Monday, December 12, 2011

First Impression: Ferrari F430/F430 Spider

When it comes to rear-mid V8 engine supercars, Ferrari uses the same body type for two different cars. For instance, the Ferrari 308 and 328 have very similar body styles, but the main difference is the engine behind the two seats. Ferrari used the 360 Modena body style for the Ferrari F430. The main differences between the 360 and the F430 are the front bumper, the side mirrors, and the engine. The 360 Modena has a 3.6L V8. The F430 has a 4.3L V8. Ferrari made the F430 from 2004 to 2009 and has made special editions of the F430.

The F430 is a regular at Houston Cars and Coffee events. There were several F430s at the Ferrari Festival in November. The F430 and 360 Modena are the two most popular Ferraris at these car events. They are very stylish cars, but just too common at the events and do not stand out. The F430's successor, the Ferrari 458 Italia, has a more aggressive styling. At these events, the 458 Italia stands out from other Ferraris, the F430 does not.

The F430 is powered by a 4.3L V8, paired with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed F1 electrohydraulic manual transmission, that produces 483 hp and 343 lb-ft of torque. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds and reaches a top speed of 196 mph. A new F430 started at $186,925. According to Auto Traders, the cheapest price for a 2005 F430 is $119,900. Between the Ferrari 360 and the F430, go with the F430. Both cars have similar styling, but the F430 has a bigger engine and is faster than the 360 Modena (0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds and a top speed of 186 mph).

James May of Top Gear owns a Ferrari F430. He drove one during Series 7, Episode 3, when the guys were driving supercars in France. The F430 was reviewed during Series 6, Episode 8. The F430 and F430 Spider have been featured in Italians, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Fifth Gear, Auto Esporte, Entourage, Redline, Clarkson: Supercar Showdown, Skyline, White Collar, Georgia Rules, Motorweek, Reaper, Miami Vice, Mythbusters, and many other shows and movies. The F430 is playable in OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast, This is Vegas, Need For Speed: Shift, Test Drive Unlimited, Split/Second (Cobretti 455 GT), Project Gotham Racing 3, Project Gotham Racing 4, Drift 'n' Burn 365, Highway Madness, Forza Motorsport 2, Forza Motorsport 4, RayCity, Freeway Fury, Car Town, Ridge Racer 7, Gran Turismo 5, and GT Racing: Motor Academy.

Final Thoughts: The F430 is not a bad car. It is a rear-mid engine, rear-wheel drive car for long trips. There is storage space in the front. I would take the F430 over the 360 Modena, but its successor is on another level. The 458 Italia is faster and has a more aggressive styling compared to the F430. But the 458 Italia goes for $230,275. If you want a rear-mid engine Ferrari for under $150,000, the F430 is for you.

Photos taken from a digital camera.
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