CAR Magazine is running a new sketch of what they anticipate the newest V8 Ferrari will look like, and we have to say, we're a little disappointed. Internally dubbed the Ferrari F142, Maranello's replacement for the F430 is inching closer to its first public showing, and although we've seen some rather clunky test mules so far, we were hoping that the Italian firm would recapture its former sensual styling glory last seen on the 355 and Challenge Stradale. Some critics might even go back as far as the Dino.

If it ends up looking like the CAR rendering (admittedly renderings are almost always something of a crapshoot), we'd have to say Ferrari has missed the marque a bit. While modern and not unattractive, the car seems like it could just as easily wear a German or British badge.

To be fair, this is going to be the first completely new car since the 360 Modena was introduced in 1999. The F430 is basically a 360 evoluzione after all. Following up on the Mille Chili project, the car should shed some weight through the use of lightweight materials and possible a fixed seat system with manually adjustable pedals and steering wheel. So perhaps a new, more high-tech look is more fitting on the new model, but Ferraris are supposed to elicit "oohhs" and "ahhhs," not "ughs" – or worse, complete indifference.

We're still not certain what it will be called, but something between F400 and F500 is likely, depending on engine size. Some have said that the engine will be smaller, boosted to 500 horsepower or more via a pair of turbochargers. Others say it will just be a far more efficient naturally aspirated V8 that could grow to 4.5-liters or more. We hope it's not a 4.5-liter, as Ford might object to the resulting name. Expect the Bosch-developed direct injection system, low-friction super-polished camshafts, and the California's seven-speed dual-clutch transmission among other innovations. We might even get a version of the F1-derived KERS energy recovery system eventually.

Rumors had also suggested that Ferrari might be getting out of the manual gearbox game altogether, but recently it seems like they have decided to add a stick-shift to even the California, so the fabled gated shifter appears to be hanging around a little longer. In any case, we should know later this year when Ferrari finally reveals the car to the motoring world. Hat tip to Toss!

[Source: CAR]