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Sunday, March 28, 2010

2007 Ferrari 430 Scuderia

Ferrari originally started out in 1929 as a racecar manufacturer called Scuderia Ferrari and then after World War II ended, they took up the business of producing street legal luxury supercars in 1947. Since then, they have been among the most well known and highly sought after luxury car brands in the world. Ferrari has been so successful due to two main things: superb performance and lavish luxury. The first production Ferrari, the 125 S, set the bar high for every car to be produced by Ferrari and they have more than met that bar in the years past. Their most recent successful model series has been the Ferrari F430.

The Ferrari F430 was introduced in 2004 to replace the five year old 360 Modena / Spider. The F430 Coupe was introduced in 2004 and the F430 Spider followed shortly after in 2005. The F430 is a mid-engined, rear wheel drive supercar. It has a lightweight 4300 cc 4.3 liter V8 engine that produces a staggering 483 horsepower with 343 lb-ft of torque. The F430 comes standard with a standard F1 inspired paddle shifter transmission that has an amazing shift time of 150 milliseconds but can be custom ordered with a traditional 6-speed manual transmission. With this power, the F430 rockets from 0-62 miles per hour in 4.0 seconds with a top speed of over 196 miles per hour. The handling is superb on the car as well. The brakes are provided by Brembo in cast-iron or optional larger ceramic-composite brakes which provide for excellent braking. The car is equipped with an adjustable aluminum control-arm suspension that can be stiffened or softened depending on driving mode. The F430 also has newly improved steering as well. As described by Automobile Magazine writer Mark Gilles, the F430 "turns in as eagerly as a kid choosing candy".

The F430s have a beautifully crafted body designed by Italian designer Pininfarina. They maintained a similar body shape to the 360 while also having striking differences. The F430 has air intake ducts all around the car with two on the front bumper and two on mounted right behind the driver's compartment which give it a distinctive Ferrari look. The rear end was designed to resemble the Ferrari Enzo, the company's fastest, most expensive car ever produced. The F430 shares the same taillight design and location with the Enzo and also has been equipped with four exhaust tips that make the back bumper look magnificent. There are also optional 'Challenge Wheels' (shown above) that are the same as the preceding Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale. The designers wanted to tie in some classic Ferrari design and had the F430 logo engraved into the back of each side view mirror. The interior is beautifully crafted and luxuriously upholstered in fine Italian leathers and beautiful stitching. The dashboard was completely redesigned and the car has a F1 car inspired racing steering wheel with controls mounted on it that control the suspension level, driving assists, and ignition. The F430s retail anywhere from $168,000 up to $220,000 which is a fairly decent price for a car this good. It does not seem like this car could be improved upon, but it was.


In late 2007, Ferrari debuted the 430 Scuderia. This is the lightweight, higher performance version of the 430. It shares many of the same attributes as the F430 because it is built with the same body and engine. This car however, has 20 more horsepower, a faster shifting gearbox, and weighs 220 pounds less than the F430. The Scuderia retains the same 4.3 liter V8 but it has been tuned to add 20 more horsepower taking it to a grand total of 503 horsepower. It now has an ungraded 'F1 Superfast' transmission that cuts down the shift times by 90 milliseconds from 150 to 60 milliseconds. With shifting that is far faster than a human and a 503 horsepower engine, the car flies from 0-62 MPH in just under 3.6 seconds and has a top speed of 198 MPH. The exhaust has been revised and is now freer flowing and much louder which provides for a fantastic, melodious exhaust note. It also has newly upgraded carbon-ceramic brakes with massive 15.7 inch diameter front rotors and a lower, stiffer suspension that provides for a much more race-like feel. The Scuderia also has a traction and stability control program called E-Diff2 which provides for far superior traction and handling to any of its predecessors. The other reason for the superb handling is the weight loss over the F430.

The 430 Scuderia weighs 2975 pounds which is 220 lbs less than the F430 Coupe. The body has been revised to be lighter weight and more aerodynamic. It has reshaped front air intakes, carbon fiber side view mirrors, new lightweight wheels, carbon fiber rear grilles and diffuser, carbon-ceramic brakes, and a stripped interior which all provide for a featherweight car. The interior is not pretty at all because it has been stripped for weight saving but this is built to be fast and resemble a track car so no one argues this fact. There is no sound system in the car, the seats are carbon fiber with alcantara suede fabric, there are no carpets, carbon fiber door and instrument panels, and an aluminum floor. The engine bonnet is made out of lightweight Lexan glass which weighs less and also the engine braces are carbon fiber. The car may not sound like it is the most comfortable thing to be in, but "Driving at speed in this Ferrari makes you feel as though you are driving like a god; as if there is nobody else on the road driving quite as brilliantly and in quite as much control as you" says TimesOnline editor Fiona Bruce.


I have had the privilege of seeing four of these spectacular Scuderias in my life. On a recent trip to Philadelphia, I saw two in the showroom of Algar Ferrari / Maserati and that is where the above videos of the Scuderias come from. It was truly awesome to see them up close. While in Miami, one flew past me finished in a beautiful light blue with dark gray wheels (captured in a picture below) and also one flew by me in Chicago. I was walking down the street and heard a massive sound and I immediately recognized it from seeing videos of the Scuderia then I turned around and a beautiful red Scuderia flew past me going at least 90 on a public street. The sound was sensational and had me talking about it for days. Ferrari has also created a convertible version of the Scuderia called the Ferrari Scuderia 16M which I have not seen unfortunately. 

After a run of 6 years of F430s and Scuderias, Ferrari has retired this model line. These cars were such a pleasure to see and I am sad to see them go because I am not a big fan of the successor, the 458 Italia. The 458 is supposed to drive better and I will agree that it sounds better, but I hate the looks. This is my personal opinion, but when Ferrari moved away from the classic body look, the car looked worse. Decide for yourselves here. I hope that Ferrari does continue to put out great cars and the next model will look even better but for now, I am happy looking at the F430s driving down the streets.

*Note: All images and videos on this post were created by and are property of Ryan Cohen.


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