IT'S not everyday that Ferrari launch a new car but this week the famous Italian supercar maker launched pictures of its latest creation—the 458 Italia.
The mid-rear engined berlinetta will be unveiled at the next Frankfurt Motor Show in September and, Ferrari claims, marks a genuine departure from the current range, representing a "massive leap forward from the company's previous mid-rear engined sports cars."
Sharing design elements from the front-engined Ferrari California and the F430 was developed with the help of ex-Ferrari F1 driver Michael Schumacher.
The Ferrari 458 Italia's Pininfarina design was created with aerodynamics at the forefront of its development and, as a result, is capable of creating 140kg of downforce at 124mph.
The new 4,499cc V8 engine, which, incidentally, is the first Ferrari direct injection engine to be mid-rear mounted, delivers its maximum power of 562bhp at 9,000rpm and maximum torque of 398lb.ft. at 6,000rpm.
But, as with so many performance cars, the proof of the performance on paper is what makes the headlines and the 458 Italia does not disappoint.
Ferrari's initial performance claims include an electric 3.4 second sprint to 62mph and a maximum speed in excess of 202mph.
One understated Ferrari spokesman said: "With the Ferrari 458 Italia, Maranello has brought a highly distinctive new car to its 8-cylinder range."