Ferrari officially launched their new F430 'Modena Evoluzione' at the Paris Mondial de l'Automobile in September 2004.
The replacement for the 360 Modena, on which it is based, the F430 has 70% new components, including a 4.3-litre engine and an evolution of the styling of the earlier car, with several design cues taken from the Enzo. As usual, the design is by Pininfarina, with much work being undertaken on the aerodynamics. The resulting flat bottom and rear diffusor provide 130kg of downforce on the front and 150kg on the rear axle, with a Cd figure of 0.33.
As could be expected, the new F430 is full of technical solutions, including a new six-speed F1 gearbox called 'Impulse' with shift times down to 150 milliseconds (in race mode). It also comes with a electronic differential (in Ferrari speak, the E-diff), which can be adjusted internally by the driver through a knob on the steering wheel. Five positions are available snow, slippy, sport, race and disengage and each alters the characteristics of the diff, with disengage switching off the electronic control and leaving a conventional limited slip diff.
The double wishbone suspension features the electronic damping known as 'Skyhook' and seen on other group products, as well as lighter components.
As well as the external styling changes, the interior has also been significantly changed to give the car a sportier feel. A new steering wheel, featuring suspension controls and the start button, and centre console are the most overt improvements, whilst other changes include a more adjustable steering wheel and a speedometer with a background available in yellow or red. The centre console is also available in either aluminium or carbon finish.
The European version of the car develops 490 bhp, giving the 1,350 kg (dry weight) F430 a power-to-weight ratio equal to that of the 360 Challenge Stradale. The V8 engine shares the same bare cylinder block casting as it's V8 Maserati cousins, but almost everything else is unique, including the four-valves per cylinder head and single-plane crankshaft.
Performance is predictably exceptional, with the sprint from 0-96 km/h (0-60 mph) taking only 3.95 seconds. 0-160 km/h (0-100 mph) takes 9.20 seconds, whilst 0-242 km/h (0-150 mph) takes 21.4 seconds. The car does the standing quarter mile in 12.8 seconds at 190 km/h (118 mph), whilst the top speed lies at 315 km/h (197 mph). Optional CCM Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes help ensure that this power remains under control, and provide a further link with Formula One technology.
First deliveries of the new F430 began late in 2004.
The Geneva Motorshow 2005 (images) saw the launch of the new F430 Spider. Featuring a fully electric soft-top well integrated into the design, it also continued the route of covering the engine with a transparent cover. A Challenge version was launched at the Frankfurt Motorshow in 2005. This used the same engine, but was fitted with the CCM brakes as standard, and featured a revised gearbox, significant weight reduction throughout, a mechanical diff instead of the E-diff, a new exhaust system, new instrumentation and of course all the safety equipment required for competition.
Engine 4308cc (92x81mm) 90deg V8 32v dohc (per bank) with 490bhp @ 8,500rpm Suspension front : double wishbones and coil springs
rear : double wishbones and coil springs
wheelbase : 2600mm
225/35 ZR19 (front) and 285/35 ZR19 (rear) tyres
Brakes ventilated & drilled discs all round with 4-pot callipers, servo assistance and ABS
Optional carbon-ceramic discs
Transmission 6 speed sequential, hydraulically actuated with steering-wheel control
hydraulically actuated twin disc clutch
Steering rack and pinion with power assistance, 3.0 turns lock-to-lock. Weight 1,450kg (empty)
model max speed 0-100 km/h CO2 emissions fuel cons F430 197 mph 3.9 sec 420g/km 15.4 mpg
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