The Ferrari F430 - Engine and Performance | Part Three

Ferrari F430

Ferrari F430


The F430 is powered by a new 90° V8 featuring Ferrari’s traditionally uncompromising design approach with a flat-plane crank (180° between throws). This is an all-new unit that does not share any components with the 360 Modena’s engine. The improvement in terms of performance, weight and reduction of overall dimensions is the result of applying Ferrari’s wealth of F1 experience to its road cars. Despite a 20% increase in engine displacement (from 3586 cc to 4308 cc), engine weight has grown minimally by just 4 kg, while performance is considerably improved across the board. Torque increases by 25% (465 Nm at 5250 rpm, 80% of which is already available at 3500 rpm) and power by 23% (490 hp at 8500 rpm). The engine is extremely compact with a cylinder spacing of just 104 mm. Similarly, Ferrari’s engineers integrated the sump and main bearings in a single casting which, along with a smaller diameter twin-plate clutch and flywheel, has reduced the engine height between the bottom of the oil sump and the crankshaft to just 130 mm (from 145 mm on the 360 Modena power unit).

In line with the latest developments in high specific output engines, there are new 4-valve cylinder heads, and the inlet tracts and valve diameters are derived directly from designs used on the F1 engines. Support from the company’s Gestione Sportiva racing side was essential in defining performance characteristics. The twin overhead camshafts per cylinder bank feature continuously variable timing on both inlet and exhaust cams, and the valve gear is driven by hydraulic tappets. Actuation of the variable valve timing is guaranteed by a high pressure hydraulic system (20 bar), obtained by using a supplementary pump, an external accumulator and a circuit that works in parallel with the oil circuit for the hydraulic tappets. This ensures that a full timing cycle is completed in 0.1 seconds. Ferrari has dropped the mixed gear/toothed belt distribution system for a chain-driven system, thus reducing the overall length of the engine. Crankshaft, con rods and pistons are also all-new.

The dry sump lubrication system comprises a series of external pumps (thus reducing the overall height of the sump) and a circuit that has been optimised by eliminating the oil radiator and introducing a water/oil heat exchanger mounted inside the engine vee. Three scavenge pumps guarantee that excess oil is drawn out of the bottom of the cylinder block under all driving conditions, creating a strong vacuum around the crankshaft and thus reducing power loss through attrition. The intake manifold features straight inlet tracts to the two central plenums which, in turn, have trumpets individually cast at the top of the tracts for each cylinder to ensure optimum air flow to the cylinder heads. A rotating drum - actuated pneumatically by the engine control unit – compensates for variations in the effective volume inside the two plenums to optimise the intake resonance characteristics and therefore maximise the torque curve throughout the rev range. The performance targets set were achieved also thanks to unrestricted intake and exhaust ducts for optimum gas flow efficiency and the high compression ratio (11.3:1). The painstaking care taken over optimising internal fluid dynamics and combustion efficiency has ensured a high specific power output despite conforming to the latest Euro 4 and LEV2 emissions standards. Engine management is via two electronic Bosch Motronic ME7 control units with twin motorised throttles, single coils and active anti-knocking control throughout the entire rev range.

continues... | Part Four
Published 27 October 2004 Melanie Carter

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