Driving Icons: Ferrari 430 manual

Driving Icons: Ferrari 430 manual

Two hallowed words. Ferrari. Manual.

The Ferrari F430 was the last mid-engined V8 Ferrari. The end of an era. Yes, you could buy a younger manual 599 (around 30 produced) or California ( two produced), but the former are a little on the expensive side these days and the latter, well….. why would you?

The Ferrari F430 was a big step-up from the 360 it replaced. Introduced in 2004, it was significantly more powerful – 483 bhp vs 395 bhp – and more able than its prettier predecessor. One of the main differences was the newly uprated F1 gearbox. It really was an incredible achievement at the time, which meant that 90% of buyers ended up opting for the paddle-shift over the manual. Whilst this may sound like sacrilege to a petrolhead, the good news is that around 1,500 manual cars were produced – and they aren’t crazy expensive…

I think, and I’m writing this through a gritted keyboard, that this might be the first paddle-shift gearchange to have instead of a manual.

Chris Harris – Autocar

The 430 introduced the now-famous Manettino dial to the Ferrari range. this allowed the driver to switch driving modes on the steering wheel, changing the drivetrain, suspension, traction control and E-Diff settings to sharpen or dampen the driving experience as the driver saw fit.

I love the mood changes the Manettino introduced….

Harry Metcalfe

Despite the fact the F430 was much more sophisticated in terms of driver aids than any F-Car that went before, Ferrari managed to make the car feel analogue and in this day and age, you could argue that that is the Holy Grail of sports car handling and development. With hindsight, the achievement was a triumph. Just ask Chris Harris.

The other great feature of the 430 was its engine. Way more powerful than the 360, it also sounded guttural compared to the shrill, F1-esque and decidedly Ferrari scream of the 360’s exhaust. But where it lost on sound, it gained on ability – big time.

Its flexibility, even with the “preferred” F1 gearbox, was incredible and it made it an extremely practical for a sports/ supercar, let alone a Ferrari.

The Ferrari F430 has definitely become more desirable over the last few years due on account to sensible values and an appreciation of its “old-school” ability.

We just hope that Harry soon reviews its big rival – the glorious V10 Lamborghini Huracan.