As I’ve been good, I awarded myself a special treat - a test of the Ferrari F430 Spider F1.
Some get all misty-eyed about the older Ferrari models, making the point that the modern-day cars are not as pretty or good looking as they once were but I think that the F430 Spider has it just about right for the discerning, modern motorist. It is muscular without being macho and feminine enough to appeal to those ‘ladies who lunch’.
Even if you’re not a fully paid-up member of the Ferrari Tiffosi, you can’t help but smile at the car, with it’s curves and air-scoops, the wide body that sits low on seemingly huge 19-inch wheels and the impressive engine, that is clearly visible though the rear glass panel.
The car was designed by Pininfarina along with a fair amount of input from Frank Stephenson, who is Ferrari’s Head of Design and, thankfully, it has lost little in the transition from coupe to convertible.
At the front, two elliptical air-intakes feed cool air to the large radiators, which in turn, lower the temperature of the brakes and engine. Between these intakes, there’s a spoiler that diverts some of the air and feeds it under the car, while above are Bi-Xenon headlights with distinctive, integrated side-lights.
Just forward of the front wheels are two more air vents to draw air from the radiators along the flanks and filling the mirrors, from a driver’s point of view, are a further two, huge air-intakes for even more engine-cooling, which are sited above the rear wheel arches.
Much of the rear-end design has been borrowed from the Enzo Ferrari, in particular the arrangement of lights and the engine air vent, complete with prancing horse in the middle. These vents, scoops and curves have a function - as well as looking good, the design of the F430 Spider is an exercise in engine efficiency, aerodynamics and stability. To this end, the glazed, engine cover flows gently down to an integrated spoiler and there is a large diffuser of, of ‘race-dimensions’, that takes up most of the rear bumper, in between the, ball-polished, steel tailpipes.
Inside, the cabin is sporty-posh. This was particularly evident in the test car, which had cream, leather upholstery, embellished with maroon bands on the sports seats. However, this is an optional extra and one in a list of many. If the leather is continued to the rear bench and bulkhead, it adds £1,220 to the bill and, if the hooped roll-bars are also covered, that’s another £280.
This is a 14-year+ news article, from our Ferrari archive, which dates back to the year 2000.
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