• Sep 15th 2009 at 7:31AM
  • 50

Ferrari 458 Italia – Click above for high-res image gallery

Here in the velvet-roped-off Autoblog section of the Frankfurt Motor Show press room, opinions are split over the styling of the new Ferrari 458 Italia. While some of us are enamored of the supercar's svelte shape, others....well let's just say they're more fond of Ferraris of yore. But whatever your take on the design, there's no doubting that this is a seminal debut for the Maranello marque, for whom the new 458 is the first completely new production mid-engine car in a decade.

We caught a pair of Italias – in red and yellow – strutting still on the Ferrari show stand ahead of the press conference scheduled for later today, which we present for your consideration and viewing enjoyment in the high-res image gallery below. Check it out and leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      In my humble opinion, the car is not ugly, but it's also not as good as it could have been. There have been a lot of supercar and hypercar unveilings lately, and this is my least favourite. The McLaren and the Russian thing (B2 I think) are better looking, even the current Zonda is cooler!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I love the rear and side profile. But the front is just dull.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's hot and the reality is that this thing is probably sold out for years anyway.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's true it look better in the official photos. Why couldn't they taper off the top of the headlight area, looks a little 2 squared off in the photos. Will have to wait and see how it looks in real life. It will also be interesting to see how the Spyder turns out
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like it! the headlights are not the best and it's definitely not my favorite Ferrari of all time but I think it's a good evolution of the F430. I will say however I do like the triple exhaust, #@*! the haters.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Lamborghini does better this time.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Worst thing is that there is no plans for 6 speed manual gearbox,goodbye ferrari you no longer produce proper drivers cars
        • 5 Years Ago
        Does that mean F1 drivers aren't real?
        • 5 Years Ago
        On the one hand "I get it" about the "manual = real driver getting old" thing. On the other hand there is something real to it. It doesn't so much have to do with whether or not you're a "real" driver as it has to do with whether or not you're an "involved" driver and by that I mean one that LIKES to be involved in the process.

        Now I suppose it's possible that there is a new breed of Ferrari customer out there, but a large percentage of their owner/collector base still really likes a standard shift. Don't believe me? Check out the next auction you see with Ferraris on the block and I guarantee you that even though auto trannies are quite rare, they will bring less money than their standard shift counterparts.

        The same is true of models where both F1 style paddle shifters and Standards were available. The standards bring more money because the the people that like (and buy) these cars prefer that type of a driving experience.

        It's interesting, 90+ percent of the time an automatic shift adds almost $1000 to the resale price of a car. With a few there is an inverse effect and with others it's neutral. It's very telling about the type of driver the car attracts. The whole dynamic is worthy of an in depth study.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Mike, you've got good points. As one who prefers to drive a manual (but can see the progression towards automatics), it surprises me the amount of people that equip basic cars with auto transmissions. In Canada you can buy a City Golf, the last-gen VW Golf, for about $15K. It comes relatively stripped out with rollie windows, no A/C or traction control/ESP, and a 5-speed stick. This is the perfect companion for a manual tranny, yet almost all of the City's I've seen have been automatics, adding $1200 to the price tag. If you're buying a $15K car, that's almost 10% of your purchase price!

        I hope manuals stick around, but I think it will be left to economy cars and enthusiast cars. To that end, I suppose a Ferrari should have an option for a stick, but there are too many drivers that care more about milliseconds than the enjoyment of driving, and Ferrari is designing cars with specs according to demand.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Needs Spyder version. Badly.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ha, opinions from the 2 people in the thread that could even afford more than the Hot Wheel's version. There I'm sure they'll make a Matte Black color which would hide any "errors" in design your not happy with.

      The car in person is more than likely better looking than pictures give it credit for, if your of that opinion.

      I like it, its sexy and I really never say that about "cars" let alone human beings....

      • 5 Years Ago
      I love everything about it. It's much better looking than the F430, easily the best looking mid engined Ferrari since the 512BB.
      • 5 Years Ago
      When I first saw this car I was impressed, however, the more I look at it the more it feels like it's not complete. I envision a robot pulling out this body as a complete molded fiberglass tub ( not a good thing for a car company known for technical excellence ). There should be a few line breaks, something to make it look more machined. Even the Vette has finally pulled its designs out the " looks like a fiberglass tub " syndrome and IT IS fiberglass. It's a nice start but somethings missing.

      Hey Ferrari, think you need to send your designers to a course at McLaren with their new P11.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Meshies...thanks for the heads up, however, your actually the one who is way off, because whether any of the rides I pointed out were created using PS or were concepts or whatever, it was the design language I was indicating the design language that I prefer...AND the rides I did indicate are indicative of what we ARE seeing from Audi, Lambo, Aston, McClaren, so it really is immaterial.

        I don't remember saying that my preferred vision of what a super car SHOULD look like HAD to be a production car.

        Now I will grant you that I didn't do enough investigating which in a forum with so many anal car :" dudes " with such a better grasp on what is astheticaly correct. I will make sure to do so the next time round.

        Thank you all of my responders for the education.
        • 5 Years Ago
        pgarez - actually, if you read the details on new McLaren MP4-12C, you'll find that those massive side intakes actually feed cool air to the radiators, not the engine. They were necessary because McLaren decided to place the dual radiators next to the engine to minimize ducting and save weight - at a cost to aerodynamic efficiency (and design, most would argue).

        The F458s shape is a result of many hours in the company wind tunnel, and Ferrari has created a shape with excellent aero/downforce balance while still providing enough air for both cooling and engine intake purposes. They also managed to create a shape that is clean, fresh, and not just a caricature of every "supercar" design since the mid-80s, with wild strakes and swoops and intakes. If you remember (i.e. are over the age of 12), Ferrari pioneered the stylized air/radiator intakes with the Testarossa, in 1984. Manufacturers have been building off that concept for the last 25 years. Time for something new.

        (btw - your linked picture of the McLaren "P11" is mock up from 2007 that isn't even the final design. You do realize the released pics and details of the MP4-12C, right?)
        • 5 Years Ago
        that Lotus concept has Lamborghini wheels and is photoshopped from a toy.


        your way off
        • 5 Years Ago

        Once again I admit to not being as concerned with engineering. Ok so the McClaren vents were to cool the radiator not the engine, splitting hairs. They serve a functional purpose ( ie not asthetics )

        Either way McC managed to serve form AND function in their design and it's hardly 80's looking. cue Diablo or F40 for reference on 80's design.

        I think, and it seems I am not the only one, to think the Ferrari is boring and weak in design and as mentioned, very few of these cars will ever see the track. Its not ugly but it's lacking...but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

        As you read my initial comment was not contesting the engineering prowess of the Ferrari design but rather an a critique of it's aesthetic appeal.

        Either way, I can't afford one and they will sell like hot cakes, so my opinion is largely immaterial.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Flea I can't argue with your function over form argument. However, I hardly think that Ferrari is going after the " greenest super car " trophy and it doesn't take an enormous boost of power to compensate for a little creative design. Having said this, most intake side blades DO server a function, to feed air to the engine. I hardly think McClaren as an obvious target for your " no idea how to build a real supercar " argument...and let me also introduce you to the new Lotus Esprit concept. I will await your learned opinion on how Lotus fails at putting aerodynamics at the forefront of their design language.


        Let's be clear, I don't hate the Ferrari, I just think it's a little boring for such a lusted after nameplate. If this vehicle was slated exclusively for track duty, then I would understand but let's face it, 90% of these vehicles will not be blasting at 150mph day in and day out trying to squeeze that extra millisecond through aerodynamic slip.

      • 5 Years Ago
      I think it looks awesome. Wait until you see one of these cruising at night downtown or something, I think it will look unbelievable in person.

      What do you guys want? A modernized F355 seems to be the answer to that question. Oh but if that happened we would all accuse Ferrari of moving backwards, that they're not in touch with the younger customer, etc etc.

      This will grow on everyone like every other recent Ferrari.
        • 5 Years Ago
        the front is just ugly and the back is boring. some of us are not impressed by the Ferrari name and just see a car, one that doesn't look good.
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