Kobe Bryant must be doing well this fiscal year, if the amount of money he dropped on a brand new Ferrari is any indication. The NBA star is said to have paid for a Ferrari 458 Italia in full with a check for $329,000. Chump change when you consider his $25 million salary with the Los Angeles Lakers, but pretty impressive anyway.
More than $300,000 is a lot to pay for a car, but the Ferrari 458 Italia isn't just any car. It replaces the previous model Ferrari, the F430, and it continues the Ferrari tradition of excellence in terms of both design and performance. Like all Ferrari models of the last several years, the 458 Italia has a body design by Pininfarina, the automotive design firm based in Italy. The design of the vehicle is expressly designed to achieve maximum speed and aerodynamic performance. For example, the front of the car has two small winglets that automatically lower when the car reaches a given speed in order to reduce drag on the car.
The inside of the car is no slouch either – it was designed with input from Michael Schumacher, a Formula One racer. Some of the design elements suggested by Schumacher include things like putting more controls on the steering wheel as opposed to the dashboard, which is similar to the way the interiors of race cars are designed.
As for Kobe "Black Mamba" Bryant, he has plenty to celebrate which might be why he decided to splurge on a new car (or maybe he just felt like it). In addition to a still thriving career in the NBA with the Lakers, he recently announced his commitment to playing in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games for the United States national basketball team. So think of it this way: This isn't just Kobe's car, it's America's car.