The mid-engined Ferrari supercar has reached a turning point, it strikes us – and there may never be a better one for purist thrill-seekers than the one you see here.

The 458 Italia, now four years old, represented a bold rearrangement of Ferrari’s whole model philosophy when it was launched.

The arrival of the California meant that the mid-engined V8 model would no longer have to be the affordable, entry-level Ferrari. In more ways than one, it could move up in the world.

If the Ferrari 458’s dynamic brilliance had to be attributed to any one factor – and it remains an outstanding, class-leading supercar in our eyes – that’d be it.

Next year comes a ‘458M’, for want of the official name: a mid-life refresh that’ll bring with it a new turbocharged engine.

We’ve recorded what turbos have done to BMW M cars, AMG Mercs, Porsche 911s and more in this modern performance car era – and seldom do we universally approve.

Which is why right now may be a definitive moment in the development of the mid-engined Ferrari concept: a zenith in some ways, perhaps.

The car to mark it could hardly be more aptly named or purposefully constructed.

Top 5 Hardcore sports

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Ferrari range

Driven this week

  • Audi A3 Sportback 2.0 TDI S line
    First Drive
    28 June 2016
    We've driven the facelifted version of the ever-popular Audi A3 Sportback in 2.0 TDI guise on UK roads for the first time
  • Audi Q2 1.4 TFSI S-Line
    First Drive
    26 June 2016
    The Audi Q2 is the German brand’s smallest SUV yet. Can it impress in production guise on European roads?
  • Ford S-Max Vignale
    First Drive
    24 June 2016
    The Ford S-Max Vignale is the company's premium executive express. Can it really be worth the extra over the standard S-Max?
  • Volkswagen Scirocco GTS
    First Drive
    23 June 2016
    Still a really fun and likeable coupé but the extra power doesn't justify the VW Scirocco GTS's high price
  • Ford Fiesta ST200
    First Drive
    23 June 2016
    Fresh from testing it abroad, we've just got our hands on the Ford Fiesta ST200 for a blat on UK roads