Ferrari never sold the exquisite 458 Italia you could shake hands with, and that’s an absolute travesty. The chassis and engine combination may be one of Ferrari’s best of all time, and while the paddle shift is quick and good, it can’t possibly hold a candle to the sensation that is three pedals and a gated shifter. The Texas company which built the manual-swapped 430 Scuderia is now popping row-your-own gearboxes in a limited series of 458s as well, which effing rules.
There are really only three points of contact between a driver and a car, namely being the butt, the feet, and the hands. If your hands and feet are less involved in the task, you are inherently less involved in the decision making process of making a car go. Sure, your lap time might be a few tenths slower, but how often are you going to track your Ferrari? And even if you do, who cares if you’re not going to win the track day?
I’d rather be interesting and fun than fast.
European Auto Group is building a short series of 10 or 11 examples of the mid-engine Ferrari V8 car, the last one with natural aspiration, so if you want one you’d better make that call right damn now. The cars will begin production once the current prototype has been finalized, and the company hopes to begin deliveries in early 2020.
I’m a big fan of the 458, and the 488 that followed, but always feel like a little something is missing. I hope that this small run of manual-ized Ferraris inspires further transformation from dual-clutch to three-pedal. EAG themselves told Carscoops that it may investigate manual transmission swaps into Lamborghini Huracan next.