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    Ferrari 430 Scuderia - Sports Car International...

    Ferrari 430 Scuderia - Sports Car International

    "LION AT THE GATE"


    "With more power, less weight and sharper reflexes, the Ferrari 430 Scuderia begs to be let loose on a racetrack, yet doesn't beat you up on the way there.

    It takes just a couple of corners around Ferraris Fiorano test track to highlight the 430 Scuderia's two major leaps forward over the F430. Curiously, these areas have nothing to do with 220 pounds of sometimes-unattractive liposuction, nor do they relate to the monstrous carbon-ceramic brakes, with their almost non-existent reaction time. They lay are elsewhere, carefully crafted into the machine.

    It's pretty clear the Scuderia's highlights are not visual. The F430 itself was never universally praised for being handsome, and while the Scuderia's rear end, with the exhaust exiting through the meshed tail, is menacing, the noses enlarged nostrils emphasize the slightly ungainly front overhang. So, it looks better in some areas, not quite as good in others.

    Lighter is Ferraris new buzzword, and jettisoning everything not absolutely necessary is key to the Scuderia's heightened speed and agility along with higher interior noise levels. Disappointingly, the wholesale removal of anything resembling interior trim exposes an ugliness few have ever seen from Ferrari. The aluminium chassis is certainly not welded together with the precision and neatness we'd expect from the most humble of motorcycle makers, which is especially disturbing given how close Ferrari is to Ducatis Bologna HQ.

    Besides welding that is lumpy and gapped, aluminium spatter spreads itself up to half a meter away from any welded areas. This looks shabby and unprofessional, and to be honest, makes us wonder about what other shortcuts Ferrari hides in areas you wouldn't normally see.

    Slide into the leather-trimmed, carbon-fibre seat and, refreshingly, we find both fore-and-aft and backrest adjustment - unlike the fixed-back carbon-fibre buckets in the Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera. These are, in short, brilliant seats - comfortable, supportive, attractive and lightweight. We don't have to look far to see the attractive carbon fibre of the seat shells, nor that of the door panels. We just have to keep our eyes above the bottom of the doors so we can't be reminded of the welding.

    The Scuderia shares the F430's push-button start, but the engine gives a bigger blip when pushed, before settling to a gruffly coarse idle. But it's only coarse to the ears, because the engine sends virtually no vibrations through the seat or the steering. It's just noise, all menacing and threatening and loud - much, much louder than an F430. This is partly due to the exhaust being shorter than the F430s and partly due to the vicious elimination of 20 percent of the back pressure in the F430s already free-breathing system. Even the pre-catalytic converter has been removed.

    Pull the right paddle (still fixed to the steering column, rather than the wheel) to select first gear, roll out onto Fiorano's famously crooked front straight and the Scuderia feels instantly quick. In addition, the noise that threatened at idle becomes overwhelming. It's an enormous sound, redolent of an engine three times its size. The exhaust note might be unmistakable, but it's not fabulous. It's just loud. The harder the pedal is pushed, the deeper and more rumbling it becomes - deeper and more rumbling, in fact, than the 599 GTB Fiorano's much bigger V12.

    What really impresses is the responsiveness of the Scuderia's 4.3-litre V8. It's been honed here and there to find 20 more horsepower, for a total of 510. There are lightweight pistons that lift the compression ratio to 11.88:1 (from 11.3). There's a carbon-fibre air-box to reduce weight and an air intake manifold that is not only hand-polished but also micro-peened. These combine with a change in intake geometry to yield a 30-percent improvement in airflow. Ferrari has also introduced a system to monitor the ionization currents between the spark plugs so the ECU can optimize every individual ignition with greater precision.

    Under full acceleration, it's barely a heartbeat before the row of red shift lights glare at us from atop the steering wheel. There is clearly less rotational inertia fizzing around inside this V8 than the F430s; it picks up revs quicker than most people pick up Pounds50 notes. We simply don't want the theatre to end. But it's not ending; it's just beginning.

    It's when we grab the shift paddle for a taller gear that this car becomes amazing. Shift speed is one of the Scuderia's great leaps forward over the F430. There's nothing but a fleeting, truncated braap and pop and its all over, and the engine is pulling hard toward 8,500rpm again. There's just the tiniest of gaps in the noise. There's no waiting, no pregnant pause and no uncomfortable longitudinal head-toss as ones body lurches forward with the traditional prolonged departure from hard acceleration. This car never departs from hard acceleration. It's back delivering maximum drive before we've removed our fingers from the paddle - even before the paddle has sprung back to its resting position.

    It's the first time that we've wondered out loud at the future of the manual gearbox and all the stuff that we enthusiasts love to do - like craft a smooth, full-throttle upshift and pull off the perfect heel-and-toe downshift. The Scuderia shifts so much faster than a traditional manual gearbox that we don't bemoan the lack of physical involvement and tactile response - to do so would be a little self indulgent. Ferrari is very proud of the Scuderia's shift speed, and with very good reason. On the 599 GTB Fiorano, Ferrari managed to cut the shift times to 100 milliseconds; on the Scuderia, it has whittled cog swaps down to 60. To put that in context, a Formula 1 Ferrari from two years ago took 30 milliseconds to shift gears (current cars have seamless actuation). The Scuderia is the fastest-shifting road car money can buy.

    Ferrari concedes that it has reached the very limits of shifting speed with the current gearbox architecture. According to Ferraris Director of GT Development, Roberto Fedeli, synchromesh technology won't allow it to shift any faster. If we really pushed, maybe we could get another five milliseconds, but would you notice? he said. If we want to go on, we have to think about renewing something in the hardware in the gearbox. For now, 0.06 second for a gearshift is a limitation we're happy to live with.

    So happy, in fact, we found ourselves shifting over and over again, just to try to diminish our own incredulity at it. We sometimes found ourself laughing at it; no other car has ever prepared us for the idea that road cars could change gear this quickly. There's no need to come off the throttle on an upshift to smooth it out; it's too fast to jerk you around. The phenomenal shift speed helps improve the Scuderia's acceleration numbers. Ferrari claims 3.6 seconds for the 0-62mph run - versus 4.0 seconds for the F430 but admits its test engineers have gone quicker. The 3.6-second figure, it turns out, is the repeatable number. It takes only 11.6 seconds for the Scuderia to sprint to 124mph and 20.9 to cover the standing 1,000 meters, and from there it isn't a big stretch to its 198-mph top speed. There's incredible stability at high velocity, too, thanks to increased downforce from the more aggressive front splitter, re-profiled diffuser and larger rear spoiler.

    Which, literally, brings us to the brakes. When we hit the pedal hard, the time between full throttle and monster deceleration is so minimal that it's close to nothing. The brakes bite hard, leaping to more than 1g of deceleration in what feels like a tickle on the pedal. Yet they're progressive, allowing us to dig deeper after the initial hit if necessary. Based on experience, the stopping power never seems to fade.

    We turn into Fiorano's tight, second-gear Turn 1. As with the F430, there is an overt lightness to the steering and very little by way of nibbly feedback, a la Porsche. The driver always knows where it's pointing, but the steering is not a highlight. No, that comes very soon after we've turned in toward the apex. That's because of the newly revamped traction and stability control system. In Sport mode, it's terrific, helpful and consistent. In Race mode, though, it's just plain awesome. This, then, is the other Big Thing about the Scuderia. No rear-wheel-drive production car has ever had this much drive out of a corner. Any corner. Ferrari has arrived at a fabulous compromise with the once-reticent Bosch to send the German company its own black box with the same traction-control algorithm as the Formula 1 cars, and Bosch fits this into the ECU. The proprietary Ferrari technology is unbelievably good - so good, it makes all-wheel drive seem utterly redundant in the dry. It allows any fool to get out of a corner as fast as the pros. Ferrari claims it will slice three seconds a lap off the Fiorano time of an average driver - to within 1.5 seconds of Michael Schumacher's best lap. Astonishingly enough, that time is a couple of tenths quicker than the best one set with an Enzo.

    The real beauty is that in Race mode it sorts everything out using only the rear brakes, allowing all the torque through to the wheels. This twisting force is juggled between the rear wheels via the latest generation electronic differential, which can instantly switch from zero to 100 percent lock-up at any stage in a corner. Stand on the throttle as soon as the exit comes into view, and the Scuderia will do a million things at once in its big brain, rocketing out of every corner like an F1 car.

    Fortunately, all this electronic trickery doesn't make the Scuderia dull to drive. How could 1.5g of lateral acceleration ever be boring? The grip is awesome and it also feels incredibly safe and reassuring. Around the back of Fiorano, there's a fourth-gear corner; it's a brave place for brave people. The Scuderia is so secure through here that it makes brave drivers out of the timid. The Scuderia will understeer at the limit, but turn the electronic driver aids off and its rear end can be coaxed sideways - but we can't get it too loose, because there's hardly any steering lock to counter it.

    On track, it's difficult to imagine how the Scuderia could be improved upon. Yet it's not a track car. Sure, it will be used as one, but it's every bit at home on the road. One of the keys to this is a soft setting for the suspension. It was Schumacher who suggested making the damper settings independent of the driver-aid mode chosen; that is, Race mode and the soft suspension setting can be selected at the same time, which can't be done on the F430. This option gives the Scuderia all the suspension compliance it needs to keep its Pirelli P Zero Corsas in full contact with the tarmac, regardless of how bumpy or undulating the road might be. All this at the press of a single button; it's a masterstroke.

    On most roads, the Scuderia will actually be faster (and safer) with the dampers set to soft. It's a firm-but-supple setting that's incredibly quiet over bumps, even with the bodyshell stripped bare of sound-deadening carpet. The damper button was suggested a year ago, after Schumacher had tested at Fiorano all day. He said it was OK at the track, and then asked if he could drive the car to Parma airport, GT Director Roberto Fedeli explained. The day after, he phoned me and said, I have some considerations about the experience yesterday. I would like to test the car on another kind of road. So we gave him the car and he took it to the roads near his house and came up with this suggestion.

    Though more power has been squeezed out of it at the top end, the Scuderia's V8 offers more torque down low than the F430s. Its peak figure might be only 4lb-ft up on the donor cars 343lb-ft, but it has been heavily fleshed out in the midrange, and 80 percent of its drive is now on offer from 3,000rpm. At that point, the Scuderia has around 287lb-ft where the F430 has about 258lb-ft. At 4,000rpm, it's got 339lb-ft versus the F430s 310lb-ft. The engines flatter torque curve endows the Scuderia with admirable flexibility.

    Despite the refinement of its chassis and power delivery, the Scuderia is not a perfect road car. The engine note, for so long something Ferrari has turned into music, is horribly droning on a light throttle. The sound is acceptable when the throttle is wide open in a tall gear from, say, 2,000rpm, but otherwise it's flat, loud and bland. There's little anger or sweetness to the note, and no subtle, saturating, thrilling alterations in tone or timbre as the revs rise.

    The 430 Scuderia runs hard, has incredibly strong brakes and unbelievable stick, and is demonically quick out of corners. The steering, the welding and the engine note aside, it is a fantastic sports car. The key thing is the way it so comprehensively panders to what its owners will need. No longer will they arrive at a track day with the fear that they might be blown away by a friend in a WRX or Evo, nor will they be beat up with a harsh ride on the way there. This is a car that will take ordinary men and make them feel like superstars. Which is, after all, the main reason for buying a Ferrari in the first place..."

    __________


    F430-Scuderia_SCI-article-link



    Ferrari 430 Scuderia - Sports Car International...

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    Re: Ferrari 430 Scuderia - Sports Car International...

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    Re: Ferrari 430 Scuderia - Sports Car International...

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    Re: Ferrari 430 Scuderia - Sports Car International...

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    Re: Ferrari 430 Scuderia - Sports Car International...

    ...due respect and thanks to SCI!



    Re: Ferrari 430 Scuderia - Sports Car International...

    Quote:
    Boxster Coupe GTS said:
    Ferrari 430 Scuderia - Sports Car International

    "LION AT THE GATE"


    "Disappointingly, the wholesale removal of anything resembling interior trim exposes an ugliness few have ever seen from Ferrari. The aluminium chassis is certainly not welded together with the precision and neatness we'd expect from the most humble of motorcycle makers, which is especially disturbing given how close Ferrari is to Ducatis Bologna HQ.

    Besides welding that is lumpy and gapped, aluminium spatter spreads itself up to half a meter away from any welded areas. This looks shabby and unprofessional, and to be honest, makes us wonder about what other shortcuts Ferrari hides in areas you wouldn't normally see."

    F430-Scuderia_SCI-article-link




    Isn't this a digrace for a product in this price range and and in the minds of many a "mythical" machine? A German automobile, even a humble VW wouldn't be so exposed. FIAT half measures I suppose.

    Re: Ferrari 430 Scuderia - Sports Car International...

    Quote:
    reginos said:
    Quote:
    Boxster Coupe GTS said:
    Ferrari 430 Scuderia - Sports Car International

    "LION AT THE GATE"


    "Disappointingly, the wholesale removal of anything resembling interior trim exposes an ugliness few have ever seen from Ferrari. The aluminium chassis is certainly not welded together with the precision and neatness we'd expect from the most humble of motorcycle makers, which is especially disturbing given how close Ferrari is to Ducatis Bologna HQ.

    Besides welding that is lumpy and gapped, aluminium spatter spreads itself up to half a meter away from any welded areas. This looks shabby and unprofessional, and to be honest, makes us wonder about what other shortcuts Ferrari hides in areas you wouldn't normally see."

    F430-Scuderia_SCI-article-link




    Isn't this a digrace for a product in this price range and and in the minds of many a "mythical" machine? A German automobile, even a humble VW wouldn't be so exposed. FIAT half measures I suppose.



    ROTFLMAO, for your knowledge, the chassis is made by Aluminium specialist (from USA) Alcoa, so that`s not Ferrari`s fault.

    Second, do yourself a favour, put some glasses and take a good look at those weldings to see that they don`t look bad at all.

    Re: Ferrari 430 Scuderia - Sports Car International...

    Quote:
    enzomikael said:
    Quote:
    reginos said:
    Quote:
    Boxster Coupe GTS said:
    Ferrari 430 Scuderia - Sports Car International

    "LION AT THE GATE"


    "Disappointingly, the wholesale removal of anything resembling interior trim exposes an ugliness few have ever seen from Ferrari. The aluminium chassis is certainly not welded together with the precision and neatness we'd expect from the most humble of motorcycle makers, which is especially disturbing given how close Ferrari is to Ducatis Bologna HQ.

    Besides welding that is lumpy and gapped, aluminium spatter spreads itself up to half a meter away from any welded areas. This looks shabby and unprofessional, and to be honest, makes us wonder about what other shortcuts Ferrari hides in areas you wouldn't normally see."

    F430-Scuderia_SCI-article-link




    Isn't this a digrace for a product in this price range and and in the minds of many a "mythical" machine? A German automobile, even a humble VW wouldn't be so exposed. FIAT half measures I suppose.



    ROTFLMAO, for your knowledge, the chassis is made by Aluminium specialist (from USA) Alcoa, so that`s not Ferrari`s fault.

    Second, do yourself a favour, put some glasses and take a good look at those weldings to see that they don`t look bad at all.


    My friend if you dismiss the above-mentioned comments you must also dismiss the rest of the Sport Car International article, which is rather complimentary to this vehicle. You cannot pick and choose what you like to read or hear. If you trust this publication then you must take all in toto. The suppliers are chosen by the car manufacturer so if they are no good it means that their choice criteria are wrong. It is the FIAT/Lancia/Alfa Romeo legacy perhaps?

    Re: Ferrari 430 Scuderia - Sports Car International...

    Good article!

    Thanks for sharing,

     
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