Used car buying guide: Ferrari 458

When the Ferrari 458 Italia succeeded the F430, we said that it set a new standard for supercars and that it was arguably Maranello’s greatest achievement.

It’s certainly one for kids’ bedroom walls, and even now, more than a decade after the 458 was introduced, its mid-mounted 562bhp 4.5-litre atmo V8 is a tasty proposition for a second-hand toy – if you can afford it.

The Pininfarina-penned 458 was launched in 2010 with performance on a par with the hallowed F40, although it was touted as the ‘junior’ Ferrari of the time, being positioned just above the entry-level California at a somewhat meagre £175,000.

As is always the way, optional extras added substantially to the cost, with some cars commanding a premium of up to £40,000 for goodies including racing seats, Alcantara headlining and a carbonfibre steering wheel.

We’ve moved on slightly in terms of point-to-point pace since then, but the 458 remains stupendously fast in a real-world sense, capable of getting from 0-62mph in 3.3sec and mustering a top speed of 210mph.

It made use of Ferrari’s seamless seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, and the accessibility of its reserves set the car apart from rivals, with its redline at 9000rpm and 80% of its peak power available from just 3250rpm.

Such was the praise on the car’s release that customers who had managed to get their hands on a 458 were quickly attempting to flog them for £25,000 more than their original list price (and often succeeding).

In 2013, the exclusive 458 Speciale arrived, complete with coveted central racing stripe and, more excitingly, a power hike to 597bhp. Technological upgrades included a carbonfibre undertray, upgraded ceramic brakes, magnetic dampers, a new diffuser and uprated anti-roll bars. The Speciale was so hardcore that even its windows were made thinner, yet Ferrari’s Side Slip Angle Control (SSC) system gave it a level of accessibility for all drivers brave enough to get behind the wheel.

As you would expect from a supercar, most used examples of the 458 have relatively low mileage but will no doubt have been driven eagerly and potentially even on track. Colour combinations, mileage and the number of owners can contribute to reduced prices, which now start from around £115,000 – not pocket change, of course, but enticing for an old V8 Ferrari with new V12 Ferrari levels of performance.


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