2008 Ferrari F430 Performance

$186,925 - $186,925

2008 Ferrari F430 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2008 Ferrari F430 was new.


This model has never been fully tested for performance. As a result, it doesn't have an overall score and cannot be ranked against other luxury sports cars.

Inspired by Formula 1 racing, the 2008 F430 is a technology advanced supercar that impresses test drivers on both road and track. Though the base Coupe and Spider are powerful, Ferrari offers an even more capable trim -- the Scuderia. With enhanced aerodynamics, lighter weight and F1 race technology, the Scuderia forces competitors to eat rubber.

  • "Despite the F430's 483 horsepower, faster and cheaper cars that generate quicker time slips are not innumerable. They are not, however, Ferraris. The F430 affects you like an electrode implanted straight into your nucleus accumbens, holding you in such rapture that you really don't give a rip that a Corvette Z06 laps faster and costs less than half as much." -- Car and Driver
  • "Acoustical graphs shown to us by the Ferrari engineers indicate that the Scuderia is actually louder than the F430 Challenge, although the character of the sound isn't as objectionable." -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

Reviewers praise the F430 for its powerful engine and fast-changing gears. Every F430 features a 4.3-liter V8 engine. While the Coupe and Spider produce 490-horsepower at 8,500 rpm and 343 pound-feet of torque at 5,350 rpm, the Scuderia is more powerful. In addition to 510-horsepower, its torque is increased by up to 10 percent at low and mid-range revs, and up to four percent between 6,000 to 8,500 rpm. According to Ferrari, the F430 has a maximum speed of 196 mph and can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 4.0 seconds (0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds).

Both the Coupe and Spider come equipped with a traditional six-speed manual transmission, but an FI automatic gearbox -- which allows drivers to choose between manual and automatic modes -- is also available. For the Scuderia, Ferrari employs F1 Superfast 2 software, which accelerates gearchange operation to 60 milliseconds on the electro-hydraulic F1 gearbox. Ferrari boasts, "That's close to F1 times of around 40 ms.

The EPA reports that the 2008 F430 has a city/highway fuel economy of 11/16 mpg.

  • "The pushbutton starter brings the F430 to life with a ferocity that borders on sheer anger; it's noisier at idle than many cars are at full throttle. But full throttle at high rpm is where this engine comes alive, and where it likes to reside." -- Road and Track
  • " Performance testing backed up our seat-of-the-pants impressions, with a 0-to-60 time of 4.6 seconds and a quarter-mile run in 12.4 seconds at 125.3 mph. While the F1 paddle-shifter makes upshifts and downshifts almost child's play, getting the F430 Spider off the line requires a deft right foot." -- Edmunds
  • "By a variety of measures, including the liberal use of carbon fiber, a Lexan rear window, and titanium springs and wheel nuts, Ferrari says it has trimmed 221 pounds off the F430, producing a curb weight of about 3150 pounds. It is claimed that the Scuderia shaves 0.4 second off the F430's 0-to-62-mph time of four seconds flat and that the car laps Ferrari's Fiorano test track as fast as an Enzo." -- Car and Driver
  • " F1-Trac allows the nonprofessional driver to explore the limits of the 430's performance by automating one of the trickiest aspects of ten-tenths driving in a high-powered car: throttle modulation on corner exit. With F1-Trac engaged, you merely point the nose toward the track-out point, floor the throttle, and let the electronics dole out as much power as conditions allow. -- Automobile Magazine

Handling and Braking

Auto writers contend that F1 technology makes the F430 a sports car enthusiast's dream. All trims of the F430 come equipped with an Electronic Differential (E-DIFF), which assists in maintaining road grip and eliminates wheel spin. Stability and Traction Control (CST) also come standard. A steering-wheel mounted control, the manettino, controls the CST and allows for drivers to alter suspension settings.

Enhancing the Scuderia's handling dynamics is F1 Trac. Combined with E-DIFF and the "Race" manettino setting, Ferrari says that F1 Trac increases the Scuderia's acceleration by 40 percent out of corners. With the "sport" setting engaged, acceleration out of corners is increased by 20 percent. The Scuderia also features carbon-ceramic brakes.

The F430 has a front/rear weight distribution of 43/57.

  • "Handling -- oh, boy. On tight turns through the Oregon mountains and in the wide-open spaces south of Portland, we never approached the car's upper limits. Even at the race track, the car simply hung in there around the cones, and always let the driver know what it was up to. After all, what would one expect of a brand nothing short of a F1 legend?" -- Edmunds
  • "Despite the electronics, this is no PlayStation car. The systems have been calibrated by men who aren't just chasing speed but who truly grasp the sensations that addict us to driving. (Know this: The lead development engineer not only owns a Mini Cooper S, but also regrets he didn't opt for the smallest tires as they offer the best handling sensitivity.)" -- Motor Trend
  • "As would be expected of a Ferrari, the car is also amazing when the road starts to snake left and right. The F430's steering is incredibly precise, perfectly quick and the feedback through the leather and carbon-fiber steering wheel is superb. Although the front end can occasionally feel light, in general the car is well planted, with minimal drop-throttle, mid-turn, tail-will-come-around antics." -- Road and Track
  • "The car is so chuckable and nimble that you can fool yourself into trying to drive it as if it were a formula car, at which point it will start plowing. No, it's better to set the car up well in advance and drive through the corners under power, steering it on the throttle. The brakes are fantastic on track, as is the paddle shifter." -- Automobile Magazine

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