For those of you out there who have never gotten the opportunity to pilot a Ferrari well then, I’m sorry. You see for a car guy this is one of those rare opportunities in life that you must take full advantage of. Case in point, the Ferrari F430 you see here. A good buddy of mine was kind enough to loan me the keys to this stellar machine for a few days so I could drive, enjoy and thrash the hell out of it for the purpose of bringing you guys an honest review. Yep, sometimes life is good, very good.
I’ll give you some quick specs just so you know what I’ve been dealing with. The Ferrari F430 puts out 490-horsepower from its 4.3-liter V8 engine. It goes from zero to 62 mph in 4.0 seconds with a top speed of over 195 mph. This baby also has a F1-style gearbox with shift times of 150 milliseconds, WOOF! Yea I know, sometimes it sucks being me.
So lets get too it then shall we. Keep in mind that the Ferrari F430 is not your average everyday car, and truth be told, it’s an absolute privilege to be able to drive and enjoy it. The first thing, above anything else that I looked at was the driving position and if my large stature would actually fit in the car. Now, not only did I fit, but the driving position, head, leg and shoulder room were more than sufficient. This is something that I was pleasantly surprised by as I could now go and drive in comfort.
Once settled in I observed my surroundings and noticed a few things. First off the Ferrari gives a driver everything they could want from an interior without making things overly complicated. The dash layout is simple and straight forward and everything you need is present and accounted for. No fancy screens, knobs or controls muck up this cars interior. There are also no cup holders, heated seats or a sunroof. What this means is that everything that is present in this car is there to aid the driver in concentrating on piloting the car itself. In this case less is truly more.
Once settled in I buckled up, turned the key and glanced down at that big red button on the F1 style steering wheel that simply says: ENGINE START. This is a very good button.
With a quick push of the starter the Ferrari fired to life. This was a big moment, because the only thing left to do now was drive. I popped the car in neutral by pulling both paddles together and hit the “R” button on the center console. This engaged reverse and I proceeded to back out of the driveway. One thing you notice immediately is that the F430 sits low, very low so one must be conscious of everything that the road has too offer. Potholes, curbs, speed bumps… all of these are not a friend to a Ferrari, so for all drivers out there, take heed.
The Ferrari’s engine treats you to a symphony for the ears, in fact why this car even comes with a stereo system is completely beyond me. As mentioned, the F430 has a 4.3-liter V8 that makes the most beautiful sound. What I can’t understand though is how Ferrari makes a V8 engine sound this way… the American’s can’t do it and neither can the Germans, so how in God’s name can the Italians? Maybe it was done with some kind of blessing from the Pope, because I honestly believe that only God could have created a sound this good.
Driving the F430 around my local neighborhood in Queens garnered looks from just about everyone, while filling up at the local gas station brought questions galore. This car is an attention getter, no doubt. After my fill-up I jumped on the Cross Island Parkway and headed south with my final goal being Jones Beach on Long Island’s south shore. The highway is where the Ferrari really shines and it becomes apparent that right from the get go, this is where this car is at home. Blipping through the gears is met with pure delight as the transmission shifts smoother than anything else that I’ve had the privilege of driving. The really fun part though is when you drop it down a couple of gears and put your foot in it. The noise that comes out of the exhaust will make car guys get instant wood and car girls blush. It’s addicting, intoxicating and will get you thrown in prison if you’re not careful.
As I drove the car I realized that this car was a test. It was a test for any human being that was sitting behind the wheel. The F430 does NOT want to go 65 mph. It does NOT want to cruise in the right hand lane, and most of all it DOES NOT want to be passed by any other car on the road. It wants to be king and in doing so will defend it’s court by utilizing whatever idiot happens to be behind the wheel. Think of the F430 as the Ring from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Poor Frodo was powerless against its will and when the ring commanded him to do something, he just did it. The Ferrari F430 has the same power.
Once down at Jones Beach I pulled into a parking lot and proceeded to take photo’s from every angle. What this did is show me that Ferrari put quite a bit of time in on this one. Every line is masterfully crafted, every curve is there for a purpose and every part has a job to do. There is no fluff here, just components that were made to work together to bring their owner the driving experience of a lifetime.
I decided to take the long way home and headed a little further east to the Jones Beach Bridge. Now, for those of you who know this location you’ll know that the bridge is a perfect place to do a little “testing”… and this is exactly what I did. As I approached the bridge I did a quick scan to make sure the coast was clear. Once confident I simply put my foot down, watched the revs climb and blipped my way through the gears. Intoxicated is the only way to describe what I was feeling and to be honest, I couldn’t tell you how fast I was going, nor do I care. What I can tell you though, is that the Ferrari F430 is a car that will change the way you look at all other cars. It gives new meaning to the word “performance” and will want to make you sell your wife and kids for the honor of getting the keys. Yes, this car is everything I have said and more. Since it still happens to be in my garage, I am now going to leave this shiny box in front of me, head for the garage and go for a ride in something that is far better than any drug you can take.