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What Car? says

5 out of 5 stars

For Logic-defying grip and amazing performance

Against Hard to come by, and incredibly pricey

Verdict A bit of F1 experience brought to the road

Go for… F1 paddle shift

Avoid… None

Ferrari F430 Open
  • 1. The F430 will return an average fuel consumption of 15.4mpg - if you're gentle
  • 2. The F1-inspired electronically controlled differential means the F430 has tremendous amounts of traction
  • 3. The clutchless paddle-shift gearchange gives you more of that all-important Formula One feel - and better performance
  • 4. Performance from the mid-mounted 483bhp 4.3-litre V8 is effortless
  • 5. Stick to the maintenance schedule rigourously if you want the best shot at good reliability
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Ferrari F430 Open full review with expert trade views

There are plenty of fast cars out there, but few get close to the Formula One experience that many people want. Ferrari's F430 is far from being an F1 car – it's too pretty for that – however, it does use a range of electronic systems pioneered on Ferrari's all-conquering race car to give punters some idea of what it's like to be in an F1 driver’s shoes.

These systems, most notably the electronically controlled differential, mean the F430 has tremendous amounts of traction. The handling is incredible, and the ride is pretty good, too.

The F430 performs just like you'd expect a Ferrari to. All versions use the same 4.3-litre V8 petrol engine, which gives 483bhp. Performance is effortless from 2000rpm, and upwards of 4000rpm it gives you a real kick in the pants. The engine sounds amazing as well.

Trade view

John Owen

The Posh Spice of modern motoring. High maintenance and totally unpredictable

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford

Other than choosing a red paint job, there are two choices to be made with the F430. First, you'll have to choose between Coupe and Spider versions. This Spider is a bit more expensive, but when you're talking about sums of money this huge the difference is negligible.

The only other choice to be made concerns the gearbox. There's either the standard six-speed manual, or a clutchless Formula One-style paddle-shift system in the F1 version. Whichever you choose, you won't be disappointed, but of the two, we'd opt for the F1. The changes are smoother than many similar systems, and the F430 is even quicker with the system installed. Plus, it gives you more of that all-important Formula One feel.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Making above list price in RHD, LHD are short-term bargains only

James Ruppert
Used car guru

We can't really avoid stating the obvious here – this car will cost a small fortune to buy and its running costs will be sky high.

True, as with all supercars, a Ferrari's running costs are about as far from a buyer's mind as it's possible to get, and that’s probably just as well. The F430 will return an average fuel consumption of 15.4mpg.

Insurance costs will obviously be just as horrific. You'll pay a group 20 insurance premium, and the high value of the car will push the premium up immeasurably. Servicing will also be hugely expensive.

Trade view

John Owen

The Posh Spice of modern motoring. High maintenance and totally unpredictable

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford

You won't be surprised to discover that our regular reliability surveys don't often cover Ferraris.

Like many supercars, Ferraris have had a bit of a reputation in the past for being temperamental. It's been generally accepted that if you have a car this powerful, it's undoubtedly going to have some problems.

However, although the F430 will doubtlessly need regular and careful maintenance, we see few reasons why it should misbehave if this schedule is stuck to rigorously.

The build quality of Ferraris in the last few years has improved immeasurably. The fit and finish are as tight as you'll find on any German sports car, and even the paintwork is superb. The F430's mechanical parts are works of art, and since it's these that get most of the engineers' attention, they should be unbreakable if looked after.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Making above list price in RHD, LHD are short-term bargains only

James Ruppert
Used car guru
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