From Rory Lumsdon in Frankfurt
Amid a scrum of photographers and journalists, Ferrari today (11 September) revealed the fastest, most hardcore version of its mid-engined F430 at Frankfurt.It wasn't just the new 430 Scuderia that caused all the excitement – racing legend Michael Schumacher was on hand personally to reveal the car that he's had a hand in developing.
Since retiring from F1, Schumacher's been helping Ferrari to tweak its sports cars, a job he apparently relishes.
Among other things in the 430 Scuderia, Schumacher has helped to tweak the Manettino, which is a special racing version. Unlike that in the standard F430, this has no 'Ice' setting, and features a special 'CT' mode that switches off the traction control, but not the stability control. Sounds like a recipe for fun to us.
What's more, the Manettino no longer controls the suspension at the same time – that's operated by a separate button on the centre console, meaning you don't have to have rock-hard suspension when you have lightning-quick gearchanges.
Those gearchanges are now quicker than ever in race mode, too, thanks to a new version of the six-speed F1-superfast gearbox that can swap cogs in 60 milliseconds. In a 599 GTB, it takes 100 milliseconds
The biggest difference between the standard F430 and the 430 Scuderia, however, is weight. It's been on a diet that has shaved 100kg, taking the dry kerbweight to 1250kg.
There's carbonfibre everywhere, from the door linings to the door mirrors to the seats. There's also no radio – who needs it when there's a 503bhp 4.3-litre V8 to listen to; 30bhp up on the standard engine.
The increased power comes from a new management system that can control each spark plug and combustion chamber independently, and a new piston design that increases the compression ration to 11.88:1.