In Ferrari’s first official announcement of the car, 458 was described as the successor to the F430 but arising from an entirely new design, incorporating technologies developed from the company’s experience in Formula 1.
The body computer system was developed by Magneti Marelli Automotive Lighting. The 458 is powered by a 4,499 cc (274.5 cu in) V8 engine of the “Ferrari/Maserati” F136 engine family, producing 570 PS (419 kW; 562 hp) at 9,000 rpm (redline) and 540 N·m (398 lb·ft) at 6,000 rpm with 80% torque available at 3,250 rpm. The engine features direct fuel injection, which is a first for Ferrari mid-engine setups in its road cars.
The only transmission available on the 458 is a dual-clutch 7-speed Getrag gearbox, in a different state of tune shared with the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. There is no traditional manual option, making this the fourth road-car after the Enzo, Challenge Stradale and 430 Scuderia not to be offered with Ferrari’s classic gated manual. It is the first mainstream model to not be offered with a manual transmission.
The car’s suspension features double wishbones at the front and a multi-link setup at the rear, coupled with E-Diff and F1-Trac traction control systems, designed to improve the car’s cornering and longitudinal acceleration by 32% when compared with its predecessors.
The brakes include a prefill function whereby the pistons in the calipers move the pads into contact with the discs on lift off to minimize delay in the brakes being applied. This combined with the ABS and standard Carbon Ceramic brakes have caused a reduction in stopping distance from 100–0 km/h (62-0 mph) to 32.5 metres (107 ft). Tests have shown the car will stop from 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 90 feet (27 m) or in 85 feet (26 m) with run flat tires, 85 feet (26 m) from 60 mph (97 km/h) and 80 feet (24 m) from 60 mph (97 km/h) with run flat tires. The adaptive magnetorheological dampers are co-developed with BWI Group.
Ferrari’s official 0–100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration is 2.9–3.0 seconds. The top speed is 340 km/h (210 mph). It has fuel consumption in combined cycle (ECE+EUDC) of 13.3 L/100 km (21.2 mpg‑imp; 17.7 mpg‑US) while producing 307 g/km of CO2.
Ferrari 458 Italia has a power to weight ratio of 2.61 kg (5.75 lb) per horsepower.