Forced induction has definitely hit trend status when it comes to performance cars. Whether it's the supercharged Hellcat V8 in the Dodge Challenger SRT, the latest twin-turbocharged M3/M4 or even the entry-level speed of the Ford Fiesta ST, if you want the fastest car in any given segment, in all likelihood it has a turbo or supercharger. Even Ferrari hasn't avoided the bandwagon with the latest iteration of the California that replaces the original 4.3-liter V8 with a 3.9-liter turbo V8 offering 552 horsepower for more power and better fuel economy. If recent rumors prove true, it might not be the only Prancing Horse to use this engine for long.
According to Car in the UK, Ferrari is planning to boost the 3.9-liter V8 up to around 670 hp and place it in a refreshed 458 Italia in 2015. If true, that is an astounding increase over the version from the latest California and a roughly 70-hp improvement over the current 458 Speciale.
The extra power would come with a serious challenge of how to maintain the 458's delicious exhaust note. Turbocharged engines are often quieter than their naturally aspirated counterparts, modern Formula One cars serving as a prime example. The California may get a pass because it's more of a GT, but the 458 is the brand's bread-and-butter sports car. It needs to sound like a proper Ferrari V8. However, Car claims Maranello is a step ahead and has a complicated exhaust layout – as is the case with the California T, we might add – ready to keep much of the characteristic yelp in tact.
When we spied a 458 testing in Sweden earlier this year, it had some odd modifications around the front wheel arches and rear quarter panel. Perhaps Ferrari was experimenting with ways to feed cool air to the more powerful engine? Time will tell.