Our favourite Ferrari sports car, the 458 Italia, is going down the turbocharged route. The news spells the end of high-revving, naturally aspirated Ferrari V8s, which will set nerves jangling among many tifosi.
CAR has learned that the Ferrai 458 Italia is in line to receive a version of the California T's forced-induction 3.8-litre V8 engine during its mid-life 'facelift', expected at some point in 2015. The car is dubbed the 458M by Maranello insiders.
The Cali T, driven this week by CAR, develops 552bhp and a whopping 557lb ft of torque, giving it huge thrust but also a discernible change in character.
Ferrari 458 Italia: next to get the turbocharged V8
The 3855cc lump is understood to be due to be slotted amidships in the 458M. We'd expect more performance in the 458 and our sources indicate a fulsome 670bhp headline power output, which points to some pretty scintillating acceleration targets.
Bear in mind the more leisurely California T coupe-convertible can hit 0-62mph in just 3.6sec and tops out at 196mph. Boosting those power and torque figures in the more focused 458M shouldn't be too tricky, thanks to an easily adjusted boost pressure.
How will Ferrari keep the V8's soul in the 2015-spec 458M?
The flat-plane crank V8 will receive serious attention to make sure some Ferrari magic is retained. Complex exhuast systems and engine management microchips will be deployed to keep the sound levels up and to downplay the turbocharged kick-in-the-back associated with forced-induction cars.
In the Cali T, Ferrari limits torque from the twin-turbo V8 in lower gears to encourage drivers to rev out to the 7500rpm redline. But in higher gears on the motorway, an extra 100lb ft are delivered to make high-speed overtaking a mere toe-twitch affair.
CAR understands that the latest tech advances will be incorporated into the 2015-spec 458M. Look to the LaFerrari and other new Ferraris for clues.
And what of the name? It could be 458M, or indeed 458 T in line with the California's badge; however, Maranello has a history of updating the numbers on its V8. Just look at the 308/328/348 set from the 1970s and 80s...
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