A lighter, faster, more hardcore F430 is due this year, Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo hinted at the Geneva show.
In 2005, Maranello unveiled the F430 Challenge, a racing version which competes in the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo series. Enthusiasts have been eagerly anticipating a roadgoing Challenge, and Di Montezemolo’s off-the-cuff remarks at Ferrari’s Geneva press conference suggests we won’t be waiting much longer. ‘Before the end of the year, we will have a new car,’ he told journalists. ‘It will have F1 technology. It will embrace the know-how of weight reduction and high performance learnt from our F1 experience.’ Although he didn’t name the new car as the track-biased F430, the cylinder count and ethos – plus the fact that the Challenge has been on the horizon since 2005 – make a spiritual successor to the F360 Challenge Stradale nigh-on a certainty. It will go head-to-head with Lamborghini’s Gallardo Superleggera, photographed exclusively in the April 2007 issue of CAR Magazine.
Expect the production car to embrace much of the F430 Challenge’s specification. The race car runs the regular F430’s 483bhp 4.3-litre V8, but 225kg has been stripped-out to lower the kerb weight to 1225kg. Weight reduction measures include a lighter windscreen, carbonfibre intake plenum cover and a new exhaust. Race car features include a quick release steering wheel for fast exits, and centre locking wheels for quick changes. But some of its hardcore features – such as the carbon ceramic brakes, mechanical differential, track-honed suspension and dialled back electronics – should filter through to the road car. Expect the F430 Challenge to take a bow at Ferrari’s 60th anniversary birthday party in June, or one of the autumn’s motor shows.