Rumor Has It: Ferrari 458 Italia Going Turbo for 2015
When Ferrari announced earlier this year that the updated California 2+2 convertible – dubbed the California T – would be getting a new 3.9L twin-turbo V8 under the hood, we raised an eyebrow. After all, there are kids graduating from four-year colleges as we speak (type?) that hadn’t even been born when Ferrari last built a turbocharged production car. And prior to today, we reckoned forced-induction would creep under other Ferrari hoods over the next half-decade or so.
However, if the newshounds at Britain’s Car magazine are to be believed, that timeline is going to be a lot more compressed than previously thought. According to their source, 2015 will see the 458 Italia replaced by the 458M (In Ferrari-speak, an “M” at the end of a model name stands for modificato – the Italian word for modified – and has traditionally denoted facelifts and mid-cycle refreshes of existing platforms.). And instead of the Italia’s baying naturally-aspirated 4.5L V8, the 458M will be powered by a hopped-up version of the California T’s engine (shown below). How-hopped up are we talking? Car’s Tim Pollard writes we can expect a cornea-stretching 670 horsepower. More importantly, there’s reason to expect a similarly fat torque curve that will absolutely dwarf the current 4.5’s 398 lb.-ft.
Sounds pretty good, right? Well word is sounding good is reportedly one of Ferrari’s chief concerns with the new engine, since turbochargers act as mufflers and would stifle much of that flat-plane crank V8 music. That wasn’t such a big deal with the California T, which is arguably the closest thing to a boulevard cruiser the Prancing Horse currently produces, but for the mid-engine 458, the soundtrack is as much a part of the experience as the engine response, gearbox, braking and handling. We’re eager to see how Ferrari plans to go about meeting those challenges and others, and hopefully we’ll get some answers in the months to come.