Supercar aficionados, call your contractor and get him working - you'll need a new stall added to your stables for the 2005 Ferrari F430 Spider.
With the exception of the automatic retractable soft top, the 2005 Ferrari F430 Spider mirrors the F430 Coupe, from the new headlights to the 490 horses corralled under the glass engine cover. Ferrari's newest convertible made its debut at the 2005 New York International Auto Show.
What it is
North America was introduced to the 2005 Ferrari F430 Spider at the 2005 New York International Auto Show. Serving as the replacement to the outgoing 360 Spider, the F430 Spider features a new 4.3-liter V8 and a host of subtle styling changes: revised headlights, larger front air dam inlets, raised rear haunches with more pronounced vents, and a revised rear end that includes a new fascia and taillights sitting higher on the body.
Why it matters
Although it has aged well, the Ferrari 360 has grown a bit long in the tooth and needs to be freshened up a bit. With that update comes a new engine and, hence, a new name - F430. First introduced in coupe form at the 2004 Paris Auto Show, the Ferrari F430 Coupe and Spider are products of evolutionary rather than revolutionary design. For those who admire the 360's design, they will be happy with the familiar look of the F430, and will likely be giddy over the extra 90 horses, 68 lb.-ft. of torque, and improved front/rear weight distribution (43 percent front/57 percent rear compared to the old 360's 42/58).
When you can buy it
Following the release of the Coupe, the Ferrari F430 Spider will go on sale during the summer of 2005. The North American market accounts for roughly 30 percent of worldwide sales for Ferrari, and for 2005 the number of U.S. dealers will grow to 34, most of which are concentrated in California, the Northeast, Florida, Texas, and Chicago.
How much it costs
Officially, pricing has not been announced, but you can expect a decent jump over the outgoing model, the $185,000-Ferrari 360 Spider. Pricing will likely be in the $200,000 range. In any case, if you have to ask how much, it's probably too much.
How quick it is
Fast enough to rip out your hair plugs or strip the bleach out of your mane, the Ferrari F430 Spyder rushes from zero to sixty in about four seconds, according to Ferrari. Keep the pedal planted, and the F430 Spider tops out at 193 mph. So much for the prancing horse emblem - this stallion is built to run at full-tilt.
Power for the 3,351-lb. Ferrari F430 Spider comes from a 4.3-liter V8 mounted mid-ship that puts out 490 horsepower at 8,500 rpm and 343 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,250 rpm. For comparison, the outgoing Ferrari 360, weighing in at 3,197 lbs., houses a 3.6-liter V8 good for 400 horsepower and 275 lb.-ft. of torque.
Buyers will have the choice of either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel.
What it looks like
With a casual glance, the new Ferrari F430 Spider and departing 360 Spider look to be the same. Upon close inspection, however, the numerous differences become apparent. Up front are reworked headlights that are narrower and travel rearward on the fenders, and inlets in the lower front air dam are larger. Along the side, new 19-inch wheels debut (the 360 had 18s) and raised rear quarters incorporating larger air inlets feed the engine, which is located behind the seats and forward of the rear axle. The automatic top retracts into a compartment directly behind the integrated roll bars. Out back, there's a revised fascia and taillights that have been moved up higher. Also visible from the rear is the glass panel over the engine and the diffuser situated between two sets of dual exhaust pipes.
What it does best
The 2005 Ferrari F430 Spider is yet another example of what Ferrari does so well - combine svelte Italian exterior styling (the F430 was designed by Pininfarina) with a plentitude of horsepower and an F1-inspired cockpit. Best of all, with the F430 Spider you can do it all with the top down.
What we think
In the case of the 2005 Ferrari F430 Spider, an estimated $200,000 buys almost 500 horsepower, an aluminum chassis sitting below an aluminum body riding on an aluminum suspension, an electronic differential, massive drilled disc brakes, and a speedometer needle that promises to peg near 200 mph. That all sounds great, but frankly, if we had $200 large, we'd rid our bursting two-car garages of baby clothes, college textbooks and holiday decorations to make room for a pair of Dodge Vipers or Chevy Corvettes. However, for you high-society folks who seek the ultimate drop-top Italian thoroughbred, there may be nothing better suited to your needs than the 2005 Ferrari F430 Spider.
Photos by Erik Hanson