I am still shocked.. and still recovering from what a crazy day I had driving the Ferrari 458 Italia.
For one - I can't believe I was given the keys.. because lets be completely honest.. I wouldn't give ANYBODY the keys to a car that cost £225,000 under two years ago (no finance owing on this car). This thing is CRAZY!!! I can't begin to explain what happened to me as I drove, slid, and squirted the throttle through the streets of London last week!
I will be completely honest too. Not ONCE did I hit the redline when driving it. We (myself and James Barron) had the car from approximately 10.00am and gave it back just before 5.00pm the same day - my body wouldn't let me hit 9000rpm because it was SCARED! This car is too much for me.
I take my hat off to all the guys who make YouTube videos driving this thing. Even at part throttle it keeps going sideways! I had to remember what Aldous Voice said when driving his Ferrari F430, because the JOLT from the engine when shifting gears will THROW the car sideways.. They are not easy to drive - I would say I am around 60% good at driving a Porsche 911 (RWD), and after last Tuesday only 12-15% good at driving a Ferrari. That is the gap. For me to become 'maybe' 35-40% capable of driving a Ferrari I would need a track to myself for 4-5-6 hours and even then I know it will bite unexpectedly.. Novice drivers... be warned.
The Ferrari 458 has won over 30 awards including "Best Performance Engine" and "Best Engine Above 4 Litres". Its mid-rear mounted V8 engine is a new design and the chassis has been developed by Ferrari, alongside the aviation industry to be 15% more rigid compared to the F430. The Pininfarina design features compact, aerodynamic lines, Scuderia Shields and attractive Red Calipers. The sleek body is both aesthetically captivating and incredibly practicable as air is fed from two intakes on the top of the rear wings to the F1 gearbox and the dual-clutch situated in the rear.
Jesus.. What can I say? Tight.. Nimble.. TIGHT!!! Stiff but not an uncomfortable car. If I had enough road space this would be a lovely car to throw around at 80mph to see what its really made of. From what I felt - it just keeps trying to go sideways... traction control (like in a 911) will NOT help you. This isn't a Vauxhall Astra.
Beautiful curves.. Sumptious lines and perfect attention to detail from every angle. The interior is just a beautiful - Carbon Fibre detail and an instrument cluster I could die in. If I die please bury me in this car.
For God's sake.. It isn't a throttle - it is a DANGER pedal! I can't believe this car is road legal. Even at part throttle it just WAILS everywhere, causing people to turn and stare/take pictures/scream/applaud, and an array of other things as I drove past The Houses of Parliament and Downing St. We were just on our way to Selfridges (new shoes needed) but the reaction from people was nice! I had my third - or fourth - taste of Super Car freedom and it was a blessing. Not many people get the chance to drive cars like these, and I always send a 'thank you' email to everybody that helps me get inside these cars.
I said ''Super Car freedom'' <-- by that I mean having COMPLETELY UNRESTRICTED ACCESS to a car and using it on the ROAD.. I cannot stand it when people say they had a Super Car Experience at a race track - where a grumpy-snouted fart restricts you to second and third gear only. No thanks... that isn't driving..
LOUD!! LOUD!! LOUD!!
So much noise emanates from this thing - it is unreal! I tried to turn it off, but unlike the Lamborghini Huracan (and Aventador I had on the same day) it cannot be silenced.. Ferrari's scare me to death - but they are the BEST cars on earth. The ''theatre'' of these things enthrall me. They take your heart and soul, and keep you in love forever. How can a car do this to me?
The answer is ''because it is a Ferrari..''
You don't get the expected burble pops on the over-run, but that is excess fuel, and if there's one thing this car doesn't waste - it does NOT waste petrol.
The Ferrari Exhaust may be loud, obnoxious, lairy and deafening - but the fact it doesn't pop and crackle is one of the reasons this Direct Injection engine used under £25 of petrol even though I used 100% throttle most of the day.. Some of you may be saying ''huh..'' but it is true. This is one of the CHEAPEST Super Cars I have ever driven. The technology and development between Ferrari and Shell is astonishing. I am overwhelmed.
This car. The noise. The drive. The emotion. It is too much of a car for me. When I gave back the Lamborghini Huracan I didn't say a word... just handed back the keys and sat in silence on the sofa. I also drove home in silence that day.
This car is untamed. It is a stallion. I couldn't make use of the power it has. The Ferrari 458 Italia is toooo crazy - and if given the opportunity again I'll probably decline because I am incapable of driving something as lairy as this. It is a serious machine.
Nicholas Lawrence //ON CARS