Car enthusiast or not, everyone knows that a Ferrari is about three things: exclusivity, exotic Italian styling, and driving obscenely fast.  Now, our latest prancing horse is this 430 Scuderia, and it is indeed rare, and certainly gorgeous. But the real eye-popper is its performance! This Ferrari isn’t just fast, it’s race-ready.  And if you blink, you just might miss it.

The Ferrari 430 Scuderia has been turning heads ever since its world debut at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show. Designed to show off Ferrari’s F1 racing technology, and heavily based on the mid-engine Ferrari F430 we tested four years back, the Scuderia is over 200 pounds lighter and a hint more powerful. Lighter due to extensive use of carbon fiber; and more powerful due to under-the-hood and exhaust system tweaks. Biased more towards race car than street car, it competes with the likes of the Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera and the Porsche RS lineup.

“Scuderia” is the traditional name of the Ferrari racing department, and literally means “stable of horses”, of which there are 503 of them. That’s a bump of 20 over the F430’s 4.3-liter all-aluminum dry sump V8. With 347 pound feet of torque, it unleashes an exhaust growl that will stay with you long after you’ve parked the car.

In terms of the space-time continuum, the 430 Scuderia gets from 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds, with a factory top speed of 198 miles per hour.  Indeed, lap times at Ferrari’s Fiorano test track matched those of the iconic Enzo.

Shifts from the sharpened F1 Superfast 2 single clutch automated-manual gearbox are still handled by steering column-mounted carbon fiber paddles. But gear changes are now lightning quick-a mere 60 milliseconds-and over twice as fast as the F430. The Scuderia also sports E-Diff2, a one-two punch combining the F430’s electronic limited slip differential with a Formula One-rated traction control system.  They allow 40% greater acceleration coming out of corners than the typical stability/traction control unit.

Controlling the dynamics equation is a racing version of Manettino, or “little manager”-a rotary selector with five drive adjustments for suspension, shift points, and traction and stability control. New is a traction control “Off” mode replacing “Ice.” Even in moderate “Sport” mode, the Scuderia exhibits competition-style handling through sharp corners and twisty roads.  And its 19-inch wheels and tires are glued to the pavement, inspiring exhilaration and confidence in equal measure. Like all recent Ferraris, the car out-classes most drivers, with a fairly rigid ride telegraphing every nuance.

To bring its heaps of momentum to a halt, the Scuderia is armed with carbon-ceramic brakes.  Front discs are 18mm larger than those found on the F430, and six-piston calipers help clamp down on high-performance antics. With its aggressive shark-nose front and high-set rear fender scoops and dual exhaust, the Scuderia’s wicked exterior styling is almost identical to that of the super-aerodynamic F430.

Minor revisions include a larger front air intake and door panels that have been switched to carbon fiber. Out back, the massive rear diffuser has been reshaped to enhance air flow. 

The two-seat interior is all about scaling down weight.  It’s more like a racecar shell than a luxury cabin. Sound-deadening material has been eliminated, and the carpet has been ripped out to expose the aluminum floor. The racing seats are carbon fiber, too, and available in three sizes.

The Scuderia doesn’t even come with a radio.  You have to order one as an option. And there are no side airbags here, either.

But to claim this track weapon cockpit as your own, prepare to pay a hefty price.  The 2009 Ferrari 430 Scuderia starts at $287,968, which includes a $3,000 gas guzzler tax.  That’s about a 100 grand more than an F430.

But this Ferrari is much more than just an exotic Italian sportster.  It’s an extreme effort that completely blurs the lines between street and racetrack. For those with a genuine passion for driving - and, of course, a very large bank roll - there is none finer than the 430 Scuderia. 


  • Horsepower: 503
  • Torque: 347 Lb Feet
  • 0-60 MPH: 3.5 Seconds
  • Top Speed: 198 MPH