Design critique based on factory photos

Discussion in '458 Italia/488/F8' started by bitzman, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. bitzman

    bitzman F1 Rookie

    Feb 15, 2008
    Ontario, CA
    Although I only had the factory pictures to go from, a few weeks ago I did a design critique for a website in the form of front 3/4 and rear 3/4 views with little callouts calling attention to various features.

    You can see the paintings at the website
    Of course when I finally see the car in person I might be willing to toss out any small criticisms I made. Like a beautiful woman when she turns on the steam, Ferraris can do that to you....

    Ferrari 458 Italia Design Critique by Wyss from

    By Wallace A. Wyss

    The King is dead…long live the King. Wasn’t that what they always said in the old movies? Anyhow, the sneak shots of the Ferrari 458 Italia are out a couple of months before its official roll-out, at least enough photos to enable this design critic to form an opinion and submit it ever so humbly to the cognoscenti, i.e., you.

    The Ferrari 458 Italia is a robust-looking car; to sum it up in one sentence: “it takes the bizarre out of the Enzo” yet saves enough of the old car to make an all-new shape that is reminiscent of the late Enzo but still its own design. Although it may replace the 430, the 458 might be considered an “Enzo light”.

    Painting the body outside the front intakes flat black removes any complaints about the front intake shapes which marred previous V8 mid-engined road cars. The headlights, proceeding up the fender line, are a bit too busy and sci-fi-styled. But since lights are asked to do so much these days, you can’t have normal headlamps on an exotic anymore. Ferrari revealed that it contracted with Audi for the LED technology. Ferrari didn’t realize was that this technology, in El Cheapo form, would soon be available at any Pep Boys or Auto Zone for kids to put on their Camaros, so what looked cool originally, quickly “trickled down” to low price cars. The hidden windshield wipers are well done. If there’s anything that compromises the cleanliness of a design it’s those big windscreen wipers. Now they should work on replacing the outside rear view mirrors with small rearward facing TV cameras and inside monitors. It requires no big tech breakthrough to do this, just finding a place on the dash to put the monitors.

    The air intakes on the front fender are in an unusual place but don’t seem distracting either in front-3/4 or side view so I can’t object to their presence. The little eyebrow shaped air intake between the headlamps and the front bonnet take more getting used to–it looks like a trunk lid that was slammed down on a tool and permanently bent. But maybe in person I will hardly notice it when looking at the totality of the design.

    The back half of the car is bigger in side view than the front half, as fits a car whose drive train is all behind the driver. It’s like saying “This is the serious end.” The rear fender shape is very, very strong, and especially laudable is the way the body surface snakes upward below the rear 3/4 window area. The cleverness of putting the side air scoops just behind the window is good–doesn’t attract attention to the scoop but gets the job done. The lack of a bodyside vent was a bold departure—and makes the car look so much cleaner. The way the taillights show from the side is very Enzo-like. The side sculpturing that goes downward as the rear fenderlines arch upward is done well, not bevels and sculpture just for the sake of varying a smooth surface as they are on the disappointing California. The molded-in front spoiler is a bit distracting and thick-looking from the side but not noticeable from the front or front-3/4 view.

    Backlite (rear window) gets an “A” and I like the way the curvy rear haunches of the car can no doubt be seen through the rear view mirror. On the tail lights: though Ferrari tradition in the Sixties was one tail light per side (275GTB, Lusso, etc.), I wouldn’t have minded two each side, a la Enzo. The mesh-covered vent should have gone all the way across for better cooling (they could still have floated the chrome horse over the mesh) and the way the vent cavities are cut off on the inside edges is at a weird angle for no reason. What was wrong with just straight up? I also question the reasoning for three exhaust pipes–I’m only looking at pictures but they seem to qualify for the appellation “excessive bling”. I would rather have had four exhaust tips, in the traditional sets of two, or two with space in-between and stainless steel, not chrome. Didn’t they also do something weird with exhaust pipes on the original 365GT4BB that they later had to correct?

    IN SUM
    The best part of the 458 is that it totally rejects the “folded paper” look of the most recent Lamborghinis by having every part of the body be a sensuous curve. Bear in mind, all the above comments are based on photos—I might be seduced and have entirely different thoughts when I see the car in person….

    Ferrari 458 Italia Preliminary Specifications

    Length 4527 mm (178.2 in.)
    Width 1937 mm (76.3 in.)
    Height 1213 mm (47.8 in.)
    Wheelbase 2650 mm (104.3 in.)
    Dry weight 1380 kg (3042 lbs)*
    Chassis Material: aluminum and other alloys
    Weight/power ratio 2,42 kg/CV (7.16 lbs/kW)
    Weight distribution fr/r 42%/58%
    Type V8 - 90°
    Displacement 4499 cc (274.5 cu in.)
    Maximum power 570 CV (425 kW)** @ 9000 rpm
    Maximum torque 540 Nm (398 lbs/ft) @ 6000 rpm
    Specific power output 127 CV/l
    Compression ratio 12.5:1
    Front 235/35 ZR20 8.5?
    Rear 295/35 ZR20 10.5?
    Maximum speed >325 km/h (202 mph)
    0-100 km/h (roughly 0 to 60 mph) 3.4 seconds
    Fuel consumption + emissions
    Fuel consumption*** 13.7 mpg l/100 km
    Emissions*** 320 g CO2/km
    Dual-clutch, 7-speed F1
    E-Diff3, F1-Trac, high-performance ABS
    * With forged wheels and Racing seats
    ** Including 5 CV of ram effect
    *** Combined cycle (ECE+EUDC)
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  3. of2worlds

    of2worlds F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 6, 2004
    Full Name:
    Will this new car design be easier for Ferrari to assemble than the previous 430 was?
  4. shawsan

    shawsan Formula 3

    Jul 2, 2004
    Vancouver, Canada
    Thanks for sharing your perspective! It educates and prompts both agreement and differences of opinion, and thats good.
  5. vaqas0

    vaqas0 Karting

    Jan 4, 2009

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