The Ferrari 458 Italia is the company’s latest V8 marvel. While the rest of the F-car line-up plod along with weightier 12-cylinder engines, the mid-engined Italia remains the paring knife in a family of bayonets. But unlike its predecessor, the F430, the 458 works harder than ever before to differentiate it from the increasingly crowded $2-300,000 supercar bracket that now includes the LP560, SLS, and MP4-12C. As you may be aware, the Italia places its turn signal and windshield wiper buttons on the steering wheel, so you never have to move your hands from 9 and 3. But it is he aerodynamic engineers in Maranello who deserve particular notoriety for their development of the 458’s aero-elastic winglets, the black pieces of rubberized plastic seen on either side of the Prancing Horse above. These winglets deform at high speeds to generate downforce by reducing the section of the radiator inlets and cutting drag. Nifty.
But what would the company’s now-deceased founder think of the aerodynamic trickery were he still alive today?
“Aerodynamics are for people who can’t build engines.” -Enzo Ferrari
Oh, ok then. I guess that pretty much sums it up. Good thing the 458 “Giant Boot” has 562 hp coming from its 4.5L motor. Or else a certain someone would be turning over in their graves.