Although Ferrari calls its freshly revealed F8 Tributo a new car, it is essentially a heavily reworked version of the 488 GTB. That much is clear from the car’s technical layout, which includes a midship V8 of 3.9-litres mounted within an aluminium monocoque and a familiar skin wearing extra fins and intakes. It’s a menacing thing and the accompanying numbers speak for the pace on offer - but make no mistake, this is a major revamp rather than a next-gen Ferrari.
Of course, this was also true of the 488, itself having evolved from the 458. Its monocoque and dimensions were very similar to its predecessor’s, as were the design details, while the way it drove was very clearly ‘458 plus’ – well, ‘plus a lot’. The hyper-responsiveness was quickened further still in the 488 and we all know how trading the older car’s normally aspirated 4.5-litre V8 for a turbocharged unit affected its performance.
But did it make the car more special? If you live by numbers than it’s likely each successive mid-engined Ferrari has appealed more than the last. But by other measures, the 458 is arguably the most remarkable; it’s Maranello’s last series production atmospheric V8 berlinetta after all. Certainly many buyers have thought as much, as evidenced by the number of barely used 458s on the classifieds. In order to cash in on the car’s illustrious title, they have suffered only minimal mileage since they were registered.
The owner of today’s Spotted has gone one step further. Their right-hand drive car was built in 2012 for the UK market but survived off the DVLA’s books for four years, meaning it is – as far as we can tell – the last registered 458 in Britain. Evidence of its late entry into the database comes with its 66 plate, prior to which it had only covered a handful of miles. And while a now seven-year-old car that spent the first half of its life in stasis before travelling only 600 miles might be a cause for concern, this one has been serviced annually, which suggests it could genuinely be in like-new condition. For someone with a couple of hundred grand to spare, it really could be a choice of this or the new F8.
Which would you choose? The new car would undoubtedly walk away from our 458 in a straight race, be it on a drag strip or a circuit. Plus, we might assume it’d be easier to live with thanks to improved cabin technology, the latest damping hardware and a more seamless seven-speed dual clutch gearbox. But the theatre of the 458’s 4.5-litre engine and its unadulterated breathing apparatus is unbeatable. Nothing builds and builds towards a 9,000rpm crescendo so gloriously. When everything’s electrified and muted by the next CO2-cutting tech, it’s this what we’ll miss the most.
SPECIFICATIONS - FERRARI 458 ITALIA
Engine: 4,497cc, V8
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 570@9,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 398@6,000rpm
First registered: 2016 (built in 2012)
Recorded mileage: 600
Price new: £178,390 (2009)
Yours for: £199,995
See the original advert here.