The V8 in the Ferrari 458 has the displacement of 4.5 l and it gives the push of 570 horses and the twist of 540 Nm (398 lb-ft). There aren’t many that will see this kind of power as lacking, but there are even fewer of those who will pass on the opportunity to add more power and thus improve the driving feel, but still keep reliability at the highest level. This can be achieved through clever tuning and GT Kraft provides two stages of upgrade for the naturally aspirated engine. In the Stage 1 the car has all the same stock parts, but gains extra 23 hp (17 kW) and 25 Nm (18 lb-ft) of torque, while the Stage 2 adds a new exhaust for a better sound and even more power, resulting in 612 hp (450 kW) and 593 Nm (437 lb-ft) of torque.
If you are driving a Ferrari, it means that you are probably in love with high performance cars. However, there are a lot cheaper ways to get your hands on a high performing car, so a Ferrari owner is bound to be somebody who is looking for individuality and distinction among other sports cars drivers. Well, there is a beautiful way to make your Ferrari 458 more distinctive from any other 458, including the Ferrari 458 Speciale. Tuning. The Ferrari 458 packs a 4.5 l V8 with the factory code F136 producing 570 hp (419 kW) and 540 Nm (398 lb-ft) of torque without the help of a turbocharger or supercharger. This makes it capable of reaching 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.4 seconds and run all the way up to 325 km/h (202 mph). Let’s see what tuning can do for this car.
We’ll leave out brand specialists like Novitec, because their upgrades are usually massively expensive. Independent high end tuners like GT Kraft provide similar level of performance for a lot more affordable price. And Stage 1 tuning deals only with OEM ECU software modifications. There are no new parts, or any kind of replacements.
The changes include altering the lambda request to meet the capabilities of the V8 and modifying timing of the ignition. Of course, all this is done while the car’s performance is monitored and tested to ensure that exhaust gas temperature and engine temperature do not exceed safe levels. ECU tuning usually mostly revolves around altering the turbo pressure and adapting the rest of the parts to complement the increased amount of air, but even without a turbocharger experts at GT Kraft have managed to extract additional 23 hp (17 kW) and 25 Nm (18 lb-ft) from the engine. This results in 593 horsepower (436 kW) and 565 Nm (417 lb-ft), which means that the regular Ferrari 458 becomes very close to the 458 Speciale in terms of performance and that for a lot less money. The 23 horsepower may not seem like a lot when the car comes near 600 horsepower, but the power boost lowers the 0-100km/h (0-62 mph) time by 0.2 seconds, which is huge in the supercar world, while the improved throttle response that comes from the change in the ignition timing makes the car far more enjoyable to drive. You will definitely love your Ferrari more after the Stage 1 ECU tuning. Well, the Stage 2 will make you adore it.
Stage 2 tuning for the Ferrari 458 has just one new part installed – the exhaust. There are three new, higher-performing exhaust options from two revered manufacturers available for the 458. Akrapovic does a great job with the cat-back exhaust and provides similar design of the tips, ending with three pipes. Army Trix offers two different versions, both improving performance, but differing in styling, featuring two or three tips. Regardless of the choice, the power rises to 612 hp (450 kW) and 593 Nm (437 lb-ft), which now becomes a significant improvement compared to the mentioned 458 Speciale and even more so compared to the stock car.
Both of these stages are completely safe. The Stage 1 deals only with the OEM ECU, improving the performance, but keeping all the parts within their safe levels of operation stated by the manufacturer. The Stage 2 but actually improves reliability, rather than be detrimental to the parts, since a better exhaust means that the engine rids itself of the unwanted gasses far easier and faster.
Ferrari cars are in their own league. The only real competitor for a Ferrari in terms of history, technological advancements and exclusivity is another Ferrari, so being distinctive is not easy when you are put up against others with the same car. However, tuning experts like GT Kraft will give you that extra edge for the kind of money that is more than worth it.