The Ferrari F430 - Suspension | Part Six

Ferrari F430

Ferrari F430

CST: Activates or deactivates the stability and traction control. With the manettino set to off, the driver has full control over the car’s reactions. The only driver aids that remain active are those that cannot be overridden such as ABS and EBD (electronic brake distribution). With the CST de-activated, the electronic differential has a specific calibration which permits the car’s incredible levels of handling and road holding when free of stability controls. Gear shift speeds and damper settings are the same as in RACE. Over and above the significant technological breakthrough that the manettino represents, the approach to the new F430 underlines the importance given to exploiting the potential of the vehicle while maintaining ease of use under all conditions without jeopardising safety and stability. This has led to a new way of conceiving the car, which is not only based on the use of new technical features (eg. electronic differential, stability and traction control, and adaptive damping) but also on the improvement of Ferrari’s tried and tested technologies (F1 gearbox, advanced engine control) and the optimisation of their integration. The adoption of stability and traction control (CST) together with the electronic differential has made the car even more stable, easier and safer to drive without affecting its handling and the excellent feedback the chassis gives the driver. The system ensures maximum safety in all driving conditions (from extreme track use to town driving) and on all road surfaces (rain or dry, or even ice). The CST intervenes in a smooth, unobtrusive way only as and when needed, without taking the driver’s mind off what he or she is doing.

The F430 features Ferrari’s uncompromising forged aluminium, double unequal-length wishbone suspension set-up front and rear with anti-dive and anti-squat geometries. The F430 also introduces new-generation adaptive suspension for the first time on a V8-engined Ferrari to provide the perfect balance between handling and comfort. Two sensors are mounted on the lower front wishbones to read suspension travel, two on the upper shock absorber mounting points to measure body movement, one on a rear shock absorber mounting point to measure roll and yaw, and a last sensor on the steering column to measure steering angle. The control logic adjusts the shock absorbers’ damping characteristics within a certain range based on the settings selected by the driver using the manettino on the steering wheel. The wheels are fitted with 19’’ rims with 225/35 tyres at the front and 285/35 at the rear. There is also the option of run-flat tyres combined with electronic pressure control. When flat, these tyres can be driven for 70 miles at a maximum speed of 50 mph.

The power steering has a servo that adjusts the degree of assistance on the basis of engine speed. The ratio is very direct at 60 mm/rev and the turning circle is around 11 metres. The braking system of the F430 consists of powerful, all-round vented and cross-drilled cast-iron discs (330mmx32mm) with four-pot callipers and is integrated with all the car’s electronic control systems (ABS, CST, EBD). Working in close collaboration with Brembo, Ferrari’s engineers have developed a new cast-iron alloy for the discs which includes molybdenum for better energy/heat dissipation. This new alloy provides significantly improved braking performance without increasing the size (and therefore the weight) of the discs. The overall heat-energy index for the F430 under braking from 186 mph is one of the lowest among high performance cars with cast-iron systems. An outstanding alternative is the option of specifying the latest generation system based on carbon-ceramic technology that Ferrari developed for its F1 single-seater's. This technology has already been successfully employed on its road cars, starting with the Enzo Ferrari. Different diameter carbon-ceramic discs are mounted front and rear: 380x34 mm with six-pot callipers at the front, and 350mmx34 mm with four-pot callipers at the rear. The diameters of the hydraulic pistons are differentiated to distribute the pressure exerted on the discs and optimise performance. Pedal travel is constant even under repeated braking, and fade has been eliminated even under hard track use. The adoption of carbon-ceramic discs brings with it a significant increase in longevity the new brakes can in fact easily cover 350 laps at racing speeds on the Fiorano track.

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

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