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Used car stars 2016: Ferrari 458 Italia, CAR+ June 2016

Published: 01 May 2016

► Buy a 458 Italia for upwards of £145k
► Incredible performance and warranty
► The final entry in our used car stars 

Ferrari 458 Italia (2009-2015) – save £32k! 

Back in the 1930s, when Ferrari sports cars were just a twinkle in Enzo’s lid-heavy boggle eye, musicologists John and Alan Lomax were trawling the United States in a car fitted out with a portable recording studio amassing a huge archive of blues and folk music. Thanks to the Lomax duo thousands of recordings of previously undocumented African American singers and songs that would have disappeared, taking a huge slice of US cultural history with them, have been preserved. Well it’s time to dust off that microphone, John. The naturally aspirated supercar needs you.

Nine thousand rpm in a 458 is a special place. By 6800rpm a Focus RS would be banging off its limiter and demanding another cog. At 7800rpm Porsche’s Cayman GT4 is waving a white flag and come 8000rpm, even the new 488 GTB has thrown in the towel. But the 458 Italia has a grand in hand, is howling like a husky in a blender and has your neck hairs so taut you’re well on the way to become the world’s first human Stickle Brick.

‘The 458 Italia was the last mid-engined naturally-aspirated V8 before Ferrari moved to turbocharging on the 488 GTB,’ says Nick Jessop, brand manager at Graypaul Nottingham, who supplied this car, ‘so we are already seeing clients buying the 458 for that reason. In fact, if you look at 458 Speciale values [currently a crazy £350-£400k], it demonstrates the importance clients place on having one of the last naturally-aspirated Ferrari V8s.’

The 458’s predecessor, the F430 was a fine car, but little more than a 360 Maranello after a face full of dermal fillers. The Italia was a landmark Ferrari. It was the first beautiful Maranello sports car in years, the first to get the crazily swift steering rack that seemed so alien on that first drive back in 2010 but is now a crucial element of the character of every Ferrari car. And it was the first in which the disparate gadgetry – the magnetic dampers, the traction control system and the electronic differential – put aside their egos and really worked together for the common good.

Bottom book for a 458 Italia from a non-franchised dealer with the steering wheel on the wrong side is around £105,000, but you’ll need more like £145k to secure a right-hooker from Ferrari’s approved used programme. That might sound like a big difference, but don’t underestimate the value of the warranty package that comes with a franchised car (see left), both in terms of peace of mind when you’re ragging the car to 9000rpm, and keeping that depreciation curve as gentle as possible.

The folding hardtop 458 Spider cost more to buy when new and didn’t appear until the coupe had been on sale a couple of years, so prices are higher, starting at around £175k for a Ferrari approved machine. It wasn’t quite as neat a design job as the Italia, you lost the glazed panel that showed the V8’s induction plenums off, and the suspension was (almost imperceptibly) softened. But it’s so versatile, acting to all intents like a coupe when you want it to – with the added benefit of being able to throw the roof back at the flick of a switch, or maybe just drop the bulkhead window to let a few more dB into the cabin. And who’ll want to do that when the supercar finally goes electric?

Don’t panic!

Think of cotton wool warranty cover and you’re more likely to think of Korean superminis than kick-ass supercars. Yet Ferrari’s aftersales package is one of the best in the business.

Since 2011 all new Ferraris have come with a seven-year free servicing package that stays with the car if it changes hands. And RHD UK cars that scrub up to Ferrari’s approved used standard can have the standard four-year warranty extended to an incredible 12 years.

What’s more, this isn’t an insurance-style warranty that’ll leave you battling some company doing its best to squirm out of paying. Underwritten by Maranello, it includes smaller but potentially pricey stuff like power steering pumps, air-con compressors and electric windows as well as the engine and transmission. 

Ferrari 458 Italia

From £145k (£177,406 in 2014)

4.5-litre V8, 562bhp, 3.4sec 0-62mph, 202mph

Cars we found

Ferrari 458 Italia 2011, 10,990 miles, approved used, black, black leather, full service history, carbon wheel with shift lights, £147,500

Buying intel

> Avoid modified cars if you want to preserve the Ferrari warranty
> Red is popular with first time buyers; repeat customers prefer Giallo or special order colours 
> Everyone wants the optional wing shields
> Standard ceramic discs are designed to last 56,000 miles
> Check crucial work has been done: fewer than a dozen of the earliest cars suffered from fires resulting from glue melting in a wheelarch liner before it was fixed; and a handful of cars built in summer 2011 were fitted with incorrectly machined crankshafts that could cause the engine to seize

Used car stars 2016 continued...

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Read more from the June 2016 issue of CAR magazine

By CAR's road test team

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