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In a year when not one but two Skodas win gongs, don’t assume that a new Ferrari nabbing the big prize is a foregone conclusion. The 458 Italia isn’t our Car of the Year simply because it’s a Ferrari: it’s our winner because the scope of its abilities is absolutely breathtaking. 

Its 4.5-litre engine is a masterpiece, more powerful, more flexible, and more efficient too, even as it howls its way to 9000rpm. Its chassis electronics are so clever they’re almost supernatural. It has amazing active aerodynamics. And while it’s probably the best-handling Ferrari road car ever, it’s also the smoothest riding and most refined. 

They might have been rubbish in Formula One this year, but the 458 Italia isn’t just a worthy winner, it’s off the scale.

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