Ferrari F430 features a number of significant innovations
By Mike Hanlon
January 20, 2004
With Ferrari technology dominating Formula One, the world's most watched sporting spectacle, the unveiling of the F430 Ferrari is doubly significant in that it also signals the arrival of a new generation of Ferrari 8-cylinder models.
This new car takes Ferrari's extraordinary achievements with aluminium technology, begun with the 360 Modena, to a whole new level, and offers a series of extremely significant innovations directly derived from the Ferrari Formula 1 single-seaters.
Two of these innovations are world firsts for production cars: the electronic differential (E-Diff) and the steering wheel-mounted switch (better known to the Formula 1 Scuderia's drivers as "manettino"), which manages the integrated systems governing vehicle dynamics.
The new F430 Ferrari Berlinetta has a light, compact 4,300 cc 90¡ V8 engine, which punches out 490 cavalli (horsepower in any other language) to achieve a specific output of 114 bhp/litre and a weight-to-power ratio of 2.8 kg/hp, translating into startling real world performance - 0-100 kmh takes 4 seconds flat and if you find a deserted Autostrada the F430 will run to just a smidgen under 200 mph.
There are some pretty impressive specifications when you begin reading the fine print - if you plan on a bit of track work with your new F430, you can take up the carbon-ceramic discs option - ceramic discs offer optimal efficiency under extreme use.
Another filter-through from the Formula 1-derived technological toolbox is a gearbox that cuts gear shifting times down to 150 milliseconds, allowing the driver to make the very most of this truly high performance car.
Producing a car of beauty is one thing - producing one which is aerodynamically excellent is entirely another. The F430 design embodies the very latest F1-derived aerodynamic technologies - specifically the flat underbody and large rear diffuser to increase downforce. The car will be officially presented during the Paris Motor show in September 2004. F430.