Test drive 458 Italia - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 21 Old 03-09-2010, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
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Test drive 458 Italia

Today, I testdrove the 458 Italia from my Ferrari dealer for a full hour over Autobahn and curvy hillside landscape.

My impression in short: Spectacular!

The car I drove had black sportseats. When entering the car first I realised the very nice smell of leather. All instruments are neat together and easy to overlook. The Sports-seats are very comfortable although a touch softer than the sportseats from the Scuderia. One may need to adapt to the fact that the side lamps are activated within the steering wheel, left/right you touch to blink and you touch a second time to stop the blinking. Side mirrors are way lower outside the doors than on the Scud but very easy to follow.

I started the engine and was very impressed about the "low" noise. Its a deep grumbling, more similar to the 550 than to the 360 (to compare its characteristics). I started driving thru the city with lots of traffic. Here the car is to drive like a Mercedes E class, silent, comfortable, good front and side overview, not so to the back but I did not expect this anyway. Looking out front to the bonnet on each side the front wheel wells (is this word correct) are higher than thos of the 430, at least they seem so as the middle part of the bonnet is probably flatter. The car drives effortless and easy. (Women will love this car) Steering is easy and perfect, like the mentioned "E" class. Gearchange was on "Automatic"

After that the engine warmed up and I went to the Autobahn and started to gearchange manually. This new double-clutch gearchanging is phenomenally fast. There is absolut no movement of the drivers head while gear-changing (The hammer man of the Scud is gone !) To test the torque I went several times from 50 km to 130 km in the 7th gear no problem. I'm sure this car will beat almost all american "massiv torque" cars. Driving at 90-100miles but being steady on the gaz, you hardly can hear the engine, really its a Mercedes when treating the gaz smooth. But as soon as one changes the pressure, the noise gets "almost" the same as on the Scud. Also when taking the foot from the gaz, the deceleration forces are very huge, like on the Scud (Boxer will know what I mean)

After that I left the Autobahn and went to a "hilly" road over fields and thru forrests. First I stop the car, checked oil and water Temp and then started without the launch control hillwise up from first gear with...pedal down! Now this is the very most impressive thing. The car accelerated so fast that you have hardly time to gearchange. The higher rpm's up to 9'000 are clearly once more a level up over the Scud. But again the acceleration is phenomenal! I must admit I have not eaten anything today and went to test this accelartion with a empty stomach. When stroming from 0 to...!?. I had to
stop because I felt like I must throwout. This is no joke. I had to wait for a minute or 2 until my stomach was settled. I then did it again and this time was prepared (kind of). The acceleration is blingingly fast, and while this car had winter-tires on it, while fully acceleration the cars back axle was trying to find grip, going slighlty to the left then to the right but never uncontrolled. Heading to the first curve the suspension system is very, very straight, no whipping, not correcting, straight and clear. Steering is extremly exact. But the power is out of this world (for a street car). I understand that there are cars more powerfull but the ability to bring this power and control thru engine, gearbox suspension system and steering to the road must be nowwhere so seemingless as with the 458 Italia. This car is fast like a blizzard and dangerously enough you feel like always being in 100% control.
When moving down the hill I tested the brakes, which felt equivalent great like on the Scud.

Its unbelievable that THIS is the "basic" Ferrari starter 8 cylinder car. This car is way above everything from Audi, Porsche, Aston or what else. Looking at the price, the car is very, very competitive. If I would be in for a first time sportcar buyer with the means to spend 190'-200' Euros, I would buy this car and forget anything else for a long, long time.

I like to add that besides the big pile of terrific arguments for the 458 Italia, I personally see only 2 disadvantages with it:
1. The car (sorry) is almost to perfect. (I know is a dumb saying). The car does not transmit any mechanical senses/feelings to the driver. This I missed a little and in that sense the Scud does better.
2. The disadvantage of price depreciation over time (I know, maybe a dumb argument as well, since the plus side is so enormeous)

Hope to have kicked you all out there to call your dealers to go and have a try as well in the new, very great 458 Italia.
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post #2 of 21 Old 03-09-2010, 01:11 PM
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Fantastic write up. Have to wait until May for my test drive. Sorry to hear that my friend the "Hammer Man" has been made redundant. I did enjoy the gear change neck smack on the Scud.
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post #3 of 21 Old 03-09-2010, 09:32 PM
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Fantastic essay, Rolf. You practically sold me the car. I have absolutely no idea of Ferraris since 355 but I may have to agree on the "negative points" you made. Any pics ? Probably you were too busy and awed to take pics. Thanx for the write up. Splendid. The car sounds too advanced and high tech for my skills. w/ smiles Jimmy
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post #4 of 21 Old 03-09-2010, 10:54 PM
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Yes, thank you for posting your experience with the 458 It hasn't even made it to our local dealer yet

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post #5 of 21 Old 03-09-2010, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jimmy Chen Shiba DDS View Post
Fantastic essay, Rolf. You practically sold me the car. I have absolutely no idea of Ferraris since 355 but I may have to agree on the "negative points" you made. Any pics ? Probably you were too busy and awed to take pics. Thanx for the write up. Splendid. The car sounds too advanced and high tech for my skills. w/ smiles Jimmy
Sorry Jimmy, no video or pictures. The driving skills needed are definitively much higher on classic Ferraris, so you would be more than well prepared. After 1 night of sleeping over it, the fierce acceleration experience is still predominantly present but the "overperfect" pictures starts to grow. I'm missing senses which I only have while driving a classic, F40 and 50 included. (I'm getting old I guess)
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post #6 of 21 Old 03-10-2010, 01:39 AM
 
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Hi

I am new to these high performance cars as they are out of my price range i was wondering what the next car you would recommend, this is to all that wish to help me out. Which cars will keep there value and maintain well at a low cost, thanks.
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post #7 of 21 Old 03-10-2010, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by William J. Lowe View Post
Hi

I am new to these high performance cars as they are out of my price range i was wondering what the next car you would recommend, this is to all that wish to help me out. Which cars will keep there value and maintain well at a low cost, thanks.
Welcome William to this wonderful site. Its hard to answer your question correctly as you didn't said how much "low cost" means to you. Personally, I believe that the 550 Maranello and the 360 Modena are near the bottom of the depreciation curve, unfortunately both are not cheap to maintain, especially not the 550 Maranello. Generally no Ferrari is cheap to maintain, unfortunately. I would expect a 550 to cost around $ 3'000 to 5'000 per year on maintanance and a 360 around $2'000 - $4'000 p.y. without including anything "special".
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post #8 of 21 Old 03-10-2010, 07:02 AM
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Hi 212export,

My experience with the 550 is a lot lower than the cost you describe. I've spent 3,000 euro's on a major service in the past three years and that's been it as far as maintenance goes for 20,000 miles of driving apart from an oil change or two.

Thanks for wonderful write-up on the 458. What you've described is really what I am expecting from this car - sensational. Or perhaps that is not the right word - you're saying that your senses are a bit removed from the driving experience.

I really want this car but I feel that a car like this is just getting to be a bit too ridiculous on modern roads and traffic. It's just very hard to enjoy the car responsibly if you're not on a track.

But - I will have to organise a test drive first and then we will see! Perhaps she will seduce me...

@William - I suggest you open another thread and make some suggestions on what types of cars you like and what you're budget is. The question as it is, is too broad - I could think of at least 100 cars I could recommend.


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post #9 of 21 Old 03-10-2010, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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Dear Onno, excuse me for giving such uncompetent advise regarding the 550's maintanance costs. Great if its actually smaller. Sorry about.
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post #10 of 21 Old 03-10-2010, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by 212Export View Post
Sorry Jimmy, no video or pictures. The driving skills needed are definitively much higher on classic Ferraris, so you would be more than well prepared. After 1 night of sleeping over it, the fierce acceleration experience is still predominantly present but the "overperfect" pictures starts to grow. I'm missing senses which I only have while driving a classic, F40 and 50 included. (I'm getting old I guess)
Perfectly understood. I have no doubt that newer is better but since my own experience has stopped since my F355B several years ago. Somehow, in that wonderful Ferrari I already felt removed and I began regressing back in time.
As Onno suggested, the car may be too perfect for normal usage and one would not be able to enjoy. Instead, only frustrations result.
Not a Ferrari, but in my RUF, similar situation exists. This is a wonderful car but it only comes alive when it is north of 4000rpm and 200kph. It is one of the most sensitive car to drive under normal usage. Much more "rough and wild" than normal Porsches and fun to drive but in the upper ranges.
It was just interesting and enlightening to find out your impressions. Thanx again.
w/ smiles Jimmy
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post #11 of 21 Old 03-10-2010, 09:54 AM
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Great write up 212. Thanks for sharing the experience.

Ferrari's: 360 Modena, 550 Maranello
Ex's: Dino 308 GT4, 612 Scaglietti
The Rest: Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, Porsche 911 2.7s, Porsche 911 3.2 Carerra, Ducati 916... and the Land Rovers
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post #12 of 21 Old 03-10-2010, 10:01 PM
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Great write up 212. Thanks for sharing the experience.
+1 thanks for taking the time

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post #13 of 21 Old 03-11-2010, 05:18 PM
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Brilliant post - thank you, sir! Outstanding descriptions and impressions. Wonderful to test a vehicle like that at this point in its introduction, i.e., when most of us have probably not even seen one on the road...

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post #14 of 21 Old 03-11-2010, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your kind responses, glad you liked the "report".
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post #15 of 21 Old 03-12-2010, 08:32 AM
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--- The car does not transmit any mechanical senses/feelings to the driver. This I missed a little and in that sense the Scud does better. ---
Is it possible that since the experience was so exciting at that time that you were distracted with other aspects of the car?

Hard to imagine the Ferrari would not transmit any senses.
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post #16 of 21 Old 03-12-2010, 08:46 AM Thread Starter
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Is it possible that since the experience was so exciting at that time that you were distracted with other aspects of the car?

Hard to imagine the Ferrari would not transmit any senses.
Maybe. But I was refering to the "mechanical senses". I have probably driven and owned to many classic Ferraris to let those "mechanical senses" go (Maybe its just the smell of the old leather)
But I keep in mind that one does not automatically nullifies the other. Both is best !
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post #17 of 21 Old 03-12-2010, 09:04 AM
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For certain today's cars are not going to have the "old world" feel.
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post #18 of 21 Old 03-12-2010, 01:01 PM
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Probably more like video games. w/ smiles Jimmy
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post #19 of 21 Old 03-13-2010, 06:37 PM
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Brilliant post - thank you, sir! Outstanding descriptions and impressions. Wonderful to test a vehicle like that at this point in its introduction, i.e., when most of us have probably not even seen one on the road...
+1 Made me feel like I was right there with ya! I wish..

My dealer gets there's in August/Sept, Cant wait to see it.

Cheers!
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post #20 of 21 Old 03-13-2010, 06:45 PM
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For certain today's cars are not going to have the "old world" feel.
I know what you mean - I miss my 8-track tape player...


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