While it's still absolutely beautiful and a performance marvel (especially in Speciale trim), the Ferrari 458 Italia has to keep up with the rapidly evolving world in supercars if it wants to continue its success. Ferrari seems to know that it can't sit back and relax, because we're now seeing a disguised 458 testing for the second time.

Since we first saw it, rumor has emerged that it updated 458, reportedly called 458 M, may follow the lead of the recently revised California by using its turbocharged 3.9-liter V8 engine. The mill makes 553 horsepower and 557 pound-feet in that application, but those numbers clearly won't be enough for the Prancing Horse, because the standard 458 already makes more. Instead, Ferrari is expected to turn things up significantly to produce around 670hp, even more than the already gutsy Speciale.

Of course, to make the big change work, the 458 M must be able to ingest huge quantities of cool air to feed those turbos, and the camouflage on this test car is likely hiding the body changes to make that possible. Ferrari does a great job here of disguising things up front on this prototype, making it frustratingly hard to spot any changes.

However, there's much more to notice in profile and at the rear. The tape seams of the camo make it appear that there are some alterations along the rear shoulders, which would seem to be a perfect place for new air intakes. Around back, you can also clearly see a different exhaust design than the standard 458's three-outlet layout. This has two pipes nestled fairly deep into the diffuser, which doesn't quite match the design of the Speciale.

The 458 M is reportedly hitting the roads sometime in 2015, possibly with a Geneva Motor Show debut. Until then, feast your eyes on these spy shots.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      ferps
      • 4 Months Ago

      If the current crop of Ferraris are the last naturally aspirated, non-hybrid ones, they will have instant collector status.

        TruthHertz
        • 4 Months Ago
        @ferps

        I remember when I was 16 and my father's friend threw me the keys to his 355 Cabrio. I almost had to call a doctor because I had a groin sourced condition that lasted more than four hours.

        bleexeo
        • 4 Months Ago
        @ferps

        People seem to go absolutely nuts for the F40 and the 288GTO - which are both turbocharged. We'll just have to wait and see how the next 458 turns out. Let's hope it's as good as those are and they don't screw it up.

        General No Name
        • 3 Months Ago
        @ferps

        Weird since the only 911's worth collecting are the turbo versions.  Huh strange?

      Steve K
      • 4 Months Ago

      The 458 is a better driver's car than a 650S precisely because it's NA.  The infinitely adjustable throttle is just something no forced induction car can match.  The will ensure the current 458 will be a great investment.  

      sniperhunter2001
      • 4 Months Ago

      But then the 458 name wouldn't make sense anymore. Or would have to be changed if they use a motor with less displacement and turbos. Historically, Ferrari has been pretty good about their names indicating a factual attribute of the car. 458 = 4.5L V8, for example. F430 = 4.3L. Ferrari 599 = 5999CC V12. Etc etc.

        Christopher Anderson
        • 4 Months Ago *Edited*
        @sniperhunter2001
        The naming convention of early Ferraris was based on the engine's displacement in a single cylinder; since the early '90s (at least), they have favored names referencing total displacement. 
        If they were to go back to the old nomenclature, they could call this the 482T (3855/8=481.875), and it would satisfy the mental need for a higher number to represent a faster car.
        Or they could just stick to 458 because most owners care more about the badge than the engine.
      Teleny411
      • 4 Months Ago

      Really-I'd rather have a vintage Ferrari rather than a new one.  

        bleexeo
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Teleny411

        Not if you want to actually drive it fairly regularly and are not a billionaire.

      Hunter White
      • 4 Months Ago

      I sure hope they don't go turbo, although the Ferrari F40 was one of the best cars ever built and it utilized a turbo. The high end scream of the NA Ferrari motor is what makes the drive so exciting. I hope they don't lose that in search of ever more power and fuel economy. I really really hope they don't turn them into a souless hybrid. There is something to be said for simplicity.

        Teleny411
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Hunter White

        I heartily agree.

        Matt Mossberg
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Hunter White

        I don't think anyone is calling the laferrari a soulless hybrid. Ferrari has been making truly great cars for some time now and I have faith that this next one will not disappoint, even of it has a turbo. Yes, there's something to be said about N/A cars and I'm one of their fans but if adding a turbo/s makes the next 458 a better car then I'm all for it. Look at the new z06 using a blown engine instead of an upgraded ls7. The head engineer said they did test using a more powerful na motor but the lt4 w its supercharger was much better. Tech has and will make blown engines all around better then similar normally aspirated ones. Again I love n/a motors but trust Ferrari in their ability to test and build the best supercars in the world. 

        General No Name
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Hunter White

        You must really like the high revving, gutless, horrible MPG Honda engines!

      Ross
      • 4 Months Ago
      Well, they have their work cut out for them...the Huracan just ran 10.4@135. This will be interesting...
        rcavaretti
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Ross

        I don't believe achieving some given time in that short distance is important for them.  It's a sports car, first and foremost.  All around performance, and winning on the road circuits of the world, are priority.

      JJ
      • 4 Months Ago

      It would'v been nicer of the third exhaust tip was not added in the original 458, and left for the  458M, just like the f40. Also hope that it will be 398T !

      Christopher Anderson
      • 4 Months Ago

      If they are going to make a mid-engine, turbo V8 Ferrari for the first time since the F40, I really hope they keep the triple exhaust tips as an homage to said masterpiece.

      WKA
      • 4 Months Ago

      I don't suppose BMW will take offense to Ferrari stealing their "M" badge? Usually they stick their nose up at lesser car brands that sound even remotely close to a BMW. It'll be interesting to see how they handle this one....

        Christopher Anderson
        • 4 Months Ago
        @WKA

        Ferrari has been using the M nomenclature for a very long time to refer to updated cars. It means "Modificato." 

      Kris
      • 4 Months Ago

      Another day, another AutoBlog speculation...

      Koenigsegg
      • 4 Months Ago

      turbo in 2014?

      Bob Jefferson
      • 3 Months Ago

      Where are the exhausts? I can't see them.

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