The name of the 458 is derived from its engine. And – oh – what an engine it is. Ferrari engineers have blessed this beauty with a 4.5-liter naturally aspirated V8 that produces 558 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque – hence the 458 name: 4.5-liter V8.
The 458 Spider, with the roof closed, looks like an innocuous Ferrari; it’s a sleek-looking racecar for the road. Open the top, however, and things change drastically.
Then there’s the steering, which is nearly perfection. The ratio is very quick. But it’s not too quick. A driver can still sneeze without worrying about going off the road. The feel is heavy but not so heavy that drivers will need to do a kettle bell workout for six months before purchasing the car. On top of all that, it’s twitchy and responsive.
Unlike other $300,000-some supercars currently on the market, like the McLaren 650S or the Lamborghini Huracan, Ferrari designers have not complicated the dash with a large, centralized infotainment screen, which not only ruins the lines of the dashboard but also draws attention away from the road to the center stack.
Ferrari did things differently. It’s flanked the centralized tachometer with not one but two screens, which display navigation, media, and vehicle information, including tire temperature, all of which can be easily toggled through with two knobs, which, again, flank the cluster.