2011 Ferrari 458 Italia

Unsatisfied with his Ferrari, this owner set out to explore horsepower in a different way.

Story: Michael Crenshaw

Photography: Andrew Link

When Ferrari set out to produce the 458, they didn’t “forget” to include a proper head unit as one of its features. Ferrari is as pure of a sports car as they come, but modifying one straight off the shipping container with $20,000 in aftermarket stereo was no oversight for Diko, owner of wheel conglomerate WTW Corp. He felt his new purchase wasn’t up to his own standards. “I don’t mess with the performance, but even Ferrari can’t get the stereo to sound right,” he laughs.

With the 458 fetching between $300K and $340K in the market and having up to a five-year waiting list, modifications had to be done right. A limited number of shops have the craftsmanship to keep pace with cars of this caliber, and Diko knew an expert team of builders and installers to which he could turn. His vision included staying true to the black-and-yellow palette by using as much yellow carbon fiber as possible. Remaining tasteful and distinctive and knowing what pieces to accentuate were key. “As I did with my Scuderia, I try to add the color theme in the stripes and accents on all the cars I build,” Diko confirms.

Since the 458 is technically lacking a common head unit—instead placing all media functions inside the dash—a Rockford Fosgate 3Sixty.2 processor connected to the Ferrari’s guts allows real-time adjustments and tuning via Bluetooth and a laptop. Continuing with the technical and big-ticket items, the car boasts Focal Utopia components, Kenwood eXcelon subs and Alpine PDX amps, all encased in custom-made yellow carbon-fiber enclosures. When asked if the stereo is his favorite part, Diko keeps it real: “It’s hard to say, but I love the sound of the system doing 180 mph!” And with more than 1,800 watts, even 180 won’t hinder this system’s capabilities.

Since designing fresh wheels is his specialty, when Diko needed new designs for his 458, he called himself. A set of GFG Fioranos flank the driver’s side while GFG Italias cover the passenger side in an attempt to take inspiration from Ferrari’s original wheels, making them taller and wider for a more aggressive look. “The wheels are custom made for Ferrari, which allows you to pop in the factory cap and lugs,” Diko boasts.

In addition, the car was also dropped half an inch to perfect the fierce fitment—and, in the process, Diko’s expectations were exceeded. “It looks like a Donk from the factory, since the front is so high, so I had the suspension modified,” he jokes.

Now that he’s gotten his 458 in order, it’s time for him to move on and complete his next big builds: another 458 (this time yellow) and a 599 GTO, which he assures will be next level. Seeing that he has no qualms with modifying cars straight from the factory, we don’t doubt his claim and patiently wait for more.

Spec The Technique:

Performance: Half-inch lowering kit

Interior: Custom yellow carbon-fiber housing for audio components; custom integrated Escort 9500 Ci radar system

Exterior: Matte-black and yellow Scuderia-style stripes; front and rear smoked taillights; matte painted exhaust tips; front skid plates

Ice: Rockford Fosgate 3Sixty.2 EQ processor; Focal Utopia No. 7 three- way component speakers and Focal cross block; two Kenwood eXcelon 12- inch shallow carbon-fiber subwoofers; one Alpine PDX-F6 and one PDX-M12

Wheels/Tires: 21-inch front and 22- inch rear GFG Fioranos on driver’s side, GFG Italias on passenger; Pirelli P-Zero Neros, 255/30/21 front, 315/25/22 rear

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