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Ferrari 458 Italia in the test: a racing car that can also do everyday life

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Ferrari 458 Italia put to the test
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Perhaps it is the last of its kind. Screeching naturally aspirated engine instead of turbo-humming. Wildly exalted instead of mildly hybridized. Speed-ecstatic instead of three-phase electric. The F errari 458 Italia, an anticipated reverberation from the golden age of super athletes. Because even the reds will not get around the emotion-paralyzing ecotization in future model series. Consumption hedonists will no longer tolerate the CO2 zeitgeist.

V8 naturally aspirated engine sounds like a race track

It is quite possible that technology retrospectives will use the 4.5-liter direct injection engine of the Ferrari 458 celebrate Italia as the crown of the series naturally aspirated engine will. Nobody has more torque per liter of displacement (113 Nm), nobody screeches higher (9,000 rpm), depends so suddenly on the gas and sounds like a racetrack. Lahr airfield, measurement line. In the test, launch control for the start of the race is activated at the push of a button. All driving aids are switched off, the left foot rests on the brake pedal. One pull on the right steering wheel paddle, first gear engages. Then put your right foot on the gas. The speed swells up to just under 4,000 rpm, now the driver releases the brake. The V8 roars like a stick, the Ferrari 458 Italia shoots off. Little slip on the wheel, no acrid clutch smell like earlier with the sequential F1 gearbox. Instead, drowsiness in the head, a cramp in the stomach, and - bang - the second gear is already there, shortly afterwards the speedometer at 100 km /h.

In a good 10 seconds the Ferrari 458 Italia accelerates to 200 km /h

Just 3.4 seconds have passed, about the time it takes you to read this sentence. No rear-wheel drive car has so far catapulted itself faster from zero to 100 km /h in auto motor und sport . After another seven seconds, the clock is already 200 km /h. The acceleration looks like a flip book - every course a leap in space. And Ferrari's new loudspeaker accompanies the sprint with a hormone-fueling roar, sounds like a racing car taking off. The suction purr of the Ferrari 458 Italia inflates in the test to a throbbing hammer and tips into onewhirring speed compression. This is followed by a mini detonation when switching. No other dual-clutch transmission currently reacts so immediately to the pull on the steering wheel paddle. If the same seven-speed box from Getrag in the Mercedes SLS AMG is reminiscent of a fixed automatic converter, in the Ferrari one believes more in an optimized F1 gearbox - even with a useful automatic mode. Needs improvement? Only the ease of starting the clutch.

Ferrari 458 Italia is a racing car suitable for everyday use

Tempo 60 in seventh gear. No rough jerking, but the gas pedal with its on-off characteristics needs to be finely dosed. City center: neat clarity thanks to triangular windows at the rear and high arched fenders at the front as an erogenous locating aid. With the flap-controlled exhaust system, the decibel chameleon can even be moved quietly. If the wet mode is preselected using the setup lever on the steering wheel, the Ferrari 458 Italia rolls on the autobahn at speeds of up to 170 km /h - with a level of suspension comfort that no other super sports car offers. Aerodynamically sophisticated, it does not need a spoiler as a pressure crutch, instead two small wings in the front change the angle of attack to the fan at high speed and thus reduce the lift - technology transfer from Formula 1. Up to the range of the maximum possible 326 km /h The Ferrari is stable in the test, does not pace like a Porsche Turbo.

People think the Ferrari 458 Italia steers

230 liters of luggage space are enough for the two-week vacation, behind the seats you can even stow two golf bags. Criticism? A booming frequency of 3,000 /min and gross gaps that are unworthy of a preciousness in this league. And the sprawling body; Wedged between the guardrail and the truck, it gets tight at construction sites, as well as on the fun lanes of the province. Broad growth inhibits development; the Ferrari looks like a terrier that is too big. Just two turns from the left to right steering stop. In other words: people think the Ferrari 458 Italia is driving. Compared to the Scuderia, which does not react slowly, Ferrari has changed the ratio from 16: 9 to 11: 9. Manageability that looks like a racing car but does not require an FIA license. Because the fine motorist is lively but not fidgety, waving through the pylon lane at 154.7 km /h - like a Porsche GT3 RS.

So far, none has been faster. At these values ​​the counter-steering reflex twitches. Unnecessary. Traction control, ESP, adaptive shock absorbers and the electronically controlled limited-slip differential wring the mechanical grip out to the last drop in the test, with the character being controlled from the steering wheel. This networking of dynamic systems is just as unique as a five-fold influenceable ESP - in a mid-engine hot spur a confidence-building measure.

Similar to the Scuderia, the pilot in the Italia believes in youTalent leap

In race mode, the Ferrari 458 Italia guides its driver without reining in. Thanks to the hidden reserves of the Michelin Pilot Sport tires, it grows immovably with the ideal line. Limit? Between curbs and harassment. So up on the racetrack. Similar to the Scuderia, the pilot in the Italia believes in a leap in talent when he seems to be balancing on the last groove without any support, turning in without a load change reaction and zooming out of the corner without oversteering. In the perfectly shaped sports seats, the driver melts into the vehicle, lets himself be taken down by the centrifugal forces - they pull from all directions, but the Ferrari holds its line in the test, unimpressed. Only in the CT-off position, i.e. with the traction control deactivated, are the rear tires allowed to emit cries of pleasure; ESP leaves the very long leash for drifts with a net and a double bottom.

Only brutal performance makes the Ferrari drift

Final stage, CST-off, so everything is off. The only corrective action is the driver's feet and hands. 540 Nm fall uncensored over the rear axle at 6,000 rpm, followed by 570 hp at 9,000 rpm. The Ferrari 458 Italia is still reluctant to leave the racing line. Only brutal performance can result in the uplifting feeling of drifting a mid-engine super sports car - if the balance between gas and counter-steering is finely balanced. Otherwise there will be a counterattack along with a fairground roundabout. The ticket for this can cost 194,000 euros. Because the impact of an aluminum car often ends irreparably.

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