In February, European Auto Group in San Antonio, Texas, went public with our kind of wonder car: A Ferrari F430 Scuderia with a gated six-speed manual transmission. The standard F430 did offer a six-speed manual from the factory; the hardcore Scuderia version did not. It took a lot of work, and EAG apparently did the work right; Matt Farah called the coupe “The world’s greatest Ferrari.” CarBuzz spoke to EAG owner Art Bartosik about what’s next, and Bartosik spilled just a bit of goss about the car he’ll soon reveal: a Ferrari 458 with a gated six-speed manual.
Whereas the 430 Scuderia didn’t offer a stickshift, the 458 Italia wasn’t even designed with one in mind. The 4.5-liter V8 with 562 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque only ever swapped gears with the Italian carmaker’s dual-clutch F1 transmission. The 458 has a manageable 52 hp and 51 lb-ft more than the F430 Scuderia, but EAG needed to work up a gearbox to fit the available space.
Bartosik didn’t divulge how he made that happen for the 458. The reworked F430 Scuderia used all OEM Ferrari parts since they were available; not so for the later car. The DuPont Registry said EAG built “a transmission with upgraded synchros” to handle the additional power, had to find a suitable clutch and suggests the firm went through a lot of prototypes, but doesn’t ID the gearbox source. All Bartosik would tell CB is that there’s a limited supply and he’ll “only be able to build around 10 or 11 of them.”
Seems there are already more customers than that ready to wire funds for purchase, unsurprisingly. Bartosik said, “People are screaming for a manual 458 and 488. If the demand wasn’t there, we wouldn’t do it.”
A final development car is a few months away, with customer builds scheduled to begin in January 2020. And what might EAG do after the run is complete? Maybe a six-speed manual Lamborghini Huracán, which owners have already asked about. “The Huracán should be easier than Ferrari,” Bartosik said, “because there’s hidden stuff in there that gives us more flexibility.” Seems manual gearboxes, like life in “Jurassic Park,” will always find a way.