Frank Stephenson’s design work on the Ferrari F430 was "easy mission"

If the name Frank Stephenson doesn’t ring a bell, then shame on you. His work has shaped a lot of cars, ranging from the likes of Maserati MC12, Fiat Punto and Bravo, McLaren MP4-12C and P1, and of course, the topic of today’s video, the Ferrari F430.

Mr. Stephenson collaborated with Pininfarina for the F430

Watch Frank Stephenson Explain How He Designed the Ferrari F430!
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In all fairness, Frank Stephenson is right when he says working on the F430 wasn’t a daunting task. That, however, doesn’t change the fact that he’s an incredible designer.

See, the F430 was more of an update to the Ferrari 360, the model it replaced in 2004. At that time, Frank Stephenson was the Director of Ferrari-Maserati Concept Design and Development and one of the tasks was improving the supercar’s aerodynamic profile.

Watch Frank Stephenson Explain How He Designed the Ferrari F430!
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The coefficient of drag (Cd) stayed the same (0.34), but the team of designers worked heavily on boosting the amount of downforce the F430 could generate. On top of that, the 360’s innate beauty had to be preserved or even elevated, so as Mr. Stephenson himself puts it, "big boots to fill with that one."

In that regard, Frank Stephenson opted for a little more bite, as he considered the Ferrari 360 a bit too soft, visually speaking. Here’s a cool fact: the F430 was the only car to have its name embossed in the side mirrors. It also featured extra vents that gave it the more hardcore look in comparison to the 360 but also served the practical purpose of cooling down the brakes or channeling air to the engine.

Watch Frank Stephenson Explain How He Designed the Ferrari F430!
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Another big change from the 360 was the inclusion of Ferrari’s signature double round taillights moved upwards and out of the surface of the rear, making them look like they were ready to come out of the body.

Of course, the F430’s design wasn’t just about taillights and air vents. But we’ll let Frank Stephenson reveal his tricks in the video below.

Ferrari F430 specifications
Type 90° V8
Bore/stroke 3.62 x 3.19 in
Unit displacement 32.9 cu in
Total displacement 62.9 cu in
Compression ratio 1.3:1
Maximum power 490 HP @ 8,500 RPM
Maximum torque 343 LB-FT @ 5,250 RPM
Transmission Manual or F1
Maximum speed 196 MPH
0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) 4.00 seconds
Manual gearbox 0-400 m 12.00 s
0-1000 m 21.65 s
F1 gearbox 0-400 m 11.95 s
0-1000 m 21.60 s

Check Out His Other Videos Too!

Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read More
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