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.


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  • 22 Comments
      Bernie Kressner
      • 6 Months Ago
      I'd hate to hera the once magnificent exhaust note go down the drain... ---------------------------
      mitytitywhitey
      • 6 Months Ago
      Well, they did it with the California, so who knows?
      CadiVetteFerrari
      • 6 Months Ago
      What I don't quite understand is why not go with a supercharger? I can understand not employing hybrid because the car might have to be re-engineered, since it would mass and probably other variables. But a supercharger would avoid any turbo lag, as it would take care of the low-end, much like how the hybrid in the P1 masks the turbo lag of its 3.8L TT engine. Is it a marketing or engineering decision? I don't think Ferrari has ever used a supercharger before. Or, is it some sort of engineering challenge that's not worth the risks? Maybe TTs weight less than a supercharger? Or, mating a supercharger to this 3.9 V8 or even the 4.5 V8 may present some complications. For example, maybe the supercharger couldn't physically be packaged in either front-engine or mid-engine layout without reengineering the hood -- in case of the California -- which may affect aerodynamics. I don't know. I'd like to hear a good reason why more manufacturers don't use superchargers, especially in this case.
        Christopher Anderson
        • 6 Months Ago
        @CadiVetteFerrari
        In addition to the already valid points, Ferrari mid-engine V8 sports cars have always been known for their high-revving nature. A sufficiently sized pair of turbos can preserve that nature (e.g. F40's 7750 redline, very high for the era), while superchargers are more difficult to mate with high revs (e.g. ZR1's or Ford GT's 6500 redline).
        KaiserWilhelm
        • 6 Months Ago
        @CadiVetteFerrari
        Supercharging is not a good way to make power! You are using power to make power, and generating a TON of heat in the engine bay! Turbo's are infinitely more efficient!
      Teleny411
      • 6 Months Ago
      Oh Jesus, they'll have a big old synth in there to make it sound properly. If Enzo was alive he would say "Ferrari does not do trendy!" Keep it NA.
        colin.shark
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Teleny411
        You're right. The turbo Ferraris so far have been horrible.
      Robert C
      • 6 Months Ago
      It would not make sense for Ferrari to spend all they money they had in developing the new V6 turbo used in F1 if they were not going to benefit directly from the research that that program produces. This has been in the works for a while, otherwise SF would not have agreed to the engine changes mandated by the FIA as they have virtual veto power in F1.
      John Ralphio
      • 6 Months Ago
      Hmmm... Interested to hear what this thing sounds like. Wonder if KERS will become standard in Ferrari road cars?
      Terry Perry
      • 6 Months Ago
      With most States considering going Double the Speed Limit a FELONY Now these cars have NO use anymore. You will also have to Get a Lawyer and depending on you Record you will lose your License for 6 months to a Year and forget Ins, for a long time.
      jj360
      • 6 Months Ago
      As much I love the exhaust note of this car it is just silly lament that loss when the gain is a huge jump in performance and full economy.
      fran
      • 6 Months Ago
      This is such a sad news for a Ferrari fan (especially the gorgeous 458 fan) like myself. Seriously I pray this news is just a fake rumor and Ferrari remains one of the very few automakers sticking with a naturally aspirated engine. 3 things enthusiasts (AND customers) will always crave for are sound, mad redline of 9000 rpm and instant throttle response. :'(
      barkeep
      • 6 Months Ago
      As much as I love to see them boost their engines, what's the point? They've tuned their engines to the point where they're very powerful while it's naturally aspirated, so why not take the page from their Formula 1 division, and go even crazier without using a turbo?
        General No Name
        • 3 Months Ago
        @barkeep

        They are already pretty close to the limit on NA engines.  Plus high RPM engines get extremely low MPG while cruising because they are designed for high RPM operation only.  Turbo's help fix this problem and eliminate much of the associated pumping losses.  Ferrari and all other car companies are using turbos to increase both MPG and Power by a huge margin.

      miketim1
      • 6 Months Ago
      Damn I dont ever think cars will stop getting faster. This thing is fast already without a turbo
      Marc Hamady
      • 6 Months Ago
      I think it's good that Ferrari decided to increase power to 670 HP for the 458 Italia, and I also think Ferrari should stick to offering V8s, V12s, and if they are crazy enough to do so, V16s. Ferrari must tune their engines to make them powerful without turbos, and then add turbos to them to make them insane. Ferrari must hold themselves to high standards in every way.
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