Hennessey builds 738bhp Ferrari 458

Hennessey Performance has modified a Ferrari 458 Italia to the tune of 738 horses and a 0-100kph time of 2.8 seconds, putting it comfortably in the ‘ruddy hell that's quick' category of supercars.

It's the first ever Ferrari tuned by HPE - the same bods who transformed the Lotus Exige into the really rather quick Venom GT - and will be displayed over the 'Monterey Weekend'.

There's the same 4.5-litre Ferrari V8, but treated to a pair of low-inertia, ball-bearing turbochargers. Then there's stainless steel tubing, twin wastegates and blow-off valves, an aluminium plenum containing the air-to-water charge-cooler element, and a rear-mounted heat exchanger with dual electric fans that will attempt to cool the inlet temps. This all sounds complicated, noisy and good.

HPE has rejigged the Ferrari's ECU too, and you're looking at a maximum boost pressure of 7psi, holding 6psi through to the 9,000rpm rev limit. So not only does it boast 738bhp, 721Nm of torque and that 0-100kph time, but it'll also hit a standing quarter mile in 10.5 seconds at 220kph.

In time, you'll be able to option a carbon fibre front splitter and rear lip spoiler, while you can get HPE's 20in monoblock forged alloy wheels, a KW suspension system with two-way adjustable shocks, some custom interior options and a special stitch pattern.

How much for this twin-turbo madness? $59,995 - almost Rs 37 lakh - on top of the price of your 458 Italia, naturally. "Most purists would shudder at the thought of modifying their Ferrari," explains HPE CEO Don Goldman. "But the HPE700 Twin Turbo 458 would easily change their mind".

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(Words: Vijay Pattni)