Search This Blog

Sunday, January 3, 2010

ferrari f430 spider sports cars 2009 2010

The engine is a very special piece of Italian kit, and arguably the most impressive aspect of this vehicle. So special is the engine, in fact, that it lives behind the driver's seat (in the mid-mount position) and can be seen by all and sundry thanks to its clear glass cover. Swoon...

It develops a massive 360kW of power @ 8500rpm, and 465Nm of torque @ 5250rpm. In the old money, this car whips out close to 500 horsepower, dumping all of it on the rear wheels for what can often be seriously wild tail-out driving. For those without a grasp of power benchmarks, let's just call it well wicked: massively powerful, absurdly quick.

It can reach speeds beyond 300km/h and the body shape was designed in a wind-tunnel (just like F1 cars), and so the aerodynamics have been optimised to increase downforce (and hence grip) the fast this thing goes.

There's acceptable levels of push below 3000rpm that makes navigating traffic a lot less trouble than you'd think, then strong response rushes in as the tach heads towards 5000rpm. And then, after 6500rpm – when the engine is screaming like a orgasmic banshee – there's an awesome rush of speed, and the 8500rpm redline arrives frighteningly quickly. If you keep the V8 engine on the boil, and keep hammering it through successive gears above above 5500rpm, the F430 Spider becomes mind-meltingly quick. I cannot describe it any more than this because my brain is indeed melting down with the simple recollection of this.

And the sound at a high revs? Incredibly loud and high-pitched, and unlike a traditional Aussie or American small block V8. This thing has an F1 scream that shatters peace and quiet. Let's just say your neighbours won't be too pleased with your purchase…

While the power characteristics of this car are wickedly crisp, the torque delivery isn't as impressive, but with a rev ceiling of 8500rpm, it doesn't need to be. It feels less like a 4.3-litre V8 in a 1500kg tub and more like a tricked-up 2.5-litre inline six on a 900kg chassis. It just feels so light and is astonishingly eager to rev.

I remember early in this Ferrari F430 road test that, after a few minutes of cruising around the city of Sydney, I got impatient and decided to wind out a few gears on the freeway, and without being too gratuitous, I can confirm that this car is very fast. Ferrari claims the car does 1-100km/h dash in 4.1 seconds, but I reckon it felt more like about 4.3 or 4.4 seconds. Either way, it's bloody quick, and will destroy the quarter mile run in 12.1 seconds (even less with the automatic F1 gearbox).

I also discovered that it has a surprisingly decent turning circle for an exotic car, and best of all it's remarkably easy to drive. I tell you, I was expecting something far more daunting, hence the initial butterflies in the stomach syndrome (and the mental images of burning Ferrari carcasses). After Peter Dempsey's explanation of the Lamborghini Murcielago, I assumed that driving an Italian exotic car would be like taming a wild stallion with naught but one's bare and blistered hands, but the Ferrari F430 Spider was delightfully smooth to get the hang of.

It exhibits responsive turning at slow speeds, and has a user-friendly clutch that means low speed maneuvers don't need heaps of throttle. It's easy to drive, with a light-ish clutch, sensitive (but usable) throttle and surprisingly good wing mirrors for rearward vision. The gearbox is another story however, and perhaps one of the more obvious mechanical clues that this is indeed the product of a company that regularly builds F1 cars and regularly wins F1 races.


Post a Comment