Ferrari 458 plagued by mysterious jinx
With its sleek lines and mesmerising performance the Ferrari 458 has been described as one of motoring’s all time greats.
By Martin Evans
Officially unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show last September the latest addition to the Italian manufacturer’s stable of supercars has become the ultimate boy’s toy for motoring millionaires around the world.
But now a string of accidents and a number of fires involving the cars has left some of the owners wondering if the £170,000 supercar could be jinxed.
In the last three months, six Ferrari 458 Italia models have been involved in accidents, while three more have caught fire and another was destroyed in a warehouse blaze.
There is no suggestion that there is any technical fault with the vehicles but Ferrari has confirmed it is investigating the fires.
While the number of incidents involving the 458 seems unusually high, motoring experts claim the crashes could simply be down to over enthusiastic drivers failing to appreciate the power of the car, which can accelerate from 0 to 60 in just over three seconds and has a top speed of 202mph.
Greg Carlson, the founder of the website, http://www.wreckedexotics.com, which documents accidents involving supercars, said they had recorded four incidents involving the new Ferrari, in the last ten days alone.
He said: “The 458 Italia is Ferrari’s latest high-production vehicle so I knew there would be many crashes but I didn’t expect there to be so many so soon.
“It’s not uncommon for new exotic models to start off with a few crashes – owners are getting the feel for the new car, some are taking it beyond their skill level, although the 458 does have a higher than normal crash count so far.”
A spokesman for Ferrari GB said the company was investigating the cause of the fires.
He said: “We are taking all the reports very seriously and are looking into them but we are treating them all as separate incidents.”
The first reported crash involving a Ferrari 458 occurred in Poland on May 20 when the driver – thought to be in his 20s – swerved to avoid a bus, veering into a Volkswagen family saloon.
In July a customised 458 which featured a £65,000 Dolce and Gabbana interior was destroyed in a warehouse blaze at Heathrow Airport after being flown in from Saudi Arabia.
Last week a black 458 model was badly damaged when the driver lost control on a stretch of wet stretch of road in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, and hit a barrier.
But learning of the accidents is unlikely to put off true Ferrari enthusiasts.
Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson was so impressed when he test drove one of the cars that he described it as “one of the all-time greats”.
Radio 2 DJ and self confessed Ferrari addict, Chris Evans, has already added one of the cars to his collection as has rock legend Eric Clapton.
Indeed such is the clamour to own one of the cars that most dealers are reporting a three-year waiting list.