Even though the F430 F1 was an entry-level model when it was introduced, it was probably the best driver’s car in the Ferrari range. The combination of characteristics, Pininfarina design, wedge shape, sharp lines, and rear-mounted, high-revving V8 was an intoxicating mix that amazed Ferrari fans and worried competitors. Even though the manual offered it, the F1-styled automatic gearbox was the preferred choice for anybody who wanted to extract every little bit of performance from this Italian stallion.
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The screaming 4.3-liter V8 engine was designed with the help of Maserati engineers making the first such unit built between two great companies. The numbers are astonishing, and F136 (the factory engine code) delivers 490 hp and 343 lb-ft of torque at 8,500 rpm, followed by glorious noise coming from the tailpipes. As you might expect, the performance figures are outstanding, and F430 can sprint to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and get to a top speed of 196 mph with ease.
However, what is most appealing about this sports car is its exceptional F1 automatic transmission. Complementing that fast-revving V8, the F1 gearbox with paddles behind the steering wheel can shift gears in 150 milliseconds which helps achieve such fantastic performance numbers. The F1 is perfect for keeping both hands on the wheel, concentrating on finding the ideal line on the race track, and still be sure that you will shift as fast as possible. This, along with the great engine, lightweight chassis, and perfectly tuned suspension, makes the F430 a sublime track-day machine.