In terms of style and automotive technology, it is the Ferrari that leads the pack and the new F430 is definitely full of promise. It is the update of the 350 Modena and the model first graced the world at the Paris Motor Show at the end of September.
It still retains the unmistakable Ferrari look that originated with the Enzo and a number of design elements were adapted and incorporated. It has the all-new 4.3-liter engine with 490 horsepower. The unit was based on the engines of the Maserati models.
The basic look of the Ferrari F430 originates from the F355 and it was from the F355 that the 360 Modena evolved. Soon, the F430 adapted the look.
While the 360 has these horizontal headlights, the Ferrari F430 features vertical headlights almost identical to the Enzo's. The F430 also has bigger front air intakes and a small splitter in the middle much like the Enzo. The F430 has eliminated the small nose in the center of the bumper and features a larger front spoiler air duct on the trailing edge.
The influence of the Enzo on the Ferrari F430 is maintained on both the rear and lower air intakes. The taillights are mounted high on the back fascia. There are five cutouts on all sides of the engine cover of the F430 while there is none for the 360. The rear air diffuser with Enzo-esque vertical canes is more prominent on the F430 and the rear bumper has a more natural integration into the rear body compared to the 360.
The aluminum space frame of the Ferrari F430 and the 360 are basically the same but the F430 has that Maserati 4.3 liter V8 engine. It has an output of 490 horsepower with a torque of 343 lb-ft. It is certainly more powerful than the 360 Modena with a higher power-to-weight ratio. In just 4 seconds, the F430 can reach 62 mph with a top speed of 196 mph.
The F430 is the pioneering V8 Ferrari to have driver aid control fixed to the steering wheel, as seen previously on the 612 Scaglietti and Enzo. There is a knob on the right known as the manettino by the drivers on the Ferrari F1 team. It controls the dynamic modes of the car. Shifting with the de riguer paddle shifters can be done in just 150 milliseconds and this sends power through the differential, which is electronically controlled. Such a new technology was adapted from the F1 team. The 19-inch, dual-spoke wheels of the F430 are reminiscent to the Enzo's. $20,000 carbon-ceramic brakes can also be fitted as an add-on.
Like all Ferrari vehicles, the F430 does not come cheap. When it became available in the US, it was in the $200,000 range but sold even higher than the window sticker price due to such a huge demand. The first few cars that were sold reportedly cost a quarter of a million dollars.
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