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.