Unbreakable – Why the Ferrari 458 is one of the all-time greatsFeb 26th, 2020
Since getting into the business, I have to say that there’s been one car that continues to amaze, perform and, most of all, be relevant. And that car is the Ferrari 458. The last Pininfarina-penned mid-engined Ferrari V8 really did take the world by storm when it made its first appearance in 2009 (that’s right; the original design is now 11 years old).
On its debut, the 458 immediately made the 430 look so out of date, –even though I still love them – and it really did set the tone for the supercar in the 2010’s. Edward Wang, our Reserve sales manager, put it best. It’s the 993 of Ferraris – you cannot deny the look of it, and even after 11 years, there is no way you’re pulling up to any situation in a merely “older” Ferrari. In fact, I think most times, people’s reaction would be, “this guy knows which Ferrari is the right Ferrari.”
The 458 is a culmination of so much of what’s important in mid-engined Ferraris, and I was recently reminded of this when I took our 42,000-km 2011 example home for a couple of evenings.
I mean, where do I start?
Engine? Well, the F136 F will go down in history as one of the greatest naturally aspirated V8’s in the world. Perhaps a little more linear in its power delivery than I prefer – I love an engine that builds power while approaching redline – it has a nice spread of torque to keep you feeling quick all the time. The engine and transmission combination feels tense; eager to go like a sportbike. It feels slightly on edge, hard to maintain a constant cruise in because you want to be chasing that speed. Contrast that to its overall liveability, and the 458 is a rewardingly theatrical experience, certainly, one of the very best this segment has ever offered.
The styling of the 458 is where I really start to succumb to it. When slightly lowered on the factory forged 20” wheel, I find it nearly impossible to beat. The car has such a low roof, it’s the perfect width, and I absolutely love that the side of the car has no intakes. Everything has been cleverly concealed; the Italians always focus on looks.
Sit inside and you may initially be confused by the ergonomics. The 458’s highly driver-centric design takes some time to get used to but operates well once you figure it out. That said, I think the co-pilot in any car should have radio rights – and the 458 certainly doesn’t care about the passenger in that regard. Depending on seat options (you gotta have Daytonas), the rest of the interior is very handsome. In true Ferrari fashion, a nice deviated stitch goes a long way and the more carbon the better!
Although spec sensitive, the right 458 can always be a sound and fun investment. Their sustainable value is solidified by constant demand, and their proven track record of reliability is probably just as important. In all my years selling them, I’ve had very few issues. Beyond normal service intervals, tires and whatever else was inflicted by the last owner, they stand strong.
The example I drove the other day was my ideal spec. Carbon Buckets, lots of carbon, LED steering wheel (which is a touch gimmicky), Rosso Corsa over black with plain silver 20” forged wheels. That is the car. If it could have a factory black roof, I’d be in heaven. But with 42k on the clock, it drove as tight as any other, certainly looked after by its last owner, and still a testament to checking all the boxes.
We have three fine examples of the 458 in stock today – a flavor for everyone. Take a look through our inventory for the horse that suits you best!