According to the UK's Autocar, the new model's powerplant will be based on the 3.8 litre V8 of the entry California T, where it makes 412kW and 755Nm.
For duty in the enhanced 458, the thumping V8 will have its figures dialled up to 497kW and 745Nm - a mighty increase over the regular 458's 419kW and even the Speciale's 444kW.
Importantly, the powered-up coupe will become a more fitting match for McLaren's 650S, which also utilises a 3.8 litre turbocharged V8 to produce 478kW and 677Nm.
The new mill's smaller capacity should also help to deliver all-important improvements to fuel consumption and emissions figures, while also sliding under a Chinese-market tax threshold that hits vehicles with capacities greater than 4.0 litres.
Expect the new coupe's V8 to feature dry-sump lubrication, modified induction, a high 12:1 compression ratio and Ferrari’s ‘ion’ knock detection system, which allows all eight cylinders to individually adjust to different conditions to maximise performance.
Ferrari engineers are also understood to be working to retain Ferrari’s trademark high-power ‘over-square’ engine geometry. This means the cylinder width (bore) is greater than the cylinder travel (stroke), typically achieving more power at high revs.
The smaller V8 unit has a smaller bore, so engine geometry could be closer to ‘square’ than traditionally attributed to Ferraris.
To prevent this, engineers may instead opt for a smaller stroke, which would reduce overall engine capacity to as low as 3.5 litres.
Another challenge is retaining the 458’s loud exhaust note and instant power delivery – traits that many 458 fans regard as unique to the current supercar’s naturally aspirated nature.
To solve this problem, the brand may even use a twin-turbo setup to deliver a more continuous power curve.
Another key change will be a strengthened transmission, with the current seven-speed dual clutch Getrag unit requiring changes to cope with the uprated power and torque.
Despite the new model being the first turbo mid-engined road car from Ferrari in decades, the brand has a long history of successful turbo supercars - including the iconic F40 and 288 GTO.
Ferrari is keen to prove that legendary turbo supercars are not just a thing of the past, and previous reports suggest Ferrari could be heading towards a mostly turbocharged line-up.
It is claimed that half of the company’s research and development investment goes to making its cars cleaner and more fuel efficient, both strong indicators of favouring smaller capacity turbo engines.
The new model’s internal codename is 458 M, with M standing for ‘Modified’, and we can likely expect styling changes to follow a similar formula to those made with the California T.
But, whether the model will retain the '458' name - which stands for '4.5-litre, eight-cylinder - remains to be seen. Of course, as with Mercedes AMG's new 4.0 litre C 63, rules can change.
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