New Challenge Stradale model marks shift in philosophy for Maranello
12 July 2007

Ferrari will take on old rival Lamborghini head on later this year, with a lightweight F430 Challenge Stradale model scooped here in unprecedented detail. Our pictures betray the Prancing Horse’s unquestionable intent to build a direct rival for the Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera. Not only that, but the F430 ‘CS’ will also be a successor for the Ferrari 360 ‘CS’, a car that won Autocar’s Performance Car of the Year award in 2003, and which we described as “the best Ferrari since the F40.”Thanks to the detailed pictures in our gallery, you can see that Ferrari has new, larger, and more aggressive-looking front air intakes planned for the F430 CS, as well as swollen air dams just ahead of the rear wheels, and higher-mounted, straight-through exhaust pipes at the rear.

Faster, lighter and more dramatic

In order for it to compete on an even footing with Sant’Agata’s stripped-out Gallardo, Ferrari will have to target a power-to-weight ratio of 390bhp per tonne. The standard car has 333bhp per tonne, and it’s likely that Ferrari will use a combination of extra power and weight saving measures to make the difference.The F430 CS will get a new, more free-flowing exhaust system that, one Ferrari source told Autocar, makes the engine “sound fantastic”. It’s also expected to get a revised engine management system which will allow the engine to rev even faster, boosting power from the standard car’s 483bhp at 8500rpm to 500bhp at around 9000rpm.Weight is expected to drop from the standard car’s 1450kg to around 1300kg, in line with Ferrari’s recently announced philosophy to make all of its cars lighter, and reducing their carbon emissions. Carbon fibre panels, lighter alloy wheels and a stripped-out cabin will all feature.The finished F430 Challenge Stradale is due to make its debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September. Expect it to come to the UK in early 2008, with a price tag of around £150,000.

And on the next CS: advanced aerodynamics

Ferrari has also revealed that it is working with Imperial College in London on a radical new system of active aerodynamics that will help markedly reduce drag.Dubbed ‘synthetic jets’, it consists of a series of small holes in the trailing edge of the car’s rear wings. Buried inside are small rubber diaphragms that vibrate at high speeds, pumping air out into the airflow running over the car’s body.The result, says Ferrari, is a “drastic reduction” in drag. Ferrari engineers say the synthetic jets can also be used to create drag to help slow the car down. An underbody pump working on similar principles is also on the drawing board.The project started in 2005 and Ferrari expects to build road-going prototypes in 2009. The system could first appear in the Enzo replacement, which is expected in late 2010.

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