Following the official release of pictures and information pertaining to the brand spanking new Ferrari 458 Italia, the first on-the-road image has appeared. Maranello has gone with a contrast of black and white for this example to still obscure the design lines prior to its public unveiling. The location for the shot is not known but it appears to be in the countryside somewhere.

The 458 replaces the outgoing F430 which had a number of derivatives, including ultra-performance Scuderia versions. Details regarding the 458 include the fact that it has a 4.5-litre naturally aspirated V8 that pumps out 419kW (570hp) and peak torque of 540Nm. It is run by a new 7-speed double-clutch transmission that helps it go from 0 - 100km/h in 3.4 seconds on its way to a top speed of 325km/h (202mph).

Aerodynamic features include small aero-elastic winglets and a rear diffuser for downforce. The dry weight is 1380kg (3042 lbs) and it boasts a 42/58 weight distribution. Updated versions of the E-Diff and F1-Trac systems offer a 32% increase in longitudinal acceleration which when coupled with reduced drag, give the 458 what is said to be exceptional handling attributes.

It is a given that official examples of the car will be on display at the Ferrari stand during the upcoming international motor show in Frankfurt.

Gallery: Ferrari 458 Italia spotted in the metal

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