Ferrari 458 Italia: Michael Schumacher Approved

When you have the world’s best racecar driver at your beck and call, you better use him.

When you have the world’s best racecar driver at your beck and call, you better use him. That’s what the folks at Ferrari did when it came time to develop the 458 Italia, giving seven-time Formula One champ Michael Schumacher carte blanche when it came to scrutinizing handling and performance. The mid-rear engined 458 Italia features an all-new aluminum chassis manufactured using aerospace industry bonding techniques.

Powered by a new 4.5-liter V8 producing 569 hp @ 9,000 rpm and 398 lb.-ft. of torque @ 6,000 rpm, the engine consumes fuel at a rate of only 17.1 mpg, compared to 13 mpg for the 430. How’d they do that? The engine utilizes direct-injection technology and has been scrutinized by engineers to reduce internal friction. Not to mention the fact that a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission has also been added.

As one would expect, aerodynamic performance has also been maximized—the nose of the car features small aeroelastic winglets which generate downforce and, as speed increases, deform to reduce the section of the radiator inlets and cut drag. More details are included in the video below: