Silhouette Style: The Liberty Walk 458

Wide-body kit design is something that Liberty Walk has got down to a fine art. In fact, if I was to ask you what the first thing that comes to mind when ‘Liberty Walk’ is mentioned, I’m quite sure it would be a supercar dropped on air, running pumped fender flares and a swan-neck rear GT wing. 

There’s nothing wrong with this style of course; the ‘works’ look and feel continues to dominate the aftermarket world. Kato-san has more ideas though, and this is where the LB-Silhouette Works GT lineup comes in.


First things first, I think the name is right on the money. You see, over-fenders were initially used in Japan in the 1960s and 1970s to allow manufacturer-backed works teams to fit wider wheels and tires to their race cars. But as we moved into the next stage of Japanese motorsports in the ’80s, it was the silhouette cars that took over.


The Silhouette Formula spawned some of the most iconic – and widest – JDM racers of all time, and that style provides some of the inspiration behind Kato’s latest line. Of course, when you’re applying it to supercars rather than a boxy ’80s coupe, you need to do it in a far more refined way.


The way I see it, the LB-Silhouette line answers the question ‘what would LB aero look like if it was smoothly integrated into the lines of the car it’s based on? In this case it’s a Ferrari 458.


In an age where companies like Mansory self-appoint themselves as the coach builders of our times, what Kato-san is doing here is not only very relevant, but far more elegant.


I look at the 458 Silhouette as something I’d even consider doing myself if I really wanted to stand out in the 458 community – and smugly anger purists at the same time.


There’s a well-executed design language here; a real synergy with the underlying lines penned by the folks at Maranello.


I mentioned earlier that the Silhouette Formula provided some of the inspiration for this line, but the balance comes from modern GT Cup cars. The 458 kit marries straight and rounded lines beautifully.


Liberty Walk offers up the kit in top-of-the-line dry carbon for the equivalent of US$52,000, but money’s to be saved if you can live with FRP (US$36,000). In this day and age, and for this premium end of the aftermarket, that’s not actually bad.


The conversion looks especially striking from the back, where the rear fenders add an extra 60mm of width on each side. As you can see above, these pieces are applied over the stock wheel arches with the joint line following the curvature of the underlying body. You can of course have your body shop blend this in for an even cleaner look.

The swan neck stays provide a contemporary look for the carbon wing, but while shooting the car I couldn’t help but wonder how mean this thing would look without a rear wing at all. What do you think?


The naturally aspirated V8 – which after the 488 and its various evolutions up to the SP90 almost seems dated – hasn’t received much in the way of modifications in this particular customer-owned car.


What all Ferraris need, however, is a proper exhaust, and the Fi tie-up with LBW continues on this car. The valved system sounds sick, providing the naturally aspirated flat-plane crank-equipped V8 with the lungs it deserves.


With the valves open and the tacho past 5,000rpm, the Fi Exhaust system is downright antisocial. Perfect then.


Like all LBW cars, stance is on point. And once again, it all comes courtesy of air suspension in order to provide the best of both worlds for those that prefer to prioritize looks.


Wheels are such a personal and subjective thing that I won’t comment too much on the choice here, but I will say that you need a 12-inch wide wheel with an aggressive negative offset to fill up the rear guards. These Forgiato Dieci-ECLs measure 20×9-inch -15 at the front and 20×12-inch -25 at the rear, with Yokohama Advan Sport V105 tires in 255/30R20 and 295/30R20 respectively.


Am I the only one that would love to see this thing on TE37s?


There’s one thing I really like about Liberty Walk when compared to the majority of other supercar tuners out there – they leave interiors alone.


Because you really don’t need to color coordinate everything. I had to make a point of this, as I really don’t like what I see coming out of some European outfits, where things are done for the sole purpose of being changed, upgraded or altered.


I’ve been fortunate enough to firsthand see Liberty Walk grow into an established brand that is fun but charismatic, very much a reflection of Kato-san’s character.


So seeing them branch off and experiment with this sort of approach fills me with joy. I definitely want to see the LB-Silhouette Works GT catalog grow and continue to put Japan on the map as a worthy contender in the supercar modifying segment.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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Glueing on the rear fender over the old one is where you lost me - this is the diff between coachbuilt and making a body kit. Anyway doesn't look terrible.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

While that is true, it's more up to the bodyshop fitting the kit to blend in the rear fenders or not.


I more meant a proper coachbuilt car would have a whole new fender, blended or not it's still tacked on over the top, but I get the sentiment - this flows rather than bolted on overfenders :) anyway we need more GTR updates!

Alessandro Vanarelli

I missed Mansory calling themselves as the coach builders of our times; as an italian It makes me cry. Before Touring, Pininfarina, Bertone, Ghia, Zagato and Castagna; now Mansory.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Those were the days!


Ha ha, yes, Alessandro! I'm not Italian, but still, I can't help but agree! Mansory makes some of the ugliest monsters out there. Compared to anything from Pininfarina or Ghia, Mansory's are total TRASH. (Of course, they are anyway....)


I’ve got to say this one isn’t for me. I normally love the work of liberty walk but the back end of this looses to much of the natural shape for me and doesn’t actually look tougher for me.
A rare miss, or maybe it’s better in real life?



This car looks amazing! Not too "over-the-top." We had a popup car show near my house about a month ago and a guy had a Liberty-Walk Lamborghini there. It was nasty. I had a kid on my school bus a few years back and his dad is a VP at Ferrari here in New Jersey. I used to tell him that they're STILL not German 'cause I am a Porsche fanatic and a German car fanatic! I would still take an Italian car though. And then trade it in at the Porsche dealer.(ha ha)


Hey, thanks for this post. I have a few things to say about this here Ferrari, and one of them is that yes, it looks great. I wish the hood didn't look so disconnected from the rest of the car though. If you want my opinion on how LBW did in this kit, my answer would be 'two thumbs up'. If you want my opinion on how a Ferrari 458 should look, I'll be under my bed crying. This is a great car, but it doesn't look like the 458. So theres my opinion. BTW, yes you are the only who wants to see this on TE37s. They just wouldn't go.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Hey I've seen a few 458s on TEs and they look sick IMO. However to fill those guards you'd need way a hub extender at the back at least and maybe a spacer or 5 lol




I really don't know what to think of this. First of al let me say I don't think its ugly. It's executed without looking into the function of it at all. Vents that don't actually vent, but push air in for instance. A diffusor that's actually stuck under the bumper, instead of being a integral part of it. I mean: I get it from a estatic point of view. I just don't get it from a functional point of view. And if it does not have a function, why do it in the first place? Especially in that pricerange....

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Why do it in the first place? Style. If you expect the majority of aero manufacturers out there to design and fine tune bits and pieces in a wind tunnel you will be waiting for a very long time. Unless you are buying OEM parts the majority of what's out there is style driven. If you are after function you are probably better off hiring someone like Andrew Brilliant and finding carbon fiber specialists that are then able to turn his designs into reality, And that, costs a lot.



I'm seriously wondering what it would cost compaired to this though. That being said: The same rules to aerodynamics apply to each and every car. Its just finetuning that costs the most money. A hood vent should always have a front lip for instance. Otherwise it will not propperly vent. Vents in the wheelarches alsways need to be straight on top of the wheels or after them, not before. The larger an opening the more drag it induces.

Those are just simple rules. Not even a wind tunnel is required. Actually not even a computer is required. It's stuff that works on each and every car.

As for aero parts: Not really, universal wings mostly come with drag and downforce ratings. If not, most respectable manufacturers have them. APR for instance. Even with CFD data. Won't come near 50.000 and do offer a performance bonus.

So in a way, what you are actually saying is that manufacturers that make this stuff are nothing more then tell-sell advertisers? I'm just expecting more then that.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

You know, to tell you the truth for a company to hire a pro aerodynamicist to refine designs and run CFD on upgrade parts wouldn't at all be prohibitive. At the end of the day you are just checking that you don't create lift and add an too much drag. In most cases you aren't asking someone to craft a bespoke time attack car right? I think this is still being seen as a big added cost, but it could easily be factored into the price if you are selling in volume. Hell it could even be part of your marketing, showing your bits are CFD proven and tested.


But thats the thing: Louvres on the on wheelwell are there to reduce lift: They do so by venting positive pressure and turbulence out of the wheelwell. In in a sense thats whats happening.


This is part of an upward sloping angle that creates downforce. Especially in front of the wheels. To place louvres there would mean that to prevent wheelwell lift, you are also decreasing downforce on the nose of the car.

Hoodvents aren't so much a problem in itself, but once again: On a sloping surface, they tend to reduce lift, because there is nowhere for the downforce to push down on. A hole tends to do that. Especially where the windshield meets the hood. That is a high pressure area on any car. A hood vent without a flowplate or flowtube underneath it will only flow in the correct way at low speed or standing still. At speed air is pusing down in the hole. Simples way to prevent that is looking at a Porsche 917 . See that little dam right in front of vent? Thats creating a high pressure region right in front of it, and a low pressure region right in the back of it. That way an airvent on a high pressure region works like it should. It is higher drag though.

And don't get me wrong: You are right from a financial perspective. But what I'm saying is fairly common knowledge. It also works on any car. And its known since the (late) 60's on cars. So in a sense I'm not saying they should hire someone. I'm saying that when the overal shape is done (as in: the widebody) they should take not of a basic set of rules and design the rest around them. Should be no extra cost involved, should get a more flowing design en should at least not cost downforce.

And with some some simple rules ad some downforce, as nobody realistically drives at top speed with these cars, so adding downforce an therein creating some drag isn't a big deal. Where can you drive 340? Circuits aren't long enough, and even the autobahn has to much traffic realistically. So if it will "only" reach 300, but goes faster around a roundabout it's a win in my eyes.

And yes, the thing you said about marketing is whats happening now. And it can be done fairly cheaply. Don't do wind tunnel of CFD of the whole car, but do it of the parts. Most parts are designed in CFD/autocad/etc anyway, so you already have the basic shapes. So use them and apply the data to it. Thats by far the easiest way to destinguis parts like say a spoiler or a mirror.

Wing shapes actually just have a database, so if your designing one, you could just calculate it's outcome. No computer needed.


I like the black hood which gives it a kind of De Tomaso Pantera gr4 look.

However I don't really feel the front and read fenders treatment is well balanced with the shape of the car. It is probably shitty from an aero POV as well. I feel LBW should revise their copy.


Loved the skyline they did but this makes me feel sorry for the poor 458, like the huracan i think its got too meny crazy lines that dont go together


The comments so far are pointing out the same thing:
"Elegant" doesn't apply here, and the remote (if any) aerodynamic functions are definitely not worth the broken design language. LBW did NOT execute this right. That said, constructive criticism is how maybe a Vers.2/2.0 might remedy Dino's, erm, "too kind" words to actually apply to the images I'm seeing.
The 488-copy front has some great details, such as the extra "bump" at the center in reference to the ferrari emblem, and how it integrates with the valance via that fine ass F1 style central column. The form resolution of the intake "nostrils" also excellent, with solid, front wheel shrouds. Really, lots of good to say about that front bumper... Shame LBW didn't also correct the hideous OEM rear bumper that the 488/F8 corrects.
The front wheel vents (rear of front wheels) are some "Ferrari-style" smoothening away from F40, which the rear "overfenders"/fender panels should've reached for rather than paste the Hurracan's treatment.
The front hood, if actually is some aggressively functional s-duct, would delete the only "trunk" the Italia has... Qindi, questo è moltissimo male. At this point, SAVE that $50k on upgrading to an actual GT4 racer with actual race body (In 2020, italia race cars can cost less than well maintained street Italias, much less the Speciales, which can be worth two or three GT4 458 ex-race cars). Some more thought for Vers.2, please Kato-san! Even tho some people think a 458 is chump change, respecting the design heritage of Pininfarina/Maranello will make LBW actually better than Mansory, which it isn't outside of the excellent LBW Murcielago widebody, which is just an interior and ITB's away from Singer status.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Hey I know for a fact that Kato-san and his guys keep a close eye on comments so constructive feedback is always good.


Vomit inducing. Gross and dumb.


Pretty cool. No hate here! I definitely love their 70s and 80s stuff more but I don't mind them cutting up supercars at all. Keep going Kato-san!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

You'll like what I have coming up next then...



Dun dun dun dah dah dah duh you got a rice rice baby come on come on

Bile mountain god

Come forth the turgid seas of gut juice and sweep clean the evil deeds of mankind perpetrated upon the beauty of fine Italians artistry, begone fiberglass children, begone.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

That actually made me laugh lol


Wtf axis power bro, time to take our subs back.


When I think of Mansory, Liberty Walk doesn't cross my mind and vise versa. Let the creation speak for itself, it all comes down to preference and budget, talking about other "outfits" doesn't increase what the end product is. The article almost reads like a comment, the writer should just say, " I like liberty walk over alot of other "outfits." Both have produced some very distinct creations, respectably speaking.


Elegant only when compared to the screw-gun one style fits all over fenders we have seen here. $52K and $10K in body work to get a decent fit and finish. No thanks.


Finally, the integrated widebody is coming from Liberty Walk! Really stoked to see this line grow. However, the 458 is quite an odd car to widebody if you don't use the factory lines. The front looks great, the rear not so much. It still stands out too much, like it's aftermarket. That's a shame and it will take some work for the local shop to smoothen it out and let it integrate with the factory lines.

Will they focus on supercars only, or also like BMW's? The Z4 E89 GT3 is a monster of a car, which Liberty Walk in my opinion can make something amazing.

And I wonder if the buyers want these kits purely for style, or also for improving lap times etc. Maybe there could be a LB-Silhouette Works GT line focused on the effectiveness of the designed aero? For those who want to take their supercar to the track?

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I think it's early days yet and they are probably seeing how it's all received and how they can move on to other cars. What I would like to see if a Libery Walk time attack car, now that would be cool


That would be cool indeed. Back up that style with performance!


I'm not a Ferrari fan, neither a purist. It looks not bad to me in the end. But I think it is supposed to be purchased by people who never thought about the processes of bodywork. Let's imaging: take a Ferrari 458 then take a grinder (the things are going to be exciting) and cut the stock fenders a little (because you want to lower it a little and of course wider wheels. Then we either drill the fenders and bolt on the kit or sandblast the stock paint and blend it with thin (of course if it is possible) layer of putty.

Then you sit in your 458, and now you know that there is a pound of putty, cut out an inch or two of the stock fenders (rusting under the pure carbon overfenders), and it all resprayed. What are your feelings? I believe it is possible to enjoy when you don't know what is under the paint.

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

I still have trouble liking the 458, but the Silhouette Works GT kit on the Huracan is just perfection!


I don't think anyone has ever looked at a Ferrari 458 and said, "Hmm, it needs... something." That said, Liberty Walk is very creative with how they extend body lines and add aero parts that stay within parameters and don't look like cheap Ebay parts that are just riveted on. Not many people would take a cutting wheel and a hot glue gun to their 6-figure supercar. You have to respect the bravery in that.


Am I the only one seeing strong hints of La Ferrari in the front three quarter?