Ferrari has launched its seven-year Genuine Maintenance program in Italy for the FF, California, and 458 Italia. This program includes one scheduled service visit annually and will cover fluids, normal-wear parts, and labor. Unlike BMW’s maintenance plan, Ferrari’s program doesn’t mention bonus brake pads or other high-wear components.
What makes Ferrari’s plan so appealing is that it is transferable, which means that those who buy four-year-old Italias can still take advantage of three years of free service.
According to Enzo Francesconi, vice-president of after sales for Ferrari North America, the seven-year plan (a first for an ultra-luxury carmaker) is a key initiative for Ferrari. With regards to the U.S., he said that the terms and details are still being worked out so that this plan can be adapted to this market.
Don Pintavalle, service manager at Miller Motorcars in Greenwich, Connecticut, (which carries Ferrari, Aston Martin, Bugatti, Bentley, and McLaren vehicles) said that many Ferrari owners come in annually for service even if they’re far from hitting the 3000- or 5000-mile service intervals.
He said that with people in the northern regions driving April through October, they only put on 500 or 600 miles annually. Pintavalle said that ‘70s and ’80s Ferraris can incur serious bills during regular check-ups (about $7000 or $8000) even with labor costing only $140 or $150 each hour.
That the Ferrari 458 Italia is truly a new car is evident regardless of where one looks. Among the new things in this vehicle are the aerodynamics, design, engine, ergonomics, handling, and instrumentation. This two-seater berlinetta, as with many of the company’s road-going cars, profits from the long experience the brand has when it comes to Formula 1 racing. A good example of this is how fast and precise the car responds with regards to the input from the driver.
The company also made sure to reduce the engine’s internal friction so that the 458 Italia would have lower fuel consumption compared to the F430. In fact, the low fuel consumption is possible despite the increase in overall power and displacement. That the company has a solid history in racing is felt not only in the technological transfer in the 458 Italia. In fact, it can even be experienced on a more emotional level.
This is because importance was placed on creating between the car and driver a symbiotic relationship. Inside the 458 Italia, it offers a novel driving environment especially with the new steering wheel and the dashboard, both of which were used in racing practice. Race driver Michael Schumacher also played an important role in this project, being part of it since the beginning. Meanwhile the Pininfarina design of the 458 Italia is another example of why this model is indeed a total departure from the past.
With a compact aerodynamic form, it highlights efficiency, lightness, and simplicity. These are the principles that served as an inspiration for this project. Much like every model from Ferrari, the style was motivated with the need for aerodynamic efficiency. Evidence of this is the ability of the 458 Italia to create a 140 kg downforce when running at speeds of 200 km/h. On the front region is a single opening that contains a grille and the side air intakes. The front also has aerodynamic sections and even profiles that have been designed to direct the air to the flat underbody as well as help cool the radiators.
On its nose are small aeroelastic winglets that help create that needed downforce as the speed goes up. At the same time, it also deforms in order to lower the inlets of its radiator and then reduce drag in the process. Powering the 458 Italia is the 4499 cc V8 engine, which is the first direct injection version from the company to be mid-rear mounted.
Like standard racing engines, the piston compression height is low, resulting in a 12.5:1 compression ratio. Using a conventional flat-plane crankshaft, it is able to provide, at 9,000 rpm and 570 CV, with power output at 127 V/liter. These figures reveal that they not only manage to set new standards in the company’s line-up as it also excels among others in the class.
Maximum torque of 540 Nm is possible at 6,000 rpm though at least 80% is available starting from 3,250 rpm. Specific torque is at 120 Nm/liter. What is extraordinary about this model however is that the torque is available even at high power levels and low revs. Once the engine starts, the powerful sound that rises before being directed to the three rear tailpipes of the exhaust is another proof that this is indeed a Ferrari. Paired to the powerful engine is the dual-clutch seven-speed transmission that helps to increase the performance while being able to deliver, even at full throttle, very smooth shifts.
In order to complement the power and the torque delivered by the new V8 engine, the engineers made sure to make the sportier and specific gear ratios. This ensures that even when running at lower engine speeds, high torque is guaranteed with the car being able to attain peak speed even in top gear. The new 458 Italia is also taking a major step forward as it relates to lowering emissions. Even if the engine inside it is indeed more powerful when compared to the V8 versions before it, fuel consumption at combined cycle is 13.7 l/100 km with CO2 emissions at 320 g/km, both considered as the best in the class. During the design stage, the engineers also made sure to lower the weight for the same reasons. As a result, the 458 Italia has a 1,380-kg dry weight with a resulting powering-to-weight ratio at 2.42 kg/CV. Engineers also made sure to optimize the weight distribution with 58% of the vehicle over its rear axle. The work of the engineers can in fact be summed up in two figures, both of which capture the vehicle’s exceptional performance. Maximum speed is at 325 km/h with acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h possible in barely 3.4 seconds.