Casual coupe… err… NOT!

2006, Ferrari, F430 coupe

Driving the 2006 Ferrari F430 Berlinetta Coupe on a treet drive, leisurely pacing it from first through fourth gear, in iconic Napa California was out-of-worldly. I ONLY reached 90mph in fourth gear out of the F430 six speed tranny but hey, it's how you reach 90mph that makes all the difference.

The 2006 Ferrari F430 Berlinetta is the first mid-engine vehicle I've driven. It's hard to call the race-ready 200mph top speed 2006 Ferrari F430 Berlinetta a vehicle. The Ferrari red Enzo supercar inspired with a 4.3L 32 valve double overhead cam (DOHC) V8 delivers 483 hp @8500 rpm with 343 ft-lbs. @ 250 rpm of get-your-attention torque powerplant transmission behind the driver.

This new 90 degree V8 is visible through a clear mid-deck hood that has a 11.3:1 compression turned by a flat crank running on five bearings in a dry oil sump, four-valves per cylinder powerplant. The rear wheel drive 2006 Ferrari F430 Berlinetta sticks to the ground with a electrohydraulic rear limited slip differential called "E-diff."

Four-wheel independent suspension front and rear stabilizer bar with a double wishbone rear suspension plant the 2006 Ferrari F430 for a 0-60 4.5 seconds run and top speed near 200mph. Ferrari claims 11/17mpg on a 25.1 gallon fuel tank.

Company man Andrew noted, "Race car drivers like flying too," when I shared with him my homebuilt aircraft passion. I understand why one would find the terrestrial 2006 Ferrari F430 coupe a wingless aircraft. Like my Thorp T-18 homebuilt aircraft the 2006 Ferrari F430 coupe has an aluminum frame with stronger aluminum body panels totally 3,200 pounds empty weight.

The 2006 Ferrari F430 Berlinetta F1 racecar lineage is behind the wheel of the six-speed manual transmission. "Don't take your foot off the accelerator to shift" seems a relatively smooth down-to-the-store driving experience. I've never driven a 200mph production machine before the honor of piloting the 2006 Ferrari F430 Berlinetta.

The 2006 Ferrari F430 coupe comes standard on 19-inch wheels with 225/35ZR19 tires on the front and 285/35ZR19 tires on the rear. Keyless entry fob, dual automatic climate controls, power seats, MP3 ready-and-able access is also standard.

The 2006 Ferrari F430 Berlinetta comes standard with antilock brake traction and stability control. Ferrari's steering wheel accessed driver selected "manettino" control settings incrementally adjust the amount of traction stability to the machine. Essentially, a dial-your-own drive-by-wire software interface that goes from street to racetrack-aggressive. It works, oh boy, yeah it works.

The 2006 Ferrari F430 coup optional Challenge Stradale wheels with wanna-be F1 racecar carbon-ceramic brakes, and matching material carbon-fiber interior trim. Seemingly endless interior trim selections to create your one-of-a-kind 2006 Ferrari F430 berlinetta leather racing seats. An upgraded audio and a navigation system, unique exterior paint, luggage capable all are offered from the factory.

$175,000 and up, but, hey , first class costs more.

By Mark 'Stretch' Batchelor

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Images of the 2006, Ferrari F430 coupe

2006 Ferrari F430 Spider
2006 Ferrari F430 Spider
2006 Ferrari F430  coupe
2006 Ferrari F430 coupe
2006 Ferrari F430  coupe manettino control
2006 Ferrari F430 coupe manettino control
2006 Ferrari F430  coupe
2006 Ferrari F430 coupe