How about a car with an aura that makes the small hairs on the back of your neck stand up merely walking towards it? In 2007, Ferrari unveiled the 430 Scuderia, its boldest attempt yet to bring F1 technology and excitement to a road car. Former race boss Jean Todt had just become CEO of the car division too, so the transfer of ideas, technology and engineering from F1 to the road car programme – always present as a strong undercurrent at Maranello – had gained a new, arguably defining, impetus.
The Scuderia’s power hike – up 20bhp on the already brilliant F430 – was perhaps as predictable as the 100 kilos sliced from the weight. But power-to-weight was just the starting point for the Scuderia. By combining the E-diff from the F430 and the 599 GTB’s F1-trac traction control system, Ferrari had created possibly the ultimate high-performance driving aid. The system allowed the rear diff and traction control to work in concert, feeding in precisely the right amount of torque for the swiftest exit from any bend, even with the throttle nailed to the carpet (if there was any). It trimmed entry-lines under braking, too. The Scuderia felt very different to the regular F430, not least the way, in a heartbeat, it could flip between mild-mannered docility and feral ferocity. It all pivoted around 3500rpm, at which point the exhaust valves opened and the transmission shift program switched from easy-does-it to let-’em-have-it: 503bhp and 347lb ft spat at the tarmac in rapid-fire chunks of scalp-prickling fury just 60 millisecond apart.
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The exhaust at full throttle was loud and penetrating enough to blow chunks off buildings. The steering was exceptionally direct and precise. What’s more, you could ‘over drive’ it in the most outrageous manner and the chassis would look after you.
Years made 2004-2010 Engine V8, 4308cc Max power 503bhp @ 8500rpm (Scud) Torque 347lb ft @ 5250rpm 0-60mph 3.5sec Max speed 198mph Price £176,212 new,£110-160,000 today