Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Neeb’s wheels 2

Something a bit special to start the month, and a good reason never to forget to keep an eye open behind your net curtains – you never know what you will pass before your eyes.

Not noticed before, a shiny red Ferrari 458 Italia – and parked hard against the nose of another car.

The owner clearly puts no faith in the reports telling of the 458’s tendency to burst into flames at slightest provocation.

Although I wouldn’t reveal individual details, I would like to have been able to see the registration, and identify the exact model, as there might have been an interesting variation to mention regarding the build, but no such luck.

Ferrari 458

Ferrari 458 Italia

The Ferrari 458 Italia replaced the Ferrari 430, and represented a new design based on the company’s Formula 1 development experience.

Production started in 2009, with a fast ‘Challenge’ edition produced in 2010, and a Spider in 2011. But the convertible loses 4 mph, so only reaches 198 mph instead of the standard 202 mph.

Power comes from a 4.5 litre (270 cu in) V8 engine derived from a shared Ferrari/Maserati design which produces 570 PS (419 kW; 562 hp) at 9,000 rpm (redline) and 540 Nm (398 ft lb) at 6,000 rpm with 80% of that torque available at 3,250 rpm.

I wasn’t kidding about the fire risk, with at least ten of the cars catching fire in the first 3 months of release. Ferrari investigated and identified a problem with the adhesive used in the wheel-arch assemblies. Under certain conditions, it was possible for this to become overheated, smoke, and even catch fire. This could (in extreme cases) cause the heat shield to deform and move closer to the exhaust, potentially resulting in a wheel arch fire, Any owners who had reported such fires that were later independently confirmed to be caused by this problem received new cars. Ferrari recalled more than 1,200 car on September 1, 2010, and replaced the adhesive fixing with a mechanical fastening.

See this sad gallery, courtesy of the BBC: In pictures: Ferrari 458s on fire

However, it seems the 458’s woes where not quite over, and in 2012 Ferrari recalled a number of 2011 and 2012 cars after discovering that a number of the F136 engines contained crankshafts which had been machined incorrectly, potentially resulting in the engine freezing  suddenly, and potentially causing a crash. (Owners could pretend it was like the Hubble Space Telescope, since the problem was down to an incorrect setting on the machine that ground the cranks. Owners (apparently 72 affected) were offered the option of having a new engine installed by their dealer, having the engine removed and the work done by Ferrari North America, or having a new crankshaft and bearings installed at the dealer. Working engines get the car to 60 in around 3.3 seconds, and return 14 mpg.

The road car went on to win a number of awards from the trade and various magazines: Car of the Year 2009;  Supercar of the Year; Cabrio of the Year 2011, and Best Driver’s Car 2011.

The car was also modified for use on the track.

The whole rear can be seen in this rather poor shot of a Ferrari collection hidden in a gloomy underground garage, although this actually a Spider:

Ferrari 458 spider

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April 1, 2013 - Posted by | photography | , ,

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