Page 1: Intro
IRVINE, CA – When you sell cars to the wealthiest people in the world, you cannot afford to rest on your laurels – even if you’re Ferrari and you lean against the considerable reputation of the 360 Modena. Today it may be your best-selling model, true -- but allow competitors like Lamborghini and Porsche to surpass you and today’s hot topic will surely turn into tomorrow’s gauche cliché. It’s a simple fact of the exotic market: Wealthy clientele do not like to wait to possess the next new thing, and competition is keen to capture their fickle attention. Ferrari, of course, knows well how the game is played. Which is why they unleashed upon the world the new F430 at the 2004 Paris Auto Show, based upon and replacing the popular 360 Modena in the Italian sports car builder’s lineup, Ferrari says the new F430 is 70 percent new. Aside from the general profile and proportions of its two-seat, mid-engined configuration, it’s hard to detect the portion of the 360 Modena that remains.
Modifications to the 360 Modena’s aluminum semi-space frame chassis result in a 20-percent increase in torsional stiffness for the 2006 Ferrari F430. The wheelbase is identical to the 360 and the F430 is a smidge longer, but width and height have been reduced to keep Ferrari’s entry-level model from growing larger than it is today. Curb weight is up about 125 pounds, to 3,190, but the more muscular V8 engine easily makes up for the additional heft.
Page 2: Horsepower
Ferrari says acceleration from zero to 60 mph will take less than four seconds, and that the new F430 can reach a top speed just shy of 200 mph thanks in part to its aerodynamic underbody design and carbon-fiber rear diffuser panel which produce plenty of downforce at higher speeds. Special launch control software for the standard traction and stability control system helps to maximize the ratio of tire grip and wheelspin to produce the quickest acceleration possible. Above 3,600 rpm, a special valve bypasses a portion of the exhaust silencer, amplifying Ferrari’s signature howl as the driver winds through the gears.
Page 3: E-Diff
Page 4: Contact
Inside, a no-nonsense driving environment trimmed in a choice between aluminum or carbon fiber emphasizes the Ferrari F430’s performance intent. The gauge cluster is dominated by a large red- or yellow-faced tachometer, with secondary meters arrayed around the tach, smaller in size but black-faced for easy legibility. Ferrari has installed new leather-upholstered seats in the F430, and better-bolstered race-inspired chairs are available as an option. Ferrari offers neither side-impact nor side-curtain airbags on the F430, but air conditioning and a stereo system are standard equipment.