The classic mid-engined V8 berlinetta layout seen here in the Ferrari 458 Italia actually began with the 2+2 Dino 308 GT4 in 1973. In more recent history, it is the elegant 1994 F355 that many think of when considering the best and most memorable of the two-seat ‘baby’ Ferraris that make up the 458’s predecessors.
There has always been a bit of a contradiction about the notion of a junior Ferrari. But, with a few notable exceptions, that is how the mid-engined V8-powered cars from Maranello have come to be known.
So it was with the 308 GTB, and the line of cars that followed. Now, though, things are changing at Ferrari. In the California, it has a fourth model line designed to cater for those wanting a slighter softer experience from their Prancing Horse.
Not only does it outpace the V12 599 GTB to 60mph and 100mph but, once you plunder the massively tempting options list with its array of performance and luxury enhancing gadgets, this also is a car that can easily cost in excess of £200,000.
Numbers are one thing, though. What we are here to find out is if the new 'junior' has not only moved the game on, but also entered the rarefied ranks of the truly great Ferraris.