Full 2008 Ferrari 430 Scuderia Review
What's New for 2008
The Ferrari 430 Scuderia is a new-for-2008, track-inspired, special-edition F430.
The 2008 Ferrari 430 Scuderia is not for poseurs -- it doesn't even have a radio. No, this isn't just some super F430 with more power and a fancy name to impress your friends. The Scuderia is a track-bred driving weapon, developed by taking the already exceptional F430 and massaging it with weight savings and advanced electronics plucked from Ferrari's Formula 1 supply store. Some guy named Schumacher also assisted in its development. To put it another way, if you missed out on your chance to own an Enzo, here's your chance to buy something that's nearly as capable for a big discount.
The first thing you do when taking a regular supercar (the F430) and turning it into a hard-core track special is send it to fat camp. That means getting rid of a whole heap of sound insulation, replacing components with others made of carbon fiber (door panels, central tunnel, seats), ripping out the carpet and making the floor aluminum. It was also told to lay off the doughnuts. In total, 220 pounds were shaved off.
In addition to losing weight and making aerodynamic improvements, the F430's V8 was pumped up to 503 horsepower from 483. All in all, these improvements allow the Scuderia to achieve 60 mph in a shade over 3 seconds. Ferrari's latest F1 automated-clutch manual has been fitted to this Scud missile, and it's capable of ripping off gearchanges faster than any previous road-going Ferrari.
The 430 Scuderia is also the first Ferrari to get the combined talents of the F430's E-Diff electronic limited-slip differential and the 599 GTB Fiorano's F1-Trac traction control system. Collectively called E-Diff2, the system is an electronic dream team that combines to offer 40 percent more acceleration out of corners than a traditional traction/stability control system. It'll not only save your bacon, but also make you look like a better driver.
Ferrari is sending only 250 Scuderias over to the United States for 2008. The company says that 15 percent of owners will take their Scuds to the track, while most will already own two or three other Ferraris. That makes sense, because those two or three others will make a much better weekend-getaway toy or cruising/flaunting accessory than the hard-core, track-ready 2008 Ferrari 430 Scuderia.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2008 Ferrari 430 Scuderia is an ultra-high-performance two-seat exotic coupe available in one trim level. Standard equipment includes 19-inch wheels, carbon-ceramic brakes, an F1-SuperFast 2 automated-manual gearbox, five driving settings, an adjustable suspension, the E-Diff2 limited-slip differential, extensive carbon-fiber body panels and interior components, carbon-fiber racing seats available in three sizes, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, xenon headlights, full power accessories and automatic climate control. There are numerous personalization options available, including special paint and trim items for both the exterior and the interior. An option is a stereo with Bluetooth, which can be bolstered with a six-CD changer and iPod connectivity.
Powertrains and Performance
The Ferrari 430 Scuderia is powered by the F430's 4.3-liter V8, but refined to produce 503 hp and 347 pound-feet of torque. The only transmission available is the F1-SuperFast 2 automated-clutch manual, controlled by carbon-fiber paddle shifters. Gearchanges are accomplished in 60 milliseconds, or a quarter of the time needed to change a gear the old-fashioned way. The estimated 0-60 time for the Scuderia is a blisteringly quick 3.4 seconds, with a quarter-mile time of around 11 seconds at 126 mph. With standard carbon-ceramic brakes, the Scuderia comes to a stop from 60 mph in fewer than 95 feet -- enough to possibly suck your eyeballs out.
The F430 comes standard with antilock brakes, traction control and stability control. There are no side airbags. The sensitivity of the traction and stability control systems is adjustable via the "manettino" control mounted on the steering wheel.
Interior Design and Special Features
With many of the F430's interior accoutrements removed for weight-saving purposes, it takes a dedicated chap to drive the Scuderia. Carbon fiber has been used throughout the cabin to save weight (and look cool), while Alcantara faux suede fills in the blanks. A stereo is optional, but the beautiful V8 wail from behind your shoulder should certainly be enough aural satisfaction. The driver is kept in place by carbon-fiber Super Racing seats available in three sizes that, unlike true racing seats, include manually adjustable seatbacks.
The good news is that you don't have to have "Schumacher" written on your license to drive the 2008 Ferrari 430 Scuderia well. Using all the electronic programs selected by the steering wheel's manettino controller, the car helps you carve the neatest, fastest lines you can through corners, making you feel magically talented as the electronic limited-slip diff (E-Diff2), adjustable suspension and traction/stability control systems (F1 Trac) help you drive faster, rather than simply acting as a guardian angel averting disaster. You can even hold a slide with the car's electronics holding your hand.
Underneath all the electronic trickery, however, is a truly sublimely handling car that speaks to you like few other cars can. This is a driver's car through and through, for those who truly appreciate such a concept.