• Mar 23rd 2010 at 10:30AM
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Ferrari 458 Italia - Click above for high-res image gallery

Last week the Ferrari 458 Italia made its debut on North American soil at a party hosted by the Italian automaker in Southern California. The guest list was limited to celebrities and Ferrari's top clients, all of whom got their first peek at Ferrari's F430 replacement.

As part of the event, the very first 458 Italia designated for the U.S. was auctioned off for charity to the highest bidder with 100% of the proceeds going to benefit Haiti through the CMBB (Catholic Medical Mission Board) and the William J. Clinton Foundation. The guests were in a particularly giving mood, and a top bid of $530,000 took the car home. In addition to the 458 Italia, Ferndando Alonso's F1 racing suit and two Scuderia Ferrari team member trips to the Canadian Grand Prix in June raised an additional $72,000.

There's still no word on when the common folk will get to see the 458 Italia here in the United States. Ferrari will not be among the exhibitors at the New York Auto Show, but we fully expect Ferrari to bring the cars to Monterey during the Pebble Beach weekend. Until then you'll just have to settle for the high-res gallery below.

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  • LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 18: ***EXCLUSIVE*** The Ferrari 458 Italia is seen during the Ferrari 458 Italia auction event to benefit Haiti held at Fleur de Lys on March 18, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)

[Source: Ferrari]
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Los Angeles, March 19, 2010. Ferrari has raised $601,000 for relief efforts in Haiti by the CMMB (Catholic Medical Mission Board) and the William J. Clinton Foundation. At a gala event held last night, Ferrari, the world's leading luxury brand, auctioned the first Ferrari 458 Italia to arrive in the United States for $530,000. Party was hosted by Piero Ferrari, Deputy Chairman, Amedeo Felisa, worldwide CEO of the company, and Marco Mattiacci, the newly appointed North America CEO.

Over 500 guests and Ferrari aficionados, including John Mayer, Jeremy Renner, Patrick Dempsey, Aaron Eckhart, Joel McHale, Malin Ackerman, Mollie Simms, Katie Cassidy, had the opportunity to bid on Ferrari Formula One driver Fernando Alonso's original racing suit (which raised $31,000) and on two experiences as a Scuderia Ferrari team member at the Canadian Gran Prix in Montreal next June (which went for $20,000 and $21,000).

In choosing recipients organizations which would deliver the highest caliber of aid to the people of Haiti now and in the long-term, Ferrari focused its ongoing commitment to social responsibility to a cause that close to everybody's hearts and still in need of tremendous support. Both organizations have strong ties to Haiti, the CMMB working in Haiti since 1912 and Bill Clinton having been asked by President Obama to spearhead a U.S. effort there with the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.

It was announced during the evening's program that the Department of Orthopedics and Hand Surgery of the University of Modena, which has a longtime relationship with Ferrari, will make its knowledge and resources available to help CMMB in Haiti. In particular, Dr. Landi's team of hand and microsurgery specialists, whose studies have been financed by Ferrari, will be an asset in the training and capacity-building for the Haitian medical community, in cooperation with CMMB's extensive healthcare network in the country.

Grammy Award winner John Mayer donated his time to perform. Director and Ferrari collector Michael Bay was acknowledged for his long-standing friendship with the company.

The auction of the Ferrari 458 Italia was conducted by the Wall Street Journal automotive journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winner Dan Neil.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I work next to the largest Ferrari and Lamborghini garages in my country and have seen several 458s driving around.

      But compared to the F430, it's far uglier and somehow not really as loud...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Isn't this just a bit ludicrous - shoving conspicuous consumption in the face of dire poverty, premise of charity notwithstanding.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Strange, I was thinking the same thing...

        I'm sure the charity will accept the donation, but would the winning bidder have donated $530K if there weren't a set of Ferrari keys attached? I'm not so sure.
        • 5 Years Ago
        What have you done for the relief effort besides criticizing and complaining about what others have been doing?

        Why don't you think about it during your Marxist 101 class today......

        • 5 Years Ago
        You think the kind of people who have money to drop on something like this don't ALREADY donate millions? C'mon.
      • 5 Years Ago
      comment system fail
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm surprised they didn't show it at Amelia Island last week...
      • 5 Years Ago
      What a waste of a car & time.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow... those look VERY similar to the RSX Type-S rims...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Beautiful car....
      • 5 Years Ago
      Where can I get a slightly higher resolution versions of the gallery pics, need 1680x1050 for my desktop!

      • 5 Years Ago
      This car is unattractive and ungainly.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It shows that there is such a thing as TOO cab-forward.

        And that not all coke-bottle shapes are created equally.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Whatever, I'll take one in red. Just wish that it came with a manual.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Now that is weird.

        I agree with MeOfLittleFaith, and I described why... he gets half a star, and I get full stars...

        much inconsistency there? I don't care if I am down-rated. It just seems odd to me that there is such a spread.

        I hope Pininfarina gets their design language in order soon. the 612, 599, and California all share the ungainly lines, and Enzo/FXX was a bit too "gonzo" with the scoops and slats and everything.

        The 430 generation was so good looking, though...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hahahaha, "common folk" and "Ferrari" in the same sentence. Good one! I won't be able to even touch a Ferrari in the immediate, and even distant future :(
      • 5 Years Ago
      i would like to touch.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yuck. Bring me back the F430....or an evolution of it. This new 458 is butt-ugly.
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