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.