine internals, and holds the plaudits for most powerful naturally aspirated eight-cylinder engine ever developed by the firm. Torque remains the same 540Nm, still delivered at 6,000rpm, but power jumps to 597bhp.
Alongside a weight loss of 90kg, and a faster-reacting F1 Dual Clutch automatic gearbox, the 458 Speciale slingshots from 0-62mph in 3.0 seconds. The 0-124mph time is just 9.1 seconds, and top speed remains the 202mph as with the 458 Italia.
Regardless which model you opt for, both sound fantastic, with a deep-chested bellow at low-revs that transforms into the screaming crescendo so typical of the firm’s V8 engines. On the Speciale the exhausts use specialist technology and the dual pipes (instead of the triple set up on the Italia) have been relocated to emphasise the sound from the engine.
When launched, the Ferrari 458 Italia Rent in Dubai used a new modular chassis, which meant it was a much firmer and stiffer platform than the Ferrari F430 it replaced. Double wishbone suspension up front mates with adaptive dampers and specially designed tyres. It now rolls far less than its predecessor and boasts a 30 percent faster steering set up, which for the uninitiated is finger-light in its weighting and initially seems at odds with the rather brutal performance of the car.
But for all that pinsharp response, dart-like turn-in and staggering level of grip, the 458 Italia doesn’t ride like a race car on the road. Those adaptive dampers ensure that it smothers surface imperfections with ease, though you will likely find yourself running in ‘bumpy road’ mode most of the time should you regularly traverse typical British blacktop.
Even the hardcore Ferrari 458 Speciale manages to impress, and surprise, with its ride quality; the dampers are said to react to inputs from road or steering in just 0.060 seconds.
The first thing you’ll notice about the 458 Italia’s cabin isn’t the wildly shaped and sculpted layers that form the main dashboard, but that the steering wheel has no stalks. Not for wipers, indicators or headlights – and that’s because they’re all on the steering wheel. Festooned with these buttons, plus the Manettino switch, it looks more like a race car’s helm than a road car. You’ll quickly appreciate the extra ease with which the F1 gearbox’s manual paddles are within reach at all times because of this.
But, so long as you haven’t forked out for the stripped-out Speciale model, you’ll be able to revel in how user friendly and well-trimmed the cabin of the 458 is. There’s only two seats, but storage space is ample and, as long as you tick a few of the option boxes, it’s comprehensively equipped too.
Faster and more focused, the lightweight Ferrari 458 Speciale is the most extreme 458 model available, with a more powerful engine, more extreme aerodynamics and the introduction of Side Slip Angle Control (SSC). This uses a set of sophisticated sensors to monitor the car’s behaviour and driver input, allowing for keen owners to exploit the cars talents on the limit fully and only stepping-in to save the day if ultimately required.
The braking system has been developed from the components used on the 950bhp LaFerrari, with new calipers, ceramic discs and special pad material while the forged wheels wear specially optimised Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tyres.
Weight loss was paramount to the car’s development; the glass is thinner, the tailgate panel now plastic and the composite bumpers have been redesigned. Inside makes use of carbon fibre and Alcantara, with much of the standard 458 Italia’s equipment stripped out for a race-car like feel – including Sabelt race seats and the option to add four-point racing harnesses, roll bar, on-board telemetry and built-in track cameras.
The Ferrari 458 Italia has garnered over 30 international awards in its career. It added two further plaudits to that collection at the International Engine of the Year Awards when its V8 was voted “Best Performance Engine” and “Best Engine Above 4 Litres”. The success being enjoyed by the 458 Italia with both critics and public alike crosses all borders.
Your favorite car magazine has returned to strap on the company’s newest mid-engined doorstop, the 458 Italia, with 562 horsepower straining to run down insolent peasants. At the moment, someone else is piloting, and perhaps it’s just a feeling, but Ferrari test driver Raffaele De Simone seems to relish downshifting to second for that tight left-hander in the track’s southwest corner, near the apartment blocks. We emerge sideways in a ballet of bawling rubber, the tach screwed up to its window-rattling, 9000-rpm redline.
Noise? We got your noise right here! After a few laps, about a third of which involve us looking down the track through the side glass, De Simone climbs out and beckons me to the driver’s carbon-fiber bucket. He then strides away. I’m on my own, even though, about five years ago, I introduced a new Ferrari to a wall on a similar day not far from this very spot. Don’t these people learn?
When it arrives in June, Ferrari’s volume car—it’ll be a failure if it delivers less than half of Ferrari’s worldwide sales, which are about 6000 cars—will boot the retiring F430 F1 (price: $205,404) off its perch with a projected 10-percent price increase, another 79 horses, slightly more cabin space, and a spec sheet wet with technology, including a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox (alas, no manual—you knew this was coming).
Wheelbase: 104.3 in
Length: 178.2 in
Width: 76.3 in Height: 47.8 in
Curb weight: 3450 lb
PERFORMANCE (C/D EST):
Zero to 60 mph: 3.3 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 7.4 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 11.5 sec @ 128 mph
Top speed (drag limited): 202 mph
PROJECTED FUEL ECONOMY (C/DEST):
EPA city/highway driving: 12/17 mpg