Cure Your Diabetes

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Spies uncover first shots of the next Ferrari F430 replacement

Article file under

As our exclusive spy photos demonstrate, Ferrari has started the development of a successor to the all important mid-engined F430 model. First test mules are based around the not-even released F430 Challenge Stradale and have now started to rack up test kilometres on the Fiorano test track, and are put through their paces on winding mountain roads around the Maranello headquarters.

We have also caught a sensational first view of the fully finalized model, unfortunately still hidden under a red cover and spotted from a large distance. Nevertheless, this image gives evidence that the work is much more advanced than previously anticipated, and the eagerly awaited new model could debut as early as before the end of 2008.

For some time, it was speculated whether Ferrari would opt for a V10 engine for this car, in order to match the Lamborghini Gallardo. But since Formula 1 went back to V8, Ferrari decided to stay with the proven and well understood V8 layout for the F430 successor, and increase power, and thrills alike, by increasing engine displacement, but more noticeably, by allowing a considerably higher rev limit of almost 10’000 rpm. To achieve this goal, Ferrari will make extensive use of the lessons learned in the extreme Formula 1 engine design and the track-based FXX and F430 Challenge Stradale models. Hence, it is no wonder that the first engineering mules for the F430 successor are based around the upcoming F430 Challenge Stradale. At the same time, this is a very cunning way to conceal the still top-secret new model, since the mules may be mistaken by Challenge Stradale prototypes at a first sight.

But myriad improvised and enlarged air intakes and outlets give evidence of the significantly higher power rating of the engine and its consequently increased cooling requirements. So the prototype for the F430 successor shown in the spy photos has camouflaged lateral air scoops in the front skirt (in front of the front wheels), enlarged and flared lateral air intakes in front of the rear wheels and a revised and partly camouflaged flow efficient rear skirt and exhaust setup all derived from the Challenge Stradale. A particular improvised design of the front and rear wheels reveals uprated brake systems at all four vehicle corners.

It is still unclear to what size the new engine will be increased. Some sources from within the Ferrari factory have hinted to a generous 5.4 litres of displacement. From an engineering point of view, a more moderate, figure-inverted 4.5 litres appears much more likely, as it aids the thrive for the extreme aspired maximum cranking speeds of between 9’500 and 10’000 rpm, and in order to maintain a reasonable distinction from the V12 models. Either way, power will be in excess of 370 kW / 500 hp.

A radical new styling scheme, the new option of all-wheel drive, reduced body weight and improved handling from innovative adaptive suspension damping will mark important aspects in bringing Ferrari well ahead in the competition with the Lamborghini Gallardo and Audi R8/RS8. And in this respect, the new Ferrari cannot come too soon, although the current F430 is still a fantastic car and virtually sold out, and sees still more improvement from the soon to be released Challenge Stradale