In 1999, Ferrari replaced the F355 with the Ferrari 360. It boasted a 3.6-liter Tipo V-8 that produced 400 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. It could hit 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and climb to a top speed that was close to 190 mph. That wasn’t good enough, because in 2004, Lamborghini unleashed the Gallardo with a 5.0-liter V-10 that delivered 493 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. Being Ferrari’s biggest rival, Ferrari needed to move quick, and in 2004, it debuted the Ferrari F430 at the Paris Auto Show.

The F430 was a direct replacement for the Ferrari 360 and featured a 90-degree, 4.3-liter V-8 that delivered and impressive 490 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque. Of course, Lamborghini answered back quickly with an update to the Gallardo in 2005, which included a 20 horsepower increase bringing it up to 513 horsepower. But that’s okay because it still wasn’t enough to best the F430’s performance – in fact, it was just enough to match the F430’s 4.0-second sprint to 60 mph.

The F430 was offered in a number of different trims, including the F430 Spider, F430 Challenge, 430 Scuderia, Scuderia Spider 16m, F430 GTC, F430 GT3, and the 430 GT3 Scuderia. Ferrari even displayed a bio-fuel-powered F430 Spider at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show that ran on ethanol and came with a mild torque increase of four percent. The Gallardo topped out at 196 mph, as did the F430. Needless to say, the two were pretty damn equal as far as performance goes. So, now that you know a little of the story behind the F430 and its competitor, the Gallardo, let’s take a closer look at the overall design of the F430 and what Ferrari did to keep the competition between its main competitor so strong.

  • 2006 Ferrari F430
  • Year:
    2006
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    490 @ 8500
  • Torque @ RPM:
    343 @ 5250
  • Displacement:
    4.3 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    196 mph
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2006 Ferrari F430 Exterior
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2006 Ferrari F430 High Resolution Exterior
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2006 Ferrari F430 High Resolution Exterior
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At a glance, it’s easy to tell that the F430 came after the 360 because it carries a similar design. It was penned by Pininfarina in cooperation with Ferrari’s Head of Design, Frank Stephenson. Truth be told, the F430 was a more efficient and more aerodynamic interpretation of the 360. If Ferrari were an everyday, run-of-the-mill manufacturer, the F430 would represent a generational update for the 360.

Up front, the F430 had a smooth and character-defining nose similar to that of the 360, but the F430 took the previous design and warped it into something much better.

If Ferrari were an everyday, run-of-the-mill manufacturer, the F430 would represent a generational update for the 360.

There was still a vent on each corner of the front fascia, but these vents were smaller and surrounded by a black trim insert that helped to channel air from the nose through the vents. The vents featured diamond-shaped mesh that was recessed into the fascia. Right in the middle, there was a small air dam that channeled air downward and under the vehicle, while also providing some downforce on the front end. The hood on the F430 was identical with that of the 360, but the headlights were recessed farther into the fenders. The lenses for the headlights wasn’t as wide on this model and were actually a bit longer as well. The light elements inside the assembly were staggered closer together.

To the sides, most of the body is rather smooth. There aren’t any serious body lines to talk about, except for that huge dip in the bottom of the door that helps to channel air into the lower vents that are in front of the rear tires. Just above that vent is the air intake for the engine, which sits just a little farther back than the door handle. The side view mirrors were all new as well, with dual arms connecting them to the doors and a sleeker, thinner shape all the way around. The mirror on the driver side has “F430” embossed on the back of it. For the most part, the side glass remained the same, but the rear quarter window may be just a tad bit larger than before.

To the rear, we saw some pretty significant changes with the F430. The rear glass had small louvers on each side, and there was also a small mesh insert placed directly below the rear decklid. It featured the prancing horse logo in the middle. The taillights on the F430 were similar to that of the 360, but they came staggered on the F430, with the inboard lights sitting just a little higher than the outboard lights. Also, the lights were recessed into the rear end, but actually stuck out more dominantly than on the 360. The F430 still had the twin, dual exhaust outlets protruding from the rear fascia, but now featured a reflector above each one, and a huge race-inspired diffuser in between. Unlike the diffuser on the 360, this diffuser was inspired by racing and featured four vertical louvers.

All told, the F430 had a much cleaner design that the 360 and was highly optimized for aerodynamics. Even the dual-arm mirrors helped to channel air into the air intakes for the engine. Ferrari even admits that the front end was inspired by the Ferrari 156 F1 that was used by Phil Hill to secure the 1961 F1 World Championship title.

Exterior Dimensions

Overall length 177.6 Inches
Overall width 75.7 Inches
Height 47.8 Inches
Wheelbase 102.4 Inches
Front track 65.7 Inches
Rear track 63.6 Inches
Front overhang 43.3 Inches
Rear overhang 32.0 Inches

Interior

2006 Ferrari F430 High Resolution Interior Drivetrain
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2006 Ferrari F430 High Resolution Interior Drivetrain
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2006 Ferrari F430 High Resolution Interior Drivetrain
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At a glance, you might think the interior of the F430 is pretty similar to that of the 360, but you have to take a deeper look to really appreciate what Ferrari did to make the F430 that much better. Arguably, the most important thing about the interior is that it was redesigned with the driver in mind. In the F430, all of the necessary controls are directly in front of the driver. All of the instruments and gauges are housed in a new console, with the tachometer sitting right in the middle. The speedometer is just a little smaller and positioned to the right. To the left, you’ll find the temperature gauge, fuel gauge, and oil pressure gauge. That background of the cluster is black, but the face of the tachometer, which also features a digital readout for gear selection, can be optioned with a yellow or red background and a metal surround.

Overall the passenger cabin is actually larger, thanks to a toned down central tunnel.

The upper rim of the steering wheel has been flattened to provide better driver visibility on the straightaways, and now features a starter button a manettino. The horn buttons have also been integrated into the sides of the steering wheel for easy access. Overall the passenger cabin is actually larger, thanks to a toned down central tunnel. The console isn’t as long as that of the 360. Up front, that console houses the gear lever turret, or the F1 console if the car is equipped with paddle-shifters. As you can see the seats carry a similar design, but have been optimized with slight larger side bolsters to keep the drive in place. Plus, the center insert of the seats has been refined for even more comfort. The seats came standard with electric adjustment, but at the time, purchasers could opt for sports seats that included four-point harness restraints. The interior could be optioned with carbon fiber or aluminum inserts to add a level of personalization.

Aside from these things, the cabin is somewhat familiar. The dash looks to sit more horizontally on the passenger side than on the 360, and the insert that surrounded the radio and HVAC controls on the 360 has been extended upward and over the top of the dash. At the very top, the “F430” name has been engraved on the insert. The HVAC vents have the same layout, but they protrude from the dash father and feature a five-spoke design. All told, the interior is really just as fresh as the rest of the car, and if you bought a brand new 360 in 2005, you probably felt pretty upset that you didn’t wait for the F430 to hit showrooms.

Drivetrain

2006 Ferrari F430 Drivetrain
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This is where Ferrari really went all out. The old 3.6-liter, five-valve, V-8 has been ditched for an all new, 4.3-liter, 90-degree V-8 that produced 490 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque. Power was sent to wheels via a manual transmission or an F1 transmission, and an electronic differential – the latter of which was a first ever for a production car. All this power pushed the F430 to the 62 mph benchmark in 4.0 seconds on the way to a top speed of “more than 196 mph.” With a manual transmission, the car could cover a 400-meter sprint in 12 seconds even, and a 1,000- meter sprint in 21.65 seconds. The F1 gearbox allowed the car to do even better, hitting the same benchmarks in 11.95 seconds and 21.60 seconds, respectively.

The engine itself used a flat-plane crank and didn’t share a single component with the 3.6-liter in the Ferrari 360. The engine in the F430 had 20 percent more displacement than that old 3.6-liter, yet it only weighed 8.81-pounds more. Overall torque was increased by 25 percent, which is certainly a huge advancement. Each cylinder in the engine was spaced just 4.09 inches apart from each other, which helped to keep the engine so compact. To help keep the engine as compact as possible, engineers also experimented with a number of ways to slim things down, and eventually setting on integrating the sump and main bearings into a single casting. The twin-plate clutch and flywheel were also reduced in size which dropped the space between the bottom of the oil sump and the crankshaft to just 5.11 inches. That’s actually a half inch less than the 3.6-liter used in the 360.

The valves and inlets were inspired by the designs used on F1 engines at the time.

The 3.6-liter had five valves per cylinder, but the new 4.3-liter used four-valve cylinder heads. The valves and inlets were inspired by the designs used on F1 engines at the time. Each head had two overhead camshafts that were variably timed. Ferrari ditched the belt-driven timing system used previously for a chain-driven system, which further decreased the overall height of the engine. Valve actuation was hydraulically controlled. The single-piece intake manifold was attached to two central plenums with throttle actuation controlled electronically. Needless to say, this 4.3-liter was much better than the 3.6-liter in the 360 and was significantly smaller. The most amazing thing is that the 4.3 only weighed just under nine pounds more than the 3.6-liter. Not only was it powerful and compact, but as you can see, it was also very nice to look at as well. If you’ve never heard one rev from idle to the redline, I’m sorry to say that you just haven’t lived.

Drivetrain 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

Prices

2006 Ferrari F430 High Resolution Exterior
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When the Ferrari F430 launched it had a ticket price that fell between $186,925 and $217,318 here in the U.S. In the U.K., it started out around £119,500, and in Europe, it commanded €175,000 in base form. In Australia and New Zealand, prices are said to have ranged between $379,000 for the base model and $459,000 for the range-topping F1 Spider. According to KBB.com, the typical price for a used, 2006 Ferrari F430 coupe in good condition with less than 50,000 miles is around $179,487. Seven years later, and the car has only lost $7,000 in value. Let that sink in for a minute.

Competition

Lamborghini Gallardo

2006 Lamborghini Gallardo
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Lamborghini Gallardo

When Ferrari released the F430 into showrooms, its biggest competitor was the Lamborghini Gallardo. Compared to the F430, the Gallardo had a boxier design and boasted a larger, 5.0-liter V-10. The Gallardo was actually around to compete with the 360, but the 360 just couldn’t compete. In the beginning, from 2003 to 2005, the Gallardo produced 493 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque – just three horsepower and 33 pound-feet more than Ferrari’s new F430. With that power, however, the Gallardo couldn’t keep up with the F430, falling short in the 62 mph sprint by 0.2 seconds and top speed by at least four mph. Lambo couldn’t put up with being beat out by Ferrari, so in 2006, it updated the Gallardo to produce 513 horsepower, with torque staying at 376 pound-feet. The result was a 4.0-second sprint to 62 mph and a top speed of 196 – dead even with the F430. The Superleggera, however, could make the 62 mph sprint in 3.8 seconds with its 523 horsepower. After 2008, Lambo dropped the second-gen Gallardo, dubbed LP 560-4, which was more than enough to beat out the F430 with 552 horsepower and 398 pound-feet. 0-to-62 mph came in just 2.7 seconds, and top speed was 202 mph. And the Gallardo was finally able to beat the F430. When new, the Gallardo was invoiced somewhere between $175,000 and $195,000 depending on trim level, but according to Cars.com, the average asking price for a used example is anywhere between $90,629 and $135,700. Not too bad, but definitely a significant drop in value compared to the F430.

Read our full review of the 2006 Lamborghini Gallardo here.

Conclusion

2006 Ferrari F430 High Resolution Exterior
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It’s hard to say much here after talking so much about the F430. It was a great car and was an even better successor to the Ferrari 360. The best part about the whole story is that Lambo had to upgrade the Gallardo just to keep up with the F430, and even then it was enough – leading to Lambo ushering in a second generation of the Gallardo just to best it. Either way, Ferrari made huge strides in engine development and passenger comfort with the F430, and with current pricing so close to what it was in 2006, it’s safe to say I’m not the only one who liked the F430. The exterior wasn’t very dramatic, which is something we don’t see a lot of in supercars today. And let’s not forget that the drivetrain advancements, layout, and that driver-focused cabin made the F430 a real driver’s car through and through. With that said, enjoy this video of the F430 Spider doing what it does best:


  • Leave it
    • * Could be beat by later versions of the Gallardo
    • * I still can’t afford one
What do you think?
Show Comments

2 comments:

  (6023) posted on 10.24.2006

fhdgjfkmthl,

  (6023) posted on 10.2.2006

F430 i could say would be the best ferrari ever. Lamborghini Gallardo is no way near compare this prancing horse........ Any well done ferrari!!!!!!

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