It's becoming increasing clear that the only company truely capable of quaking Ferraris Italian leather boots are the boys from Woking. The long stnding battle from the circuits of Formula 1 has quickly spilled over into the consumer universe and I have to say, we're downright spoiled.
The 458 does still remain the venerable choice in segment but that may simply be a matter of popularity and panache. Regardless, the 650S was a direct shot across the bow. While the 650S may not take the Italian in beauty pageants it pumps out more power and offers owners more wizard gizmo's than is probably healthy.
Ferrari however has never been the company to stand pat and they're not. News came to us last week that the successor to the 458 would be moving to Turbo augmented power. Ferrari is certainly not being coy about its intentions, the long standing staple of prancing horses the visceral and vitriolic flat plane V8 will shortly go away.
What does this mean? Well for one expect the new 458 to use a derivative of the new V8 we saw debut in the California T, albeit much closer to 4.0L. Ferrariw ill be aiming to keep below the 4000cc hard deck to keep their cars tax compliant in certain market places. CEO Amedeo Felisa has said that the California T's engine can in fact be ratched up to 4.0L or as close to it as possible, for taxes of course.
Felisa also goes on to assuage fears of the Tifosi, he says the new Turbo powered 8 will not dramatically differ in characteristic from the outgoing natural 8's. He stresses that power delivery will feel similar if not identical to the natural engines. He also says that the new 458's motor will be directly related to the California T albeit with high red line with a subtle increase in displacement. Those both indicate more power.
This is where the 650S comes into play. The 458 Speciale catapulted the 458 family past the 600 bhp barrier so its more than feasible to assume that the new motor will bring the 458 successor MUCH nearer the 650S' 650 bhp.
This clash of the niche titans will be intriguing moving forward as Felisa himself is of the opinion that the straight line power wars are coming to an end. There is just not much more that can be done on that battlefield without the need for robotic drivers or austere nanny technologies. This will be about emotion.
Can the 650S compete with Ferrari in the emotional realm? The feelings that tug your heart strings and dynamics that caress your soul?