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Ferrari 458 itallia review

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I thought after 1500 miles it is now time to write down my thoughts on the 458. Amazingly you might think, I have found foibles with the car. Lets start with them.

1. The radio hardly picks up any stations anywhere. I suppose hardly anyone bothers to turn the thing on in the first place considering how poor the stock system is. Trouble for me is after investing so much In a system it would be nice to be able to use it.

2. The Bluetooth is not currently picking up my phonebook. This means I can accept calls just not make them without picking up the phone. Ferrari blame apple, the IT department blames Ferrari. I have left them to get together to try to sort this out.

3. The computer is nigh on impossible to use. I am having to schedule an hour with the service department to teach me what does what. I have fiddled with it by myself and think the main issue is menus are not here you expect them too be, there are too many menus and to few buttons.

4. The steering wheel buttons. There are too many. Just way too hard. Found more on the back of the steering wheel the other day. Madness. Even Ferrari seemed to be having difficulty last time I brought the car in.

5. There are a couple of minor squeaks from the dash now. Seems the where the leather meets the carbon fibre air vents, when you are gunning it they rub. Not so bothered about this, shows handmade charicter to me.

6. The iPod does not have an easy search function for tunes if you have a lot of them. To get round this I am having to make a few playlists which would be easier to find in a sub menu. Means a real fiddle though. Ergonomics!!!

Now the good bits!

It looks amazing, it is something very special, something very aspirational that causes a lot of attention however so far all positive. I have to say I was expecting ****** signs and 'rich ****' shouted at every high street however it turns out the attention it gets is exactly the opposite to that. At the petrol station everyone wants to be your friend, I have had people coming over introducing themselves then shaking my hand and saying congratulations ! They ask questions, say what a nice car it is and give a thumbs up. Driving down the high street it's "nice car mate!" And thumbs up all round. When my brother had a phantom cab it was the total opposite, for that reason he lasted less than a week with that car. People love the car and the brand, are genuinely interested and want to be a part of the experience. This is a big change from the RS, which deserves at least as much attention, yet never got it. I now need my social hat on every time I get out the car! Something to get used to, but all part of the experience, and to be honest nice to share. If I was in their shoes, probably would do exactly the same thing.

Personally I thin the car is both pretty and elegant. The lines, detail and shape ooze budget Supercar. It could be nothing else than a Ferrari and in black I believe makes it very stylish in sports car terms. A fashion piece, or art. The specialness real does give you a sense of pride of ownership I have not had with another car. You care about a Ferrari, you worry about where to to park it. It is all part of the experience - which again makes it special.

The cabin is possibly even more special than the outside of the car. The materials and stitch colours are perfect. Class a cow, class a carbon. All the detail and laid on pieces to the dash are not what you find in a German car. It is not a one piece mould, it's a few moulds wrapped in different leathers or alcantara's or carbon held together by a red stitch. 458 italla and Ferrari badges on the inside further add to experience. The racing seats are sensational. so many parts to them that need to be wrapped in leather and alcantara. as Someone in the fashion business i can see the costs involved in all this detail and its outstanding. As I have said previously, it's like being inside a balenciaga handbag. No better cabin around IMHO.

Then there is the engine. I have never been in an engine so responsive. So much power anywhere in the rev range. Even in the Porsche there were times where I wished there was just a bit more power, or I felt the delivery a bit lazy. The 458 I never feel that. As soon as you commit to putting your foot down the engine delivers such a silky linear experience with no holes in the rev range whatsoever. It is so ****img fast, i read faster to 100 than the might macca f1, however its not just the speed its how it delivers it in such manageable yet exciting way. i have alot of time for the gearbox too now. in the m3 i find the paddles a waste of time, might as well drive them in auto. in the 458 they feel like real race paddles. yes they are very fast by put they kick you in the back and add analoge excitement to the process. i never expected this out of a twin clutch box. The noise it makes is a little synthetic at low revs, but ring it's neck and it howls like nothing else, get off the power and it coughs, cracks and spits. It's totally raucous. It drowns everything out, as the Brighton crew with testify, the poor zonda couldn't get a word in

The ride is one of the most impressive traits. There are 2 suspension settings, race and comfort. Comfort is what I use the majority of the time as it soaks up potholes and bumps with ease. In fact it almost feels like a very well sorted and balanced normal car in this setting. Very usable for everyday or for wig swift progress down a sweeping bumpy back double. In hard mode you can feel straight away the car sets its claws in to the ground. It tucks in and takes it, so much grip out of shitty tyres. Easily can cope with what the rs could on cups. It stays so damn flat too. I have noticed though that the tyres go before the chassis does. Some stickier tyres and a geo I believe will help, doing a geo sat.

Another feat of brilliance they have managed is the steering. 2 locks and a perfect steering wheel brings a lot of excitement to every corner. It loads up nicely and is so quick it can make you quite a brilliant driver when it gets a bit slippy. So much fun.

I thought this car was expensive when I first bought it, well it still is but it's certainly not over priced. I think there is real bang for your buck in this car and out of everything I have driven there was simply no comparable out there. Nothing to choose between. This was and is the car for me

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So Wopps, will all those little niggles you mention at the start of your review fade into the background as you drive it more?

Or will they be the "death of a thousand cuts" in the ownership experience?

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So, you quite like it then?

Buttons on the wheel are ok for a few things but I do think, not having driven one mind, that Ferrari are taking the pseudo-F1 experience a bit far.

How much has the M3 been out since the 458 arrived? Do you see the 458 as a keeper or simply the best until the next smaller model comes out (unlike the GT3) and you will review your options then?

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Car aside, that's a bloody great write up Sam +++

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Cool update for us all Sam.

I think the negatives are just indicative of the fact it's a low-ish volume car, not something you really can get away from unless you drive a CGT or VEYRON.

Looking forward to seeing it some time soon.

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So Wopps, will all those little niggles you mention at the start of your review fade into the background as you drive it more?

Or will they be the "death of a thousand cuts" in the ownership experience?

No way. This old dog is just going to have to learn new tricks!

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Car aside, that's a bloody great write up Sam +++

Thanks mate :) just nice to get my thoughts down on paper sometimes

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So, you quite like it then?

Buttons on the wheel are ok for a few things but I do think, not having driven one mind, that Ferrari are taking the pseudo-F1 experience a bit far.

How much has the M3 been out since the 458 arrived? Do you see the 458 as a keeper or simply the best until the next smaller model comes out (unlike the GT3) and you will review your options then?

Just going to have to get used to it Andrew . I'm sure I can learn some more. I just get the impression that the people designing these systems never intended the users to ever use them!

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Assume from the review you have absolutely no regrets on not going down the Macca route? You probably wouldn't have experienced the negatives you had at the top of your review, but no doubt the all important overall experience and driving thrill wouldn't be in the same league.

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There was a McLaren at Brands last night. Looked great, and was being driven properly (which is nice to see). But when it went past, there was just a sort of whooooosh noise. No drama, no evidence that he was having fun.

But, back to the 458, that's a great write-up, thank you Wopps for sharing +++

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The only thing that makes the McLaren special is its relative rarity. It has all the soul of a kitchen appliance.

Great write up Wopps. I'm genuinely pleased for you, especially that it gets such a positive reaction. Such a special car deserves that.

Edited by garcon

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Wow!

Great one Wopps. I really love the way the brakes fill the wheels & the fact that you found more buttons on the back of the wheel! :roflmao:

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There was a McLaren at Brands last night. Looked great, and was being driven properly (which is nice to see). But when it went past, there was just a sort of whooooosh noise. No drama, no evidence that he was having fun.

But, back to the 458, that's a great write-up, thank you Wopps for sharing +++

It's deceptive. I only had about 7 miles of track time in the McLaren, but I can assure you, i did have fun. +++ Obviously there's a massive difference between having fun in your own supercar and having (restricted) fun in someone elses driving day car but it's still a great driving experience. I have no doubts though that there'll be something more 'special' about the 458. Nice write up. :cool:

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Have to say, those are exactly the kind of negatives I would expect from a Ferrari, when you buy such a car I think you have to accept that you aren't buying it for it's IT/audio equipment or ergonomics, they just aren't any good at that stuff, they never have been, and I doubt they ever will be, same goes for build quality, it's never going to be perfect, if you desire those qualities, buy an Audi R8.

What it's all about is the driving experience, nothing else will match that, ferrari's fortè is building amazing engines, sticking them in an amazing chassis, throwing all the other bits around them, then making the whole lot look awesome.

I've been in and around many Ferraris over the years, and once you start taking them apart, the hidden stuff would make you wince, but none of that matters once you're behind the wheel.

Fair play for your honesty in the review, enjoyed reading it, not something I think you'd get from most Ferrari owners! +++

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As is said above, 'own car honesty' counts for a lot and it's good to read such an honest view of a Ferrari.+++

I wouldn't accept the Bluetooth issue though. I think you've done the right thing pushing them to resolve that. The menus, computer, etc, all that sounds classically Italian (I once tried figuring out an Alfa SatNav and found it akin to looking for a drawing pin in a ski full of oil). The squeaking surprises me, but again perhaps that is the low volume nature.

However, reflecting all of the comments above, it's the driving machine side of it that counts. The noise, the experience and the atmosphere it creates. I am delighted you're getting a positive response from others.+++

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The menus, computer, etc, all that sounds classically Italian (I once tried figuring out an Alfa SatNav and found it akin to looking for a drawing pin in a ski full of oil).

I seem to recall the TG test of the Maser QP, the Panamera and the Aston 4-door thing made the same point about Italians and menus? Didn't they make James change the time on the clock and timed how long it took him?

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On such a high end motor, can't they at least outsource the computer stuff? That should be the easy bit!

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Assume from the review you have absolutely no regrets on not going down the Macca route? You probably wouldn't have experienced the negatives you had at the top of your review, but no doubt the all important overall experience and driving thrill wouldn't be in the same league.

Actually the Macca has its own issues in terms of a user interface, in fact they have only just got their sat nav working! I went with an open mind when I drove the Macca. In fact a friend off another forum was selling his for a bargain price and invited me over to drive it one Sunday. I came over in the rs with friends and we went for a drive. I took the Macca, the guy that owned it took his cgt and I gave the keys to the rs for another friend. Granted I never really pushed the Macca round the twisties, but on a private road I followed the cgt up to around 140, if anything the Macca was faster and I had to hold off. It is seriously rapid. However the reasons why I never gelled are as follows:

1. The noise it makes in the cabin is terrible. A grating buzz that sounds like it comes from the speakers not the engine. Probably as loud as the 458 inside but the difference is the 458 sounds glorious, as it does outside the car. Outside the Macca just sounds like a washing machine.

2. As I said I hit 140 very quickly, however there was no fun to it. Little turbo lag if any - however it will never get the linear powerband with that final zing of a top end a n/a car will. It was flat.

3. Absolutely no feel through the steering. Very direct with no play, sure but no weighting up as you turn in.

4. Very title feel through the chassis. Ok the suspension is incredible in the way it soaks up the bumps, but maybe a bit disconnected.

5. Although the Mclaren is supposed to be the thinking mans Ferrari. The useable every day Supercar - in my view it contradicts itself. Firstly I don't understand with the understated exterior And interior it has those silly look at me doors. Secondly because it has a carbon tub there is a massive step in to the car, you sort of have to roll in and out. Before I had even turned the key I knew this was not the car for me because of it. Very silly Mclaren. My 87 yr old dad managed to not just get in the ferarri but give it a good drive - he would never have been able to have done it in e Ferrari.

Usually I would give an unbiased view and say well the Ferrari is good at this and the Mclaren is good at that as a customer you choose - however in this case I struggle to understand why anyone would buy the Mclaren unless a) they don't want a Ferrari b) they are British or Mclaren fanboys or c) they want that final n'th degree of performance.

for me there was absolutely not decision to be made except does the 458 look best in black or silver with a black roof ;)

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On such a high end motor, can't they at least outsource the computer stuff? That should be the easy bit!

I really thought hey would have cracked it on this car. They have not.

not only that I have been emailed today to say that only the master tech can answer my questions and he is not back in the business until the end of August! LoLol you can imagine what I'm going to call up and say tomorrow! ;)

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Secondly because it has a carbon tub there is a massive step in to the car, you sort of have to roll in and out.

I was told by the instructor to be careful not to scuff the sill carpet getting in and out, he said apparently it's £10k to replace it. :roflmao:It's definitely not an easy jump in and out of car, especially at 6'3. :o

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Wow!!.. What a car bud! Absolutely stunning in every detail. I'm really pleased to hear that you are enjoying it.

Sometimes you hear that when people achieve their dreams they aren't quite what they thought it would be...

and I have to say I love it in the black!! Superb!

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Just caught up on this.

Great review and sounds like a supercar (or "hypercar") that does it's stuff but also works well as an every day car. Looking as stunning as it does and having those abilities it's no surprise you love it.

It'll be interesting to see your review (you MUST do more! ;) ) overtime and as you become more accustomed to the computer, wheel knobs etc. I'm sure it will grow on you even more!

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Woppum get used to a computer? He can hardly use an iPad :P

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