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Regardless of what it will be called, the successor to the Ferrari Enzo will be unveiled next week in Geneva, and like many other automakers, Ferrari will apparently be giving us a slow strip tease of the all-new hybrid supercar.
We've already seen a couple shadowy images of the car's face and rump, but the new shots - provided courtesy of the Ferrari Facebook page - are starting to show us some detail.
The only problem is that we don't exactly know what details we're looking at. In the shot above, that curvy, red real estate could belong to any number of body panels, while the second new teaser shows the Ferrari prancing horse logo with no indication of where on the car it'jk, s located.
It may not seem so long ago that Ferrari introduced the 458 Italia. But it's been on the market a solid 5 years since its launch in 2009, which makes it not only the oldest model in the company's lineup, but one of the oldest in its segment, the Lamborghini Huracan and McLaren 650S just having been launched in the past couple of months. So while a solitary Ferrari playing in the snow might otherwise seem like little more than an unlikely place for it to be, its chronology suggests the crew from Maranello could be up to something more.
The white 458 captured by our spy photographers in Northern Sweden appears to have something going on around its wheel arches. Aside from the panel gap that's taped up between the quarter panel and rear fender in front of the rear wheel arch, there appear to be some modifications around the front wheel arch. Just what they're for, we don't know, but their presence suggests something's up.
The test mule pictured here could be simply testing some new components, for whatever application, but if this is indeed a prototype for the 458's replacement, we'll probably start seeing more of these from here on in before the finished product comes around within the next couple of years - by which time the 458 will be a good seven years old, longer than the F430 or 360 Modena before it were on the market.
While it's still absolutely beautiful and a performance marvel (especially in Speciale trim), the Ferrari 458 Italia has to keep up with the rapidly evolving world in supercars if it wants to continue its success. Ferrari seems to know that it can't sit back and relax, because we're now seeing a disguised 458 testing for the second time.
Since we first saw it, rumor has emerged that it updated 458, reportedly called 458 M, may follow the lead of the recently revised California by using its turbocharged 3.9-liter V8 engine. The mill makes 553 horsepower and 557 pound-feet in that application, but those numbers clearly won't be enough for the Prancing Horse, because the standard 458 already makes more. Instead, Ferrari is expected to turn things up significantly to produce around 670hp, even more than the already gutsy Speciale.
Of course, to make the big change work, the 458 M must be able to ingest huge quantities of cool air to feed those turbos, and the camouflage on this test car is likely hiding the body changes to make that possible. Ferrari does a great job here of disguising things up front on this prototype, making it frustratingly hard to spot any changes.