Monday, October 13, 2014



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– it has won awards in a host of different nations from the USA to the Far East and Europe. In the US, the mid-rear V8 was named "World Performance Car of the Year". It was also named “Car of the Year” by the Robb Report and topped the New York Times rankings.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the discerning British motoring media proved equally enthusiastic. In fact, the 458 Italia scooped both BBC Top Gear Magazine’s “Supercar of the Year” and “Car of the Year Awards”. Staying in Britain, CAR magazine also named the 458 Italia “Performance Car of the Year 2010”, as did Auto Express and What Car. 

The 458 Italia also enjoyed an enthusiastic welcome from the German and Italian public with the result that it voted “Sports Car of the Year” by the highly reputable Auto Moto und Sport and Quattroruote magazines.

Continuing around the world, the authoritative Car Middle East magazine declared the 458 Italia both “Car of the Year” and “Supercar of the Year” also. In China, Top Gear, Auto Moto und Sport, Robb Report and the popular X-Car website all named it “Car of the Year”.The 458 Italia’s volumes have been honed to a compact and aerodynamic shape by Pininfarina and the Ferrari Centro Stile with the themes of purity, simplicity, technology, efficiency and lightness underpinning the concept.

It is unmistakably a Ferrari, incorporating the characteristics that have become a signature of every car that leaves Maranello. Yet it is also clearly a significant leap forwards from the sporty mid-rear V8 cars that preceded it.The stylistic choices in the interior developed by Ferrari Centro Stile reflect the functional, ergonomic design of the cockpit. The driver is set in the centre of a streamlined, intuitive layout, very much in line with the marque’s signature styling cues.

The instrument panel consists of two leather-trimmed shells which outline the clean, overlapping forms from which the central aluminium structure emerges that house the instruments.The styling of the steering wheel underscores a sense of continuity with classic Ferrari styling cues (such as the aluminium central pad), whilst representing at the same time innovation by eliminating the indicator and windscreen wiper stalks and clustering all of the controls on the steering wheel.The technology is based on the independent management of even and odd gears which are pre-selected using two separate input shafts. The gear shifting time (the overlap between the opening and closing phases of the two clutches) is zero and thus there is no interruption of engine torque to the driven wheels.

Compared to the California gearbox, response times have been reduced and the 458 Italia has specific, sportier gear ratios to match the power and torque curves of the new V8, guaranteeing high torque even at lower revs. The E-Diff 3 electronic differential has also been integrated into the gearbox, resulting in a more compact and lighter unit. 

The design of the engine components has been influenced by the carry-over of racing technology – F1 in particular – for maximum fluid-dynamic efficiency in order to achieve both performance and fuel consumption objectives, and meet the most stringent international emissions restrictions. The piston compression height was reduced as per racing engine practice. Similarly, thinner compression rings have been adopted to minimise friction between piston and liner. A graphite coating was applied to the piston skirt for the same reason.Two pick up oil from the cylinder heads and front and rear of the engine via dedicated oil recovery ducts outside the crankcase area, and two pick up oil from below the crank throws.

The recovery ducts of the latter are interconnected in two groups of four cylinders to optimise the scavenge function and create a strong vacuum (800 mbar) around the crankshaft.This solution prevents excess oil splashing out of the sump and onto the rotating crankshaft and thus reduces power loss caused by friction. It also reduces losses due to windage caused by the pumping action of the pistons. 

The engine oil pressure pump features variable displacement geometry which reduces the amount of power absorbed at high revs. Lowering the pump’s displacement actually increases the power available at the crankshaft for the same amount of fuel used.

As is traditional for Ferrari engines, the new V8 is equipped with continuously variable timing on both inlet and exhaust cams. The aluminium intake manifold has been lightened by reducing the wall thickness. It has short, almost straight inlet tracts to reduce losses and a system that varies the geometry of the manifold, optimising the volumetric efficiency throughout the rev range. This is achieved by incorporating three pneumatic throttle valves in the central section between the two plenums. The engine mapping provides four different configurations of the valves for optimum torque values at all revs.

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