Rumor: Ferrari 458 To Get Turbocharged V8 For 2015

By Bradley Iger

June 05, 2014

As automakers search for ways to meet the ever-increasing emissions and fuel efficiency standards, moving away from large displacement motors in favor of smaller, turbocharged alternatives is becoming an increasingly popular engineering trend. The shift can be seen across the automotive range, from economy vehicles and pickup trucks all the way to luxury sedans and supercars, and it would appear that even Ferrari is not immune to it. CAR reports that, much like treatment given to the California T - which saw Ferrari ditch the California's naturally aspirated 4.3-liter, 482 horsepower V8 in favor a biturbocharged, 553hp 3.9-liter V8 - so too will the 458 Italia receive a smaller, boosted V8 for its 2015 mid-cycle refresh.
Reportedly dubbed the 458M, the California T-derived motor is rumored to make a hair-raising 670 horsepower according to insiders, but that newfound performance will likely come at the cost of some significant alterations of the 458's character. That V8 gets the California T from 0-62 in a scant 3.6 seconds and top speed of 196 miles per hour. With another 100+ horsepower on tap, mounted in the middle of a lighter car, we can only imagine that this will translate to some very impressive performance numbers for the 458M.
Ferrari has gone to great lengths in the California T to retain the high-revving and sonorous nature that's become a hallmark of the brand, despite the addition of boost, and it's reasonable to assume these technologies will make their way into the 458M as well. In the California T, an advanced torque management system encourages drivers to coax the car into the upper rev ranges by limiting torque in lower gears, and an extensive overhaul of the exhaust system is also expected in order to keep the 458's sound up to snuff.
Paul Horrell of Top Gear says that Maranello has all but confirmed the turbocharged rumor:
"Carrying on with the naturally aspirated engine wasn't an option. Ferrari's powertrain director Vittorio Dini told me recently that that heavenly, crazy and wild V8 in the 458 Speciale - with its 9000rpm, 14-to-one CR, and 605bhp from just 4.5 litres - is the final epic goodbye howl of the firm's naturally aspirated V8 line."
As fans of natural aspiration, we here at Winding Road can't help but lament the slow march into forced induction across the industry. Still, we'd be remiss if we didn't admit that an extra 100 horsepower will likely ease the pain a little bit.