The mid-engined Ferrari supercar has reached a turning point, it strikes us – and there may never be a better one for purist thrill-seekers than the one you see here.

The 458 Italia, now four years old, represented a bold rearrangement of Ferrari’s whole model philosophy when it was launched.

The arrival of the California meant that the mid-engined V8 model would no longer have to be the affordable, entry-level Ferrari. In more ways than one, it could move up in the world.

If the Ferrari 458’s dynamic brilliance had to be attributed to any one factor – and it remains an outstanding, class-leading supercar in our eyes – that’d be it.

Next year comes a ‘458M’, for want of the official name: a mid-life refresh that’ll bring with it a new turbocharged engine.

We’ve recorded what turbos have done to BMW M cars, AMG Mercs, Porsche 911s and more in this modern performance car era – and seldom do we universally approve.

Which is why right now may be a definitive moment in the development of the mid-engined Ferrari concept: a zenith in some ways, perhaps.

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The car to mark it could hardly be more aptly named or purposefully constructed.

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First drives

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