The F430’s new 4.3-litre V8 delivers 483bhp and 343lb ft of pulling strength via a six-speed gearbox with either a conventional floor shift or paddles behind the steering wheel. It pulls effortlessly from 2000rpm, but it’s so fast from 4000rpm to the rev limiter at 8500rpm that it seems as if the world has suddenly speeded up.
Ferrari F430 Sports ride & handling
This is the first road car with Grand Prix traction aids, notably an electronic differential to inhibit wheelspin. You can adjust how much help it gives, as well as the degree of anti-skid control and suspension firmness, with a switch on the steering wheel. Its grip defies logic, while ride comfort is good.
Ferrari F430 Sports refinement
Part of the appeal of a Ferrari is the noise it makes and you hear it in surround sound with the roof down. When cruising, the F430 is quite subdued apart from some wind noise from around the mirrors. However, squeeze the accelerator and the engine gives an audible reference to your rate of progress. The paddle-shift gearbox is the smoothest yet.