Ferrari’s 458 Italia is an unmistakable supercar benchmark, but its normally aspirated 4,5-litre V8 engine isn’t particularly friendly toward the environment. That’s why the Maranello-based brand is working on a twin-turbocharged powerplant to replace the outgoing unit.

According to Autocar, one of the attributing factors for the Italian firm opting for less displacement and forced induction is a tax threshold in China that’s negatively affected sales of the current 458 Italia. The engine for the its successor will be based on the California Turbo’s 3,8-litre V8, but which will obviously be tweaked to produce exactly 666 hp (467 kW) and 745 N.m of torque using a 12:1 compression ratio and the company’s new knock detection system that automatically adjusts combustion conditions for each cylinder.

Those figures will put the new 458 at a significant advantage over its closest competition, McLaren’s 650S  - 19 kW and 68 N.m to be exact. Obviously, Ferrari’s engineers have to compensate for the extra grunt by upgrading the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The 458’s successor will make its international debut at next year’s Geneva Motor Show in March.