The Ferrari 458 Italia isn’t just a voluptuous, 202mph beauty that burns from 0 to 60 in just 3.2 seconds. Yes, it’s the company’s most technically sophisticated sports car. The shrieking V8 at the car’s center produces 562 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque from just 4.5 liters of displacement--both industry records in power-per-liter for a car without a turbo--or supercharger. But the 458 is also user-friendly. Inside, the steering-wheel-mounted manettino lever offers a range of driver-selectable settings to adjust the car’s traction and stability systems (derived from the company’s F-1 vehicles), its magnetic-fluid shock absorbers, and its paddle-shifted, dual-clutch automated manual transmission, which lets drivers fire off shifts like Michael Schumacher himself.
The result is a car that comes out of turns 32 percent faster than the Ferrari F430. Earlier this year Ferrari had to recall the 2010 458s to replace a faulty panel sealant that caused a few cars to catch fire. But the fix was simple and quickly implemented, and it doesn’t change the fact that this car can match the legendary $652,000 Ferrari Enzo supercar around the company’s track in Fiorano, at one third of the Enzo’s price. $230,000.