It may not seem so long ago that Ferrari introduced the 458 Italia. But it's been on the market a solid 5 years since its launch in 2009, which makes it not only the oldest model in the company's lineup, but one of the oldest in its segment, the Lamborghini Huracan and McLaren 650S just having been launched in the past couple of months. So while a solitary Ferrari playing in the snow might otherwise seem like little more than an unlikely place for it to be, its chronology suggests the crew from Maranello could be up to something more.

The white 458 captured by our spy photographers in Northern Sweden appears to have something going on around its wheel arches. Aside from the panel gap that's taped up between the quarter panel and rear fender in front of the rear wheel arch, there appear to be some modifications around the front wheel arch. Just what they're for, we don't know, but their presence suggests something's up.

The test mule pictured here could be simply testing some new components, for whatever application, but if this is indeed a prototype for the 458's replacement, we'll probably start seeing more of these from here on in before the finished product comes around within the next couple of years – by which time the 458 will be a good seven years old, longer than the F430 or 360 Modena before it were on the market.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      Johnny the Monkey
      • 8 Months Ago
      The 458 is easily one of the most beautiful cars designed in the last 10 years...let it ride.
      Conza
      • 8 Months Ago
      Of all the Ferrari's to leave in production the longest, this has to be the best pick. Mind you, if they can make it better (478 488 508 who knows), and be this beautiful or more, they have to do it.
      FRD
      • 8 Months Ago
      Looks like just a bit of hooning to me.
      AcidTonic
      • 8 Months Ago
      With every car easily hitting 400hp now without really trying, the game will change from making a lot of horsepower, to actually being able to use said horsepower. AWD is the next way to distinguish luxury by having daily-driver friendly cars that use AWD to hit sub 4 second 0-60 times with all-weather fun. The other other part involves making high horsepower but using smaller engines to keep fuel economy high when not using the power..... without resorting to tall gearing to hide an inefficient motor. That will be the next game for luxury....
        Hek!
        • 8 Months Ago
        @AcidTonic
        No. Please keep your definition of luxury away from this car. It has a big screaming V8 RWD soul, and that's why it's beautiful.
        k_m94
        • 8 Months Ago
        @AcidTonic
        And Acid wins the gold medal for wanting every car to be like his damn Evo. Pity the company that actually makes his beloved 4 door AWD 4 pot seems to be drowning in its own irrelevence.
      John Ralphio
      • 8 Months Ago
      I don't know HOW Ferrari are going to follow-up in my opinion the sexiest modern Ferrari in the last 15 years. I can only fear the worst, but they have to respond because the competition is plentiful.
      Britt Benston
      • 8 Months Ago
      All-wheel drive perhaps? There's some snow spray coming from that front wheel.
      404 not found
      • 8 Months Ago
      At least they won't be giving the same car a refresh for 11 years like Lamborghini did with the Gallardo. I lost count on how many "special editions" that thing had.
        johnnythemoney
        • 8 Months Ago
        @404 not found
        Actually, Ferrari always evolved its V6/V8 cars for two generations. Often the engine was updated but not replaced. There were the Dino 206/246, the Dino/Ferrari 308 gave its engine to the 308 which in turn gave its chassis to the 328, the 348 and the F355 use the same chassis, the 360 evolved the 360 engine with 5 valves per cylinder, while the F430 was based on the 360 chassis. The 458 engine is once again based on the F430's. So wait for the same platform and a new engine, perhaps something derived from the Maserati/California TT V8.
      RexSeven
      • 8 Months Ago
      I miss the clutch and gated shifter of old. I will never own a Ferrari anyway, but I don't even dream of one any more. I will miss the clutch when it is extinct. Of course, people won't even be driving their own cars in the future. I can't believe that people really want that future. It is SO depressing. I don't know what happened to the human race, but it's sad.
        TonyMitch
        • 8 Months Ago
        @RexSeven
        The Human race decided that the twin-clutch transmissions shifts faster than a manual, Clutches last longer, and doesn't require for you to look like you are having a seizure just to accomplish a gear shift. Good riddance
          asdf
          • 8 Months Ago
          @TonyMitch
          Seizure? Lol novice. And I'd gladly give up half a sec every shift just to keep the clutch pedal. Don't care about shift times.
      tbird57w
      • 8 Months Ago
      sort of: just wait, there will be another ferrari along in a minute! as soon as a buyer orders one, it gets built, and is delivered two new versions have already been introduced, which in turn have already been designated the most beautiful! ferrari is fashion.
      Lancelot
      • 6 Months Ago
      Always remember, 2015/650hp Z06 + 2017/800hp ZR1 are KINGS!!!! American Muscle = #1
      TonyMitch
      • 8 Months Ago
      The car is still fresh. Why should they change up because Lambo and McLaren released new cars? Did Lambo change anything when the 458 came out? No, they didn't, they kept on going for another 5-years with the same design. And that was after already being out for 6 years. And you expect Ferrari to redesign the car after 5 years? C'mon. The current design still has about 4 years left in it.
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