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2500 miles in a Stradale

Discussion in '360/430' started by robinh, Jul 9, 2004.

  1. robinh

    robinh Formula Junior

    Jan 3, 2004
    622
    Cambridgeshire, Engl
    Full Name:
    Robin
    This years Supercar Run gave me an opportunity to drive my Challenge Stradale for 2500 miles over 5 days and to get a really good impression of what this car is like as a drivers car.

    While I won't say how fast we went, it wasn’t slow. We drove to altitudes of around 3000m (nearly 10000ft), with no decline in capability, on a variety of roads with up to 10hours in the seat each day. The trip was not without incident, the result of which is that we also drove a nearly new 360 Modena (F1 gearbox) for a day so I can make a direct comparison with that car too.

    The seats in the CS are far more comfortable than the standard 360 sports seats. It's difficult to say why as they look the same, but they fit me, and my good lady, far better. This is perhaps one of the most important aspects of the car when doing long distance driving. The noise in the cabin (with the glass windows up) is generally similar in volume, if not tone, to the Modena, unless the exhaust valves open when the CS is noticeable noisier. The exhaust valves do not open all of the time, only doing so when pushing the car either during acceleration or at high speed. The sound when they do is just fantastic and some of the greatest fun moments were getting the car to open up while in long tunnels. When this happens, not only is the noise incredible, but the car vibrates and the reverberation caused is so strong it can be significantly felt through the seat - a real thrill.

    The CS is quicker than the Modena. From standstill this is quite hard to notice but as the speed increases the difference between the two cars really shows. The CS, being lighter is also far more easy to drive into corners, it maintains stability for longer, is not skittish and to be honest can be driven to my limits very easily without any sense that the car is struggling at all.

    The gearbox in the CS is a leap forward when compared to the F1 fitted to the Modena. The gear changes are smooth and quick with no real sign of any jerking, something certainly noticeable on the Modena. Having been a fan of the 6 speed in my last 360 I have to say I wouldn’t swap the CS gearbox for anything, especially when tackling mountain corner after mountain corner where control is improved by keeping both hands on the wheel and where gear changes can be done really quickly.

    The ride on the CS is certainly a bit firmer than the Modena but it’s hard to say in just what sort of way this is felt when in the car. Some hard suspensions in other cars can cause the car to hit you with each bump in the road, this just doesn’t happen with the CS. It’s just more subtle than that. Perhaps the easiest thing to say is that the Modena perhaps feels a little bit more as though it rolls and for those of you who have driven or own a Modena to say they roll is ridiculous.

    The brakes are fantastic and, if anything, better now than when the car was new. They make a slight ‘rushing’ noise but showed no sign at all of any wear or weakness in any way. They also stop the car like nothing else.

    For ‘normal’ driving RACE mode does all the things it says in the book but for the driver the most noticeable changes are the improved speed of gear change and a loss of what I can only describe as little bit of breathlessness. The car is just better, and louder, so it’s tempting to keep the RACE mode on all of the time, although this is not what we did.

    In the end the question is whether the CS is a car that can be used on the road – most defiantly the answer is yes. It may be more ‘raw’ and you can hear every stone that hits the underside of the car. However, it is comfortable, no more noisy in real terms than the Modena and the driving experience it offers is so much of a step above the Modena that they are hard to compare.
     
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  3. tonyh

    tonyh F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Dec 23, 2002
    14,372
    S W London
    Full Name:
    Tony H
    Great write-up, Robin. I will replace my beloved 355 Spider with a CS at some stage and your observations have helped me make the mental jump from 355 to 360....
     
  4. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed BANNED

    Apr 28, 2003
    46,667
    Texas!
    Much appreciated. It looking more and more like I'm gonna keep the CS that I have on order.
     
  5. 456mgt

    456mgt Formula Junior

    Mar 24, 2002
    628
    Cambridge UK
    Full Name:
    Kevin
    Good stuff Robin! Pleased to hear you got through it unscathed, and it wouldn't be an event without some drama would it? Did Ferrari replace the undertray or repair it?

    Hearing you talk about 'race' mode reminded me; we checked the clutch wear on mine after 3000 miles, all but 50 or so in race mode- 12% worn. Not bad! Answers the question of whether 'race' mode shags the clutch.

    Kevin
     
  6. watt

    watt Formula 3

    Jun 17, 2004
    1,312
    Way Back In, NZ
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    Giuseppe T Hemingway
    wonderful info Robin!!

    i started pounding my CS up and down the mountains near my home yesterday in race mode -- yikes, is that LOUD hammering to the redline [i come from GT2's with quiet turbo exhausts], but inspiring. the handling is stunningly good, the best i have ever experienced.

    as we've discussed before the lack of torque is quite noticeable to a "reformed" torque junkie like myself.
     
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  8. Brian C. Stradale

    Brian C. Stradale F1 Rookie
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 17, 2002
    3,603
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Then downshift! ;) Its just a paddle-pull! :D
     
  9. Brian C. Stradale

    Brian C. Stradale F1 Rookie
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 17, 2002
    3,603
    Dallas, TX, USA
    I agree with most everything Robin experienced... as this thread on my experiences testifies. Here's my few differences...

    Agreed... and I too have difficulty explaining why. I think its because they are snugger on the sides, thereby better distributing your weight... avoiding that single-spot-getting-sore thing.


    To my ears, the Stradale is louder... but it is a more pleasant sound. So, the noise actually bothered me a tad bit more in the Modena than the Stradale.


    That reminds me... I need to post my tunnel recordings... got two good runs in the Eisenhower tunnel... one with race and one without.


    Here's my guess... the lighter weight suspension (unsprung) parts make the CS move with the road better, transmitting less road imperfections to your butt, though you can still feel them distinctly in your hands (as you'd want).


    Except for the stiffening of the suspension... on some surfaces, you really appreciate the non-RACE mode!


    Everything else you said... I'll just say "ditto".
     
  10. ghost

    ghost F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 10, 2003
    9,845
    Singapore
    Great write-up Robin. A pleasure to read.
     
  11. watt

    watt Formula 3

    Jun 17, 2004
    1,312
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    Giuseppe T Hemingway
    brian,
    i am aware of that and do so... but massive torque is irreplaceable. there are uphill straights in Malibu where i know i would shred the CS in a GT2, having run so much quicker there in a GT2. not that it matters
     
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  13. robinh

    robinh Formula Junior

    Jan 3, 2004
    622
    Cambridgeshire, Engl
    Full Name:
    Robin
    One of the cars on the Supercar Run was a GT2. It really needs the turbo blowing hard to do eveything it can do so at times it too doesn't deliver quite what the driver would like. All cars have their stengths and weeaknesses, the CS is, in my opinion, one very, very capable car and one I'm even more impressed with as it hasn't lost very good normal road behaviour to its great track capabilities
     
  14. watt

    watt Formula 3

    Jun 17, 2004
    1,312
    Way Back In, NZ
    Full Name:
    Giuseppe T Hemingway
    Robin,

    please don't read me wrong - i vastly prefer my CS to my GT2's for my usage. i described optimal conditions for GT2's in the F vs P thread i think it was.

    had great fun pounding up and down the mountain yesterday and got to hear that "Monaco tunnel echo" you guys have been talking about -- off the cliffs...pretty cool. and i love how quiet the car is even at 7500 when you ease off, then that "F1" wail under power!!!

    CS handling is a gift from God.
     
  15. robinh

    robinh Formula Junior

    Jan 3, 2004
    622
    Cambridgeshire, Engl
    Full Name:
    Robin
    Not at all, and I'm honestly trying to give as objective a view as possible. The GT3 thoughts came from the owner of the GT2 which is an awsome piece of kit but perhaps not quite such an all round useful car as I have found the CS to be.

    I'd love to fault the CS and so far my biggest grip is a slight hesitation/breathlessness when not in RACE mode with the car nearing opening of the exhaust values.

    As you may all have read I also had a problem with the cat but this has been shown to be have been due to a faulty air flow sensor so not something I would hold againt the car as such.
     

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