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360 vs 360 Stradale: A real life comparison

Discussion in '360/430' started by ricrain, Feb 22, 2004.

  1. ricrain

    ricrain Karting

    Nov 1, 2003
    195
    Dallas Area
    Full Name:
    Ric
    Yesterday, I had the opportunity to drive both a normal 360 coupe and a 360 Stradale back-to-back at the Motorsport Ranch here in Texas. In light of all the "magazine racing" and somewhat baseless conjecture I've seen here, I'd like to share my impressions on the differences between the two. For brevity, I will refer to the normal 360 as the "360" and the Stradale as the "CS".

    First, the configuration, so that we all know how each car was set up. The Coupe had fresh Hoosier road course tires mounted on street rims, while the CS had the factory street tires. The Coupe has a "track" alignment (positive front toe and more rear camber than street spec). The CS has the factory alignment (negative front toe and probably less rear camber). The Coupe has over 23K miles, the CS had less than 500. I drove the Coupe for a total of 30 minutes, at speed, on the track, clockwise. I then drove the CS likewise for 60 minutes. The weather was in the mid-60’s (F) and partly cloudy. The track was dry.

    Appearance: The CS presents itself in a slightly more aggressive way. The aero mods are subtle, but do register. Even the uninformed noticed the small differences.

    Acceleration: The CS is noticeably faster. I suspect not so much in terms of engine output, but probably from weight reduction. The low-end feels about the same, but the power build-up as the revs increase is a little better. While it is noticeable, it's not startling... but I wouldn't have suspected it to be, since the published power increase is not that great (<10%). Since the motor was still young on the CS, we did not play with the launch control. Nor did we repeatedly rev it to redline. Also, perhaps from better power, or better weight, but the CS seemed to have tighter gear ratios. I strongly suspect the C&D and R&T published acceleration times are accurate.

    Sound: The CS is noticeably louder on the outside (in a "Tubi" kind of way). It's only a little louder inside, at least on the track. Track rules require windows down and helmets on at all times. With the windows down, most of what you hear is intake growl (and Lordy, what beautiful music that is!). Whether or not it's louder on the inside on the street, I don't really know.

    Handling: Since the Coupe had the more appropriate alignment, and far superior tires, to make an outright handling comparison was not really possible. I will say that the CS's street tires are very sticky for street tires. The CS seems to turn in faster and was more “tossable” than the last normal 360 I drove on street tires. In the tight parts of the course (turns 8-11), the CS could maneuver better, all most all likely to the weight reduction. Both cars exhibited the classic Ferrari handling that I'm used to. Very much like all the mid-engine Ferraris I've driven (almost all of them, 'cept an Enzo [hint, hint!]). The ASR (traction management) was FAR LESS intrusive on the CS than the Coupe, although I ran without for most of the time.

    Ergonomics: The CS was far better for my physiology than the Couple. The Alcantara covered seats were deep enough to provide nearly all the support I needed, both in my legs, and in my upper body. The fabric was surprisingly “grippy”. Only in the hardest turns did I have to extend my left elbow into the driver’s door frame. The Coupe is good, but not ideal for track use. For street use, I think it would be a toss up. Since the CS seats are not very adjustable, the Coupe (multi-way adjustable power seats) would probably be better for touring and long trips. With the addition of 6-point belts, the CS would be about perfect for track use. I wonder how well the Alcantara will hold up over time. The CS did have a little more headroom, due to the lower plane of the race seats. Other ergonomics, such as the steering wheel placement, pedals, etc. seemed to me to be the same.

    Ride: Since all my time was in track use, I didn't really even think to compare ride quality. Since the Coupe had the race tires, I couldn't objectively compare dive and roll, because the two cars had vastly different grip limits.

    Brakes: The CS wins, period. The pedal effort, lack of fade, repeatability, and pedal feel were superb. Of course the Coupe has great brakes, too. The carbon brakes on the CS didn’t ever seem to give up. I tried to brake later and harder on successive laps, but never really reached the full potential of the system. The hardest braking on the course was from about 100 to 60, and it felt as if you could make the transition from those speeds by just blipping the brake really hard for a few tenths of a second. I’m impressed. As an interesting side note, after over 2 hours of track use, the CS wheels were still clean… no dust at all. Do the carbon brakes make no dust? Or does the dust just not stick to the wheels?

    Transmission: Another generation of improvement on the F1 gearbox made the CS the clear winner. The downshifts were almost completely jerk-free. Some downshifts were so smooth it absolutely startled me. Shifting was fast on both cars. Since the changes to the CS gearbox is mostly software, I wonder if it would be worthwhile trying to update the Coupe. I hope Ferrari makes this the normal 360 gearbox soon.

    For my money, if I were to buy a 360, I’d almost assuredly get the CS. Is it worth the 10% premium? For my purposes: Absolutely. Anyone that claims that the CS is pure marketing hype is full of “Mr. Hankey”.

    Now I’m counting the days until I get to try it out on “real” tires and with full use of the engine.
     
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  3. spyderman

    spyderman Formula 3

    Nov 4, 2003
    1,482
    Toronto - Canada
    Full Name:
    Spyderman
    ricrain:

    Thank you for the very informative review! Its great to hear that the CS is a true track performance sports car!! :)

    A few questions:You mention real tires...I am assuming racing tires...are there ones available for the CS rims? Would you change the alignment on the CS for track days?

    I am hoping that Sports Cups become available for the car!
     
  4. SrfCity

    SrfCity F1 Veteran

    Nov 1, 2003
    9,842
    Orange County, CA
    Ric,

    Great write up. Thanks for the real world testimony/comparison. It's great to hear this kind of input vs you know, the other "let me tell you what I think," kind. I'm glad to hear it's worth the extra $$$. Now, if you're not planning to "cane" the car on the track would you still get a CS as a primary car or does the 360 really serve that purpose better? In other words is the CS a little "raw" as an all purpose car if you have to make a choice?
     
  5. rjklein

    rjklein Karting

    Nov 3, 2003
    124
    Nice, thanks for taking the time.

    Rob
     
  6. 96impalaSS

    96impalaSS F1 Rookie

    Dec 8, 2003
    3,504
    Hell
    Full Name:
    Chris
    Very nice, congrats.
     
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  8. ricrain

    ricrain Karting

    Nov 1, 2003
    195
    Dallas Area
    Full Name:
    Ric
    IMHO, if the car is to be used for weekend sprints, club rally events and that sort of thing, then I might consider a CS for the purpose. For all around use, the normal Coupe is probably a better choice. This is purely a subjective matter and based heavily on my comfort levels.
     
  9. 720

    720 F1 Rookie

    Jul 14, 2003
    2,623
    So. Cal and No. Utah
    Full Name:
    Rick
    i've owned three 360 modenas and i put a combined 20,000 miles of daily driving on these cars. the modena is a great car to drive everyday. i've only had my stradale for about a week and i've only put 300 miles on it, BUT it is even better and more fun than the modena. it's surprisingly comfortable and well mannered to drive around town. you control everything with your right foot :) if you drive calmly the car is as well mannered as a modena. if you want to drive aggressively then it immediately turns into a race car. you decide. the car feels more rigid and tighter than a modena, but this simply adds to the driving experience. although i only have 300 miles on my stradale i can already tell that it is the best car that i have ever driven. i am looking forward to driving it around town everyday.

    one more thing. the stradale is louder than a modena, but this is good. the stock modena was too tame. but the stradale sounds awesome...when you drive it aggressively. when you want to be more civilized the car is not much louder than a modena. but it sounds so good when you drive it hard you find that it is nearly impossible to drive it "civilized". rather you tend to put it in race mode (the exhaust bypass valves open sooner) and look for opportunities to jump on the gas pedal just so you can hear the sound of that exhaust!

    if you have a choice between a modena and a stradale go with the stradale. absolutely no question about it.
     
  10. Tennlee

    Tennlee Formula Junior

    Feb 10, 2002
    645
    Great Smoky Mountains
    Great post! Thanks!
     
  11. bumboola

    bumboola Formula Junior

    Mar 7, 2003
    625
    Thanks for the detailed post, Ric.

    Anxiously awaiting mine.

    Paul
     
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  13. solly

    solly Formula 3

    Jun 2, 2001
    1,148
    Westchester NY
    Full Name:
    Dr. Steven S.
    ricrain- excellent write up, thanks. Will you get the opportunity to drive a CS and a 360 Challenge at some point? I'd love to know how they compare.

    I'd love to get rid of the 2 car headache and just have one that I can use on street and track with a change of tires. (Then again I love the top down on a nice summer day and the 6 speed shifter in the spider. Decisions, decisions).

    Anyway, I really would love to hear how they compare for track use.
     
  14. triXXXter

    triXXXter Formula Junior

    Nov 11, 2003
    652
    Ft. Worth TX
    Full Name:
    Steven G. Ogden
    Wait a minute, did I miss something here? Solly did you not read the write up? This was a joke of some sort write?
     
  15. 456mgt

    456mgt Formula Junior

    Mar 24, 2002
    628
    Cambridge UK
    Full Name:
    Kevin
    The comparison was between a CS and a *Challenge* car ie. the racing version and not road legal.

    Great write ups from both ricrain and 720- thanks guys. My CS arrives in exactly a week and all this adds to the anticipation.

    Kevin
     
  16. Victory

    Victory Formula Junior

    Jan 28, 2004
    410
    Thanks Rick. Great write-up. Now you make me even more anxious for my CS.
     
  17. triXXXter

    triXXXter Formula Junior

    Nov 11, 2003
    652
    Ft. Worth TX
    Full Name:
    Steven G. Ogden
    Oh, sorry. It's late.
     
  18. nberry

    nberry Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    714
    [/For my money, if I were to buy a 360, I’d almost assuredly get the CS. Is it worth the 10% premium? For my purposes: Absolutely. Anyone that claims that the CS is pure marketing hype is full of “Mr. Hankey”.]

    I believe the premium is substantially more than 10%. Closer to 25%.
     
  19. Gary(SF)

    Gary(SF) F1 Rookie

    Oct 13, 2003
    3,637
    Los Altos Hills, CA
    Full Name:
    Gary B.
    >>I believe the premium is substantially more than 10%. Closer to 25%.<<

    I think it is about 15 - 17%. A pre-increase Modena F1 would spec out about $170 with normal options, and a CS is just a shade over $200k, right?

    Gary
     
  20. Chiaro_Slag

    Chiaro_Slag F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    7,731
    CA
    Full Name:
    Jerry
    Thanks - Great write up that I enjoyed reading - Even if I can't get either one. :)
     
  21. 720

    720 F1 Rookie

    Jul 14, 2003
    2,623
    So. Cal and No. Utah
    Full Name:
    Rick
    the base price of a stradale is $195K
     
  22. 720

    720 F1 Rookie

    Jul 14, 2003
    2,623
    So. Cal and No. Utah
    Full Name:
    Rick
    i have the window sticker in front of me for my stradale. here's the exact numbers:

    base price $187,124
    gas guzzler tax $4,500
    prer and delivery $300

    subtotal: $191,924

    options:

    battery charger $849
    fire extinguisher $506
    special features $832
    (i had them make my seats custom colors blk and yellow)
    all stitching in color $258
    colored steering wheel $322

    subtotal: $194,741
    destination charges $1,350

    grand total $196,091
    plus tax and license
     
  23. ricrain

    ricrain Karting

    Nov 1, 2003
    195
    Dallas Area
    Full Name:
    Ric
    OK, so I rounded down a little. I did the math in my head, but since we're picking nits, I used an abacus. :)

    The two cars I compared had base price differences of 11.8%. The CS had more add-ons, but even with the add-ons was only 14% more than the Coupe.
     
  24. dan360

    dan360 F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2003
    2,669
    Boston
    New Base for 360 F1 is 168,140 compared to CS 187,124 = 11.3% diff. (before taxes & options). 195-6K is a typical spec for a CS. A post increase 360F1 circa 175K.
     
  25. nberry

    nberry Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    714
    I failed to account for the price increase and F1. Without those two we are looking at approximately 25% difference. BTW, I have no doubt the Stradale is worth the price.
     

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