Ferrari 458 (2010 - 2018)

By Jonathan Crouch.


When it comes to supercars in the early part of the 21st century, this one is everybody's benchmark, Ferrari's 458. From its launch in 2010, it occupied a different league of excitement, occasion and desirability from most of its competitors, whether in coupe or Spider convertible form. And of course, it's from a brand with a heritage second to none. That said, for a company with such a rich tradition, Ferrari isn't big on nostalgia for the sake of it. Blending effectiveness with emotion is what this car is all about. Quite frankly, nobody does it better.

Perfomance 100%
Handling 100%
Comfort 70%
Space 50%
Styling 100%
Build 80%
Value 70%
Equipment 70%
Economy 50%
Depreciation 80%
Insurance 50%

Ferrari 458 (2010 - 2018)


(2dr Italia coupe / Spider - 4.5 litre petrol V8 [standard / Speciale coupe])


Think of a Ferrari engine and you tend to think of a screaming V12. Forgetting perhaps that most of Maranello's output over the years has been V8-powered. In racing as well as in production terms. It was, after all, a V8 that took John Surtees to the 1964 F1 World Championship. And it was also V8 power that fired the growth of Enzo's business in the early Seventies, with cars like the Dino GT4 and, perhaps most notably, the 308GTB of 1975. This design sired a fine tradition of mid-engined V8 sportscars that continued in 2010 with this one, the 458 Italia. If you know the brand, then you'll know many of the V8 models that brought us to this point - the evolutionary 328 of the Eighties, the rather unloved 348 of the Nineties and its replacement that arrived just before the Millennium, the utterly delightful F355. Modern times brought us the sleek F360 Modena, made until 2005 when it was replaced by the less pretty but undoubtedly more purposeful F430. All desirable, but still seen by many as stepping stones to more serious V12 Ferraris further up the range - the Berlinetta Boxer of the Seventies, the Testarossa of the Eighties or the 599 GTB of more modern times. All that changed with the launch of this 458 in 2010. It was as quick as any of the exalted V12 models - and as pricey once most owners had specced theirs up, especially in the open-topped Spider bodystyle that arrived in mid-2011. It represented the heart of the Ferrari range, not just the most popular model, but arguably the definitive expression of Maranello magic. Just the thing for the Italian brand to use against the usual upstarts down the road at Lamborghini. And a vital weapon in a more important battle against the clinical excellence of McLaren. Arguably, in its time, this was the greatest, the most complete, maybe even the most desirable Ferrari ever made. It sold until 2018, by which time it had long been replaced by the 488 GTB. launched in 2016.

Ferrari 458 (2010 - 2018)

What You Get

We know styling is a largely subjective business but if you think a 458 is anything but stunning, it might be time to get yourself to the opticians. Look closely and nods to the past (tail lights from the Enzo and air intakes like those on a 308) mix with a fashionably low waistline and the kind of deep windscreen you'd get on a modern endurance racer. Where Ferrari was extremely clever in designing this car was in mixing sharp angles such as the chamfered front wings with their sleek compound curves, while at the same time building solid aerodynamics into the exterior design. At launch, this was actually the sleekest Ferrari ever, thanks to lovely details like the 'aerolastic winglets' in the nose that bend at speed to direct air under the car. Or the engine bay vents that use high pressure air in the wheel arches to increase cooling and further aid downforce levels that at top speed equate to nearly a third of the weight of the car. The science of managing airflow around the aluminium-crafted bodywork has clearly been taken very seriously at Maranello. The rear haunches are a lot cleaner than those of the old F430 as there are no bulging inlets. Instead, the 458 has a neat inlet at the back of the glasshouse that sucks air in to feed the engine. You'll also get two underbody ducts to cool the engine, while at the back you see vents that cool the clutch and the gearbox. Let's have a look at a few more details. The carbon ceramic brakes measure a huge 398 mm at the front and 360m at the back, with six piston calipers at the front and four-pot items at the back. You'll get through rear pads pretty quickly if you take your 458 on track and leave the car in 'Race' mode, as the stability control system will do a lot of work at the rear end. You'll need to either factor in the cost of replacement items of switch the control systems off, which might prove even more costly. Your call. The long headlights are a real 458 signature design feature and contain a main lens that's a rotating bi-xenon light with low and full beam functions, which follow the car's movements in line with the curves on the road. Above it is a vertical stack of 20 high-intensity LEDs for the daylight running lights which increase or decrease their brightness with the intensity of ambient light. And the cabin? Well, it offers decent headroom whether you choose the 458 Italia coupe or the 458 Spider open-topped version. Most of the controls are angled towards the driver with the main focus being a central rev counter bordered by two configurable TFT colour screens. The one on the left can help you monitor various temperatures and pressures and show you the exact level of electronic assistance the various driver aids, the diff or the gearbox are providing, plus you can see whether the brakes, tyres and engine are up to temperature or overheating. This screen also helpfully shows a small digital speed read-out at the bottom, which is fortunate, for very often, you'll have to do without the large speedo read-out, which is one of the functions of the screen on the right. That's because you'll more regularly want to use this screen to show radio or sat nav info. At first it all seems a bit much to take in, especially as the designers have also taken the unusual decision to do away with traditional column stalks and mount virtually all the main controls on the steering wheel - yes, just like an F1 car. But F1 drivers don't have to bother about things like lights and wipers. It's a fiddly way to operate them and you often end up switching on the wipers when you're trying to flash the headlamps. It's even worse when you're trying to use the indicator buttons at the same time as wheel-twirling, say when you're coming through a roundabout. And the rim-mounted horn is just as awkward. Still, after a while you begin to figure out how things work. Frank Stephenson was the guy in charge of the Ferrari 458 design and he signed off the car's F1-style steering wheel. He was then poached by McLaren in order to try to whip the MP4-12C into shape and that emerged with a wheel which has precisely no extraneous controls on it. Figure that one out. What we can't fault are the controls you'll find behind the steering wheel - the lovely, tactile gearshift paddles. We admit that we miss the look of the lovely old chromed open gate manual gear change that older manual Ferraris used to have but that was a dog to use and the 458's paddles give a very clean look to the cabin. Rather unsurprisingly, there's not a great deal of stowage space, though the 230-litres on offer is a lot more than is available from any of this car's rivals from this era (a Mclaren MP4-12C has just 144-litres, a Lamborghini Gallardo just 110-litres and even a Mercedes SLS only 173-litres). It's possible to get a laptop case behind the seats and many original owners took up the option Ferrari offered of buying a couple of very expensive tailored luggage sets that fit both the rear bench and the front boot. Go for a car whose owner did without these and you'll be down to trying to cram in a pair of squashy bags into the space provided: there's little room for much else, so it'll help if you pack light for a weekend away. Should you choose the 458 Spider, you'll have to do without the glazed-in engine cover, but recompense comes in the shape of a folding aluminium hard top that's aesthetically cohesive and which can do its thing in just 14 seconds, with just two moving parts that slot neatly into a gap between the engine and the seats. Did chopping the roof off affect the handling? Not really; Ferrari strengthened the chassis to compensate, which added 50kilos, but torsional stiffness is the same as the coupe. Lopping a car's roof off is usually a first class way to ruin it. Not this time.

What You Pay

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Ferrari 458 (2010 - 2018)

What to Look For

The 458 is basically a strong car but there are issues to look out for. There have been numerous reports of transmission failures for 2010-2011 model year Ferrari 458 Italias and for the same period, Ferrari issued a recall for a faulty crankshaft that can cause sudden engine seizure, possibly resulting in a crash. It was found that some crankshafts were machined incorrectly during manufacturing and need to be replaced. If the car you're looking at is from this period, make sure the remedial work was done. An issue that affected 2010-2014 model years was that the secondary component of the trunk latch may not release when car is stationary. And Ferrari issued a recall to 2010 458s due to the adhesive in the rear fenders. At high temperatures this adhesive can ignite, leading to a fire in the engine bay itself and potential loss of the entire car. For those that end up buying an early 2010 or 2011 model year, the Ferrari 458 is actually considered a low maintenance car. Outside of routine service like oil changes, the 458 Italia needs little. The DCT transmission is built to last the life of the car and does not require clutch replacement. The brakes are standard carbon ceramic and also meant to the last the life of the car - but may have been trashed in track excursions. Just like the previous Ferrari F430 model, the 458 Italia utilizes timing chains, not timing belts, and these don't require replacement either. The interior is a bit of a mixed bag, with hardwearing fabrics alongside plastic finishes that can easily scuff. Check the body for parking damage as visibility isn't great to the rear three-quarters when you're manoeuvring into a space. Kerbed alloys are common as well. The Spider's fabric roof is not entirely fault-free and some owners have reported water ingress and cases of the mechanism jamming, so look for any interior water staining and check the seals with a fine-toothed comb. Check for uneven tyre wear, evidence of accident damage, wear to interiors not corresponding with the car's documented mileage and insist on a full service record.

Ferrari 458 (2010 - 2018)

Replacement Parts

(approx based on a 2012 458 Italia) Rear tyres will run you around £350 each, while an alternator is around £300. Should your camshaft position sensor go on the blink, you'll need around £75 to replace it although you'll pay many more times that figure in labour should you require a Ferrari dealer to diagnose your issue. A wiper blade is around £25. An appropriate battery will be between £150 and £180, but pricier brands can run to well over £200.

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