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Quite telling, this anecdote surely is. One Christmas in the years prior to the marriage of The Good Car Guy and The Good Car Girl, the gift directed my way revolved around the Ferrari 360 Modena. Creativity won the day, yes. But the car was cast in such beautiful light.

Though I wouldn’t suggest the advent of the Ferrari F430 was the beginning of a downward trend; something was off with the 360 Modena’s successor. Its penchant for high speeds was greater; even when comparing garden variety examples with the extreme 360 Challenge Stradale. The F430 remained a visual shocker. And the competition (Lamborghini Gallardo, anyone?), while still alluring and successful, held court on the periphery.
Hard to put a finger on it, eh? The F430 lost some of the classy magic. When the F355 gave way to the 360 Modena, some Ferrari lovers were pained by its massive air intakes. For me, the 360 Modena stepped aside and in came the F430, a harder car by every definition. Lovely? For sure. The Good Car Guy’s second-favourite supercar? Oh yeah. Still, the F430 was regression; at least in terms of desirability.
Now we have pictures of the F430’s replacement, the Ferrari 458 Italia. Power is up, yes, but so is efficiency. There’ll be plenty of techno talk in the upcoming days, as well. However strong on technology and modernity Ferrari may be, the firm is still firmly entrenched as passion-based. Personally, the inherent desire that washed over GoodCarBadCar Towers when pictures of the new 458 appeared carry the Italia to a place where floors are washed with F430s.
Stay tuned for a complete specification comparo of the last three mid-engined Ferrari V8s. Prepare to be impressed. For now, take a look at the comparative Gallery below.