Sunday, August 31, 2008
The Wonder Car - 2008 Ferrari F430 Spider
The Ferrari F430 Spider is an exotic convertible with top-shelf performance, stunning styling and a price tag that encourages double-takes. It is the soft-top version of the F430 Coupe.
Like many exotic sports cars, the Ferrari F430 Spider is as much a rolling work of automotive art as it is a high-performance car. As with many Ferraris over the years, the car’s seductively aerodynamic design comes courtesy of the noted Italian design house Pininfarina. A compact, power-operated fabric roof lowers or raises at the push of a button.
The Ferrari F430 Spider offers a six-speed manual transmission as standard equipment. A Formula One racing-derived, six-speed automatic gearbox with manual-shift capability is optional. Operated via steering wheel-mounted paddles, Ferrari claims this transmission cuts shifting times down to just 150 milliseconds to maximize the car’s blazing acceleration.
As expected for a $200,000-plus sports car, the Ferrari F430 Spider delivers race car-like driving dynamics. It rides on a lightweight aluminum space frame and electronically controlled Skyhook suspension. The F430 Spider’s handling is further enhanced by Ferrari’s E-Diff system, an electronically controlled limited-slip differential originally developed for racing. It optimizes traction based on a variety of factors, including the steering angle and lateral acceleration.