News

2300 Miles in a Pista

Discussion in '458 Italia/488/F8' started by FordGTDriver, May 22, 2020 at 1:02 PM.

  1. FordGTDriver

    FordGTDriver Karting
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jun 9, 2007
    227
    Image Unavailable, Please Login


    One lesson I've learned from living with my mental disorder (velocitosis vulgaris) for the last 35 years: it makes no sense to buy a car, and then save it for the next guy by not driving it. I'm sorry to admit that on occasion, I have been the next buyer's dream seller: pay a fortune for the car new, baby the car, polish the car, preserve the car, obsess about the miles on the car, sell the car, and still get absolutely, irrevocably bent over. Now, I realize that some dudes love this form of vehicular masochism, but I'd like to think I got over that a few years ago. As evidence, I present my lovely Pista. It arrived in December, and I've now put over 2300 miles on it. Every one of those miles has been fantastic. I thought it might be useful, or at least interesting, for me to share a few observations about the car now that I have become more familiar with it.

    Is the Honeymoon Over?


    Huh? The more I drive the Pista, the more I love it. Probably the most surprising thing is how buttery smooth and responsive the engine/transmission combo is. It’s total zen, and I wasn’t expecting that to be the case. I know there is a lot of hand wringing over the modern Ferrari turbo V8. I was lucky to own a Speciale, which is about as near to perfection as a car can be. All the NA guys wax poetic about it, and I understand why. Still, I prefer the Pista, and it’s not even close. Ferrari has created magic with the Pista engine, it is supremely responsive, even at low revs. It pulls like fighter jet and takes no prisoners at wide open throttle.

    The second delightful surprise is the ride quality. The previous world champ in the supple riding exotic category was…well, every McLaren I’ve ever owned. The Pista is pretty darn close, at least in the bumpy road mode, which is the setting I always use while I’m driving in town. Even in standard mode, even with Novitec springs, the car is remarkably pleasant.

    Third surprise, the build quality of my car is impeccable, and the car feels super resistant to any hint of torsional flex or what I call “bang crash syndrome”. (If you want to experience this, drive a convertible camaro over a set of railroad tracks.) The Pista has that billet feel like the german cars we all love and admire. It just feels like…expensive engineering, for lack of a better term.

    When dicing in the canyon, it’s almost spiritual to point the Pista at the apex and feel it respond like a go kart, all the while dancing through the gears, burbling and barking along the way. If there is a better car in the twisties, I haven’t experienced it. Yes, the Zanardi NSX I owned was magical, but the Pista brings most of that same tossability, then adds all that gob smacking power in the bargain. Yes, the Porsche GT3 is a hoot, but it ain’t no Ferrari and it doesn’t pretend to be. My advice: if you can manage to put a Pista in the stable, its worth it. Even if you have to sell a couple of your other favorite cars.

    Around town, shifting is blink quick, but also delightfully smooth. I never, ever, ever, drive in automatic mode. I’ve now come to the point where shifting with the paddles is so instinctive that it has become second nature. Coupled with the flash response of that marvelous engine, I feel like my brain is hard-wired into the car. Now that, my friends, is what we all look for in a great sports car: “instant, precision response” is what I like to call it. I think it and the car does it. Ferrari, you hit a home run with the Pista.

    Image Unavailable, Please Login

    Great Adventures in the Pista

    I’ve come to realize that one tends to bond with a machine when one has adventures in said machine. When I was growing up, we had a clapped-out old Chevy four-wheel drive pickup. My dad, brothers and I had so many hair-raising hunting adventures in that old rig that it became a part of the family. Even in the relatively short period that I’ve owned the Pista, I’ve had some awesome adventures. We hauled it all the way from Arizona to Florida to drive flat out at the shuttle landing facility. I can now confidently say that I have plumbed the depths of the Pista’s top speed. I’ve spent so many joyful hours in the canyon and on the deserted, flat stretches of desert road in my area that I’m starting to feel like the Pista is an old friend. I havn’t really been able to say that about my previous Ferraris. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the Pista is becoming a trusty companion, not something I’m afraid to actually drive simply because its…a Ferrari.

    Any regrets about the Spec?

    None. This time, for some reason, the Pista was super easy for me to spec. It took me a few hours at the dealer and we were done. Amazingly, I didn't wake up the next morning full of doubt and remorse. Maybe it’s the fact that this is the 5th car in this generation I’ve ordered. In my humble opinion, I nailed it. And since it's my car and not the next guy's, I can say that without apology. If I wanted a pink Pista with green polka dots, that's what I would have ordered. (Frankly, given the wild specs I’ve seen on various Pistas, that’s not out of the question). Here are the things I'm particularly happy that I ordered:

    1. The exterior carbon fiber. I ordered it all. I'm generally super skeptical about cosmetic carbon fiber, as is my bank account. However, on the Pista, it works, and it looks awesome.

    2. The seat lifter. Most expensive couple of pieces of plastic I’ve ever bought, but totally worth it. I’m about 5’11” and I like to sit high in the car, so I can see both of the front corners. This makes me so much more comfortable on the canyon drives, which is where the bulk of my miles are experienced. Factory seating on the Pista with the race buckets feels super low to me.

    3. Nose lifter. I had the car lowered on Novtiec springs, but it is only modestly lower than factory. I use it all the time.

    4. Standard Radio. I had the Hi-Fi radio on my previous cars, and it actually sounded great, when the engine was off. The Pista is not loud inside, but certainly too loud to allow for audiophile quality sound. Save your money; the base system sounds fine, and I listen to it often.

    5. Stripe Delete. I like being able to change/remove the stripe when I want to. I’ve got a stripe in the works through my graphics guy, and I think its gonna look cool. If it doesn’t, I’ll peel it off.

    What about Mods?

    I’m never hesitant to modify a car to meet my tastes; remember, every car built in a factory for sale to the general public is heavily compromised. There are safety concerns, warranty concerns, regulatory concerns, and the fact that the car must be prepared for use and abuse by the lowest common denominator of end user. (Case in point, I once saw the owner of a spanking new McLaren take it through an automated car wash, where the entire lower rocker panel got torn off by the guide rails. The guy looked at it, shook his head, and drove off. I kid you not).

    As I have stated before, the cardinal rule of modding a car is to do no harm. In my book, mods should IMPROVE the car and maybe take a little license that the engineers would have also taken if they were given a little freedom. To that end, I lowered the car a bit, had it corner balanced and aligned by a premier race shop, and I switched out of the super sticky tires and replaced them with a set of PS4s. Now I don’t have to listen to the constant ping of rocks off my carbon fiber body work. I’ve got a super light set of HRE wheels coming soon, and I hope to get near the weight of the Carbon wheels without the incumbent hassles. I don’t think I’ll do much more.

    The End

    Overall, I couldn’t be happier with the Pista. I’ve owned so many cars now, that every time someone asks me which is the best car I’ve ever owned, I say…the next one. I may have to change my answer now, but don’t tell my wife I said that. She laughs me to scorn every time I say I have finally obtained automotive nirvana. I guess it’s just my velocitosis vulgaris acting up again. :)
     
    REALZEUS, carlom001, Nsd991 and 38 others like this.
  2. Coincid

    Coincid Formula 3

    Dec 9, 2014
    1,867
    Canada
    #2 Coincid, May 22, 2020 at 2:16 PM
    Last edited: May 22, 2020 at 2:26 PM
    You did not mention your impressions about the sound, which seems to evoke highly diverse sentiments.

    Do you find the steering and brakes numb and lacking adequate feel and feedback as a highly respected auto journalist opined?
     
  3. dustman

    dustman F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jun 12, 2007
    4,998
    Love the write up and fantastic that you are enjoying the car as intended. Good for you to put the miles on!
    Personally I couldn’t stand the sound and that was a deal breaker. I’m in the minority of course.
     
    FordGTDriver likes this.
  4. Regular Guy 01

    Regular Guy 01 Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    May 10, 2011
    85
    Tacoma, WA
    Full Name:
    Eugene Greer
    Great write up.
    I hope someday to have a Pisa myself. Until then, I can live through your experiences….
    Our cars are all amazing and so worth the price of admission.
    I must admit that I could drive my car so much more but I have those fears of racking up the miles. Perhaps with your help I can get over this issue.
    Enjoy the miles and smiles.

    Best wishes,
    Gene Greer
     
    FordGTDriver likes this.
  5. Isobeing

    Isobeing Rookie

    Apr 11, 2020
    1
    What a wonderful story..... thank you! It was a great read, especially when you described the transition from driving a Ferrari to spending time with an old friend.
     
    FordGTDriver likes this.
  6. Michaelw488

    Michaelw488 Karting
    Rossa Subscribed

    Mar 20, 2018
    140
    Full Name:
    Michael W
    I feel the same way about my 488 spider as you do about your Pista ,every time I drive it the valves are permanently open and I have a blast,talk about ZEN OMG!I tell my wife the same thing this is the last one but now I got my eyes on a Pista,ZEN 2 here I come!
     
    FordGTDriver likes this.
  7. mdrums

    mdrums Formula Junior

    Jun 11, 2006
    314
    Tampa
    Full Name:
    Mike
    FordGTDriver, so awesome...I feel same as you. My 2019 488gtb I got in December as a used car. The previous owner put 400 miles on it in 9 or 10 months, clear bra’d the car, ceramic coated it, nicely done built in k40 front and rear radar laser.

    Since December I now have 2165 miles on it and tonight will do another few hundred. I can not spend the money let in sit and not enjoy it. Plus running the car every week or 2 is better than letting it sit.
     
  8. IloveGT

    IloveGT Formula Junior

    Oct 17, 2015
    793
    lol. somebody gotta have pussitosis vulgaris too.
     
    FordGTDriver likes this.
  9. Solid State

    Solid State F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Feb 4, 2014
    4,825
    Full Name:
    Comor Bidity
    Congratulations on your enjoyment of the car. That's why these cars are made. Unfortunately most production car owners will not drive their cars and will not adjust them to minimize compromises in the setup. Its a Ferrari thing for sure. That said it is odd to commemorate putting 2300 miles on a new car. If it were just a regular DD no one would get the occasion! Good luck and many more miles.
     
    FordGTDriver likes this.
  10. FordGTDriver

    FordGTDriver Karting
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jun 9, 2007
    227
    I'm the wrong guy to ask about engine note on the Pista. I say this because I have other toys that are so loud and gnarly, that I actually love the somewhat muted sound the Pista puts out; I find it perfectly suitable for a street car, and it sounds unlike anything else I own or have owned, with the exception of my other Ferraris. I hasten to add that I am an outlier in this regard.

    Regarding the steering, there's no substitute for the steering feel of a car without power steering, like the Zanardi or many race cars. My Porsche 993 has delicious steering too. The Pista can't match these, quite simply because the average Ferrari driver would scream bloody murder if the steering was not somewhat boosted. Having said that, the steering feels great to me, and now that I'm familiar with it, I don't think I'd want to change it. I've not noticed problems with the brake feel at all, except to note that all of the cars I've owned with ceramic brakes (Ferrari, McLaren and Porsche) take some getting used to, having spent a lifetime driving steel brakes.
     
  11. Art138

    Art138 Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed

    Nov 22, 2007
    588
    Ft. Lauderdale
    Curious as to when you changed the oil. I only see 12,500 miles for the first oil change. Normally oil is changed after the break-in period.
     
  12. Lagunae92

    Lagunae92 Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 16, 2018
    351
    SoCal
    Drove the Pista and the 812 up Angeles Crest Highway today. The first time really exploring the car, and it was incredible. Sound is improving every time I drive it, and the handling is so flat and glued to those tight corners. A blast!
     
  13. Jo Sta7

    Jo Sta7 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 13, 2015
    2,607
    Scottsdale/Pittsburgh
    Full Name:
    Jon
    Ferrari is putting out such excellent products across the board right now.
     
    FordGTDriver likes this.
  14. Lagunae92

    Lagunae92 Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 16, 2018
    351
    SoCal
    Totally agree. They are all such different cars and all so exceptional.
     
    Jo Sta7 likes this.
  15. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax F1 Rookie

    Jun 10, 2016
    2,902
    Australia
    #15 Shadowfax, May 22, 2020 at 8:28 PM
    Last edited: May 22, 2020 at 8:40 PM
    I think you will find that particular journo (CH) is making these comments more in a comparative sense against what he has found in other cars and not purely because the Pista's brakes and steering seriously feel numb to the degree you would easily notice and curse these types of misgivings.

    I would agree with CH that the 600lt - which he praises as being more connected and gratifying on circuit than Pista - does indeed have a more communicative steering feel and that the brake feel of Pista is not as easy to modulate on occasion as one would have hoped. Having experienced these cars in similar environments one needs to appreciate that certain elements in one brand are indeed a cut above the next. And that can be a little disappointing at times especially given all the hype surrounding the self proclaimed masterful engineering of Ferrari.

    Ferrari is very good at some things but not as good as they should be on other things, and they should be given the length of time they've been in the game. I think that is more the point he is trying to convey. Pista is an amazing machine but would be even more amazing if they had these other elements on par or better than the competition which is able to demonstrate their superiority in certain areas.

    And just to reconfirm my opinion on the sound which you have also questioned. Yes it could have and should have been a lot better than they provided. Again, it sounds fine on throttle, but off throttle there is no sound due to the valves closing hence why a controller is required at the very least.

    PS. FordGtDriver. Awesome write up as usual!
     
    FordGTDriver likes this.
  16. Shack

    Shack Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 2, 2005
    1,939
    Earth
    @FordGTDriver - feel exactly the same as you do about the Pista. Like an "old friend" after the first hour in the car. Picked the car up and did 1200 miles in 3 days. all miles were on winter tyres which I am sure are not as much fun as the summer tyres in nice weather.

    Had to go a bit slow for the first 600 miles then I started to enjoy the car. In gear acceleration amazing, braking amazing, rigidity amazing. Sound while important to me is not a "deal breaker" so happy with that too. Did not get to experience anything close to vmax due to weather and winter rating on the tyres. I did give it a burst and there is plenty room to explore.

    Looking forward to really experiencing the car in 20+ degree C weather when we are allowed to :)

    Awesome write-up !!!

    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
    FordGTDriver likes this.
  17. Alamo Gear Head

    Sep 28, 2015
    37
    w
     
  18. mdrums

    mdrums Formula Junior

    Jun 11, 2006
    314
    Tampa
    Full Name:
    Mike
    As far as the Pista sound I read about.. can't you just unplug the vacuum lines from the exhaust valves?
    I did this on my 488gtb and the car sounds so much better.
     
    blkdiablo33 likes this.
  19. Adamtensta

    Adamtensta Karting

    Jan 9, 2019
    145
    Scandinavia
    Full Name:
    Adam Tensta
    Is 2300 miles considered a lot for 6 months of ownership? I've had my 458 since mid August last year, but drove it till end of September, then took it out again in April and I'm up 1250 miles, expecting to add another 1500 or so till September. I try to drive it as much as I can, but not to the office due to the risk of people scratching it.

    Sent from my LYA-L29 using Tapatalk
     
  20. Adamtensta

    Adamtensta Karting

    Jan 9, 2019
    145
    Scandinavia
    Full Name:
    Adam Tensta
    Sorry 1800 miles since I got it, and will probably add another 1500-1800 by end of summer.

    Sent from my LYA-L29 using Tapatalk
     
    blkdiablo33 likes this.
  21. FordGTDriver

    FordGTDriver Karting
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jun 9, 2007
    227
    :):):)
    I’d have to answer yes to your question, but note that it’s all relative. Some people in the Ferrari world would have an apoplectic fit if they put 2300 miles on a car in their entire period of ownership...just take a look at the average miles on the “used” Pistas for sale :)
     
    Solid State and blkdiablo33 like this.
  22. mdrums

    mdrums Formula Junior

    Jun 11, 2006
    314
    Tampa
    Full Name:
    Mike
    Adamtensta yes 2300 is more than normal miles in the Ferrari world. With Porsche's we try to do this in a month to get past the so called break in... lol.
    Personally for me 2300 miles is nothing. This is all something Ferrari owner dreamed up a long time ago.
     
    FordGTDriver likes this.
  23. Ash Patel

    Ash Patel Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 12, 2015
    405
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #23 Ash Patel, May 23, 2020 at 3:31 PM
    Last edited: May 23, 2020 at 3:37 PM
    Valid point, it's nothing, I've done 5000 miles in my new Huracan in a couple of weeks now, but you know me, having owned (most probably) the two highest mileage 458s in northern part of EU, not sure if this mileage hysteria is a US thing.... on a second thought sadly I think it's a world wide Ferrari disease - never seen so many threads in my life on other car-forums where members worrying/posting about value/mileage
     
  24. blkdiablo33

    blkdiablo33 F1 Rookie

    Jul 12, 2004
    3,194
    Love ur pista and u are enjoying the car I bought my 488 gtb 6 weeks ago and the owner saved it for me 18 with 195 miles now it has 2000 it’s amazing in every way hope to have a pista in a few years
     
    mdrums, dhari and FordGTDriver like this.
  25. Jo Sta7

    Jo Sta7 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 13, 2015
    2,607
    Scottsdale/Pittsburgh
    Full Name:
    Jon
    I ran my last 458 up to 11k miles and I plan on running my current 458 up to 50k miles. It’s a tragedy when these cars are garage queens.
     

Share This Page