Ferrari will unveil its F430 replacement at Frankfurt in October, giving its biggest-selling model a life of just five years.
Code-named Ferrari F142 and expected to be christened Ferrari F450 in production, the new V8-powered car will be largely new, with few carryover components in the chassis or bodywork.
While it was only released in 2004, the Ferrari F430’s chassis was heavily based on the 360 Modena whose parts dated back to 1999.
The new Ferrari F450 will also be the first production Ferrari to reflect the ethos of green materials and weight reduction first seen on the Ferrari Mille Chili eco-concept (pictured) in 2007.
Production of F430s has slowed recently, ahead of the F450’s start-of-production in July. Insiders who have seen the F450 insist it is one of the most beautiful Ferraris in years.
While details on the car are scant, it will run an enlarged version of the F430’s V8, equipped with direct injection giving an output of more than 500bhp from its 4.5-litre capacity, hence the F450 moniker.
The transmission will be a variant of the seven-speed dual-clutch system shared with the new California.
Linked to Ferrari’s steering-wheel mounted ‘manettino’ control, the dual-clutch transmission promises drivers a choice between quick sporty changes and relaxed automatic operation.
Ferrari has been working hard on weight reduction with its suppliers and the F450 is expected to take Alcoa’s advances in aluminium chassis technology to new heights.
Sources also suggest the F450 is already as fast around the Fiorano test track as the compromise-free F430 Scuderia.
But it will also ride more firmly than the Ferrari California, leaving buyers in no doubt about the focus of either car.
European Ferrari F450 sales are expected to begin late this year or early in 2010.