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EVO Roadtest-430 vs Gallardo--------------------

Discussion in '360/430' started by tonyh, Dec 1, 2004.

  1. tonyh

    tonyh F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Dec 23, 2002
    14,372
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    Tony H
    #1 tonyh, Dec 1, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Ferrari F430 v Lamborghini Gallardo


    Having spent many more hours than we were strictly entitled to enjoying the F430 on everything from sweeping autostrada to sections of the classic Mille Miglia road race route, we now know that the F430 is a formidable achievement, the perfect embodiment of everything a modern Ferrari should be. What we don't know is how the F430 compares with the car that forced Ferrari to push so hard: the Lamborghini Gallardo.

    Which is why, precisely a week after boarding a Bologna-bound BA Boeing, Gus Gregory and I are back at Gatwick boarding another. Our mission: to collect an e-gear Gallardo from Sant' Agata and return to the self-same roads to complete the test that Ferrari really didn't want anyone to do but, as appears highly likely, everyone has.

    The F430 made a big impression on me last week. The tactility, the pliancy, the incisive, organic handling and yes, the sheer pace of the thing are not just a big step on from the 360 Modena but a big step on for Ferrari road cars full-stop.

    It would be easy, therefore, to make bold claims for the F430, claims that could come back to haunt us when the time comes to drive the two cars back-to-back on UK roads. And so, while driving the two cars a week apart isn't ideal, we're of the firm belief that given the choice between a full day in each car on the same roads in the same weather conditions but not on the same day, or a rushed hour-long rendezvous in which to grab a few driving impressions and photos, we'd take the former every time. How we make the photography work is a matter for Gus Gregory and art director Chee-Chiu Lee to worry about.

    It's with eager anticipation that we arrive to collect the Gallardo. Parked outside and finished in Lamborghini's trademark yellow, it looks like a chiselled hunk of sulphur smouldering in the October sunshine. Luc Donckerwolke's minimalist, graphic styling lends the Gallardo immaculate proportions which, to my eyes, make the F430 look a little fussy and truncated, but whatever your taste it's heartening that the two cars have such individual visual identities.

    Climbing into the Gallardo reveals an interior that conforms to the supercar norm. Low-slung, broad sills, hard seats and an intimidating view forwards, little visibility behind. Compared with the F430 it's a bit more confined, a little less airy. The pedals are similarly offset, forcing you to skew your hips in the seat, but the Gallardo's hard seats offer less lumbar support than the plump cushions in the Ferrari. It's a close call but the Ferrari edges it for ambience.

    You twist the ignition key in the Lamborghini rather than fingering a button, but the effect is no less memorable. The 5-litre V10 catches with a percussive boom and idles busily, filling the cockpit with a distinctive harmonic warble.

    As in the Ferrari, the Gallardo's e-gear transmission is actuated by fixed, column-mounted paddles. There's more mechanical noise associated with the gearshift in the Lamborghini, and the clutch has a harder time of getting the Gallardo underway than the F430. Perhaps it's something to do with the additional drag of the all-wheel-drive system, but if you need to pull out from a T-junction on an incline you can't help but wince in sympathy for the poor old clutch.

    Chuntering through the outskirts of Sant' Agata towards the autostrada reveals the Gallardo rides more stiffly at low speed. There's also more noise transmitted through the structure of the car, and this, coupled with the truculent edge to the transmission, makes the Gallardo a less accomplished urbanite. Once on the motorway, though, the Lambo limbers up a little. The iron-fisted damping makes more sense and there's plenty of weight to the steering. The self-centring is more consistent, but the feel isn't as detailed or natural as the Ferrari's, which isn't a great surprise as we've always said the Gallardo's helm is a little numb and aloof.

    What remains impressive is the engine, which offers instant acceleration despite throttle response that lacks the F430's snap. The Gallardo feels a heavier, more muscular machine on the move, backing up what the spec-sheet describes. At 1520kg the Gallardo is 70kg heavier than the F430, but it delivers 10bhp and 33lb ft of torque some 700rpm or so earlier than the more highly-strung Ferrari. The result is a set of on-paper performance figures that can barely be separated: the F430 hits 62mph in 4.0sec to the Gallardo's 4.1sec, Maranello claiming 'at least' 196mph for the F430 compared with Sant'Agata's 192mph for the Gallardo. And they call these entry-level models...

    What the spec sheets don't shed any light on is how the two cars achieve those figures, but as we point the Gallardo's sharply sculptured snout onto the foothills of the Futa Pass it soon becomes clear that what it lacks in livewire tactility it makes up for with unflinching traction and a less edgy, nose-led stance. Sure, understeer is less heroic, and ultimately a less entertaining trait, but we're not talking armfuls of plough-on scrub here, just a few degrees of confidence-inspiring, chassis-settling front-end slip.

    Of course, when you've had the option of adjusting the balance of your car with a switch on the steering wheel, the Gallardo's old-school method of telegraphing the limit of adhesion seems a bit low-tech, but when it comes to deploying a rampant 500bhp to the road as cleanly and safely as possible, all-wheeldrive will always have an advantage over an E-Diff, no matter how clever.

    Driving hard in the Ferrari through combinations of fast, third-gear corners, you make regular corrections, balancing the tail-led stance with small but important nudges of corrective lock. It's not that the Ferrari is twitchy - far from it, in fact - but it manages to resist understeer so completely that when you begin to tease the limits of adhesion it's always the tail that's going to move.

    In the Gallardo you carry similar corner speed but with less effort. It's a less edgy experience that asks less of you as a driver. You have to try absurdly hard to overwhelm the rear end, for it simply won't budge unless you provoke it as you would a front-drive hot hatch. Do so and you'll find it handles predictably and exploitably. For this very reason, and despite the F430's multitude of manettino settings, I'd put my money on a determined Gallardo driver putting clear air between themselves and an F430 should rain enter the equation.

    The Ferrari's engine has a more impressive reach, but the electric exhaust note has lost some voltage compared with the 360's ear-splitting shriek. The extra capacity has tangibly bolstered the low and mid-range response, but taller gearing and a greater need for revs than the lustier Gallardo can sometimes work against the Ferrari in the cut-and-thrust of a twisty road. However, it counters with faster, cleaner, snappier upshifts and, when it fully hits its stride, a more emphatic top-end rush.

    The Gallardo's biggest weakness is under braking. True, the Ferrari's carbon-ceramic stoppers are a £10K option but, as many of the year's worth of orders already taken for the F430 include the brake upgrade, it's clear that Brembo's finest is regarded as must-have kit by the paying public. Were Lamborghini to offer customers this option too, I'm sure the same would be true.

    It's obvious why when you launch a sustained attack on a road like the Raticosa. The Ferrari is sensational, maintaining a perfect pedal and linear, eyeball-popping retardation all day long. No wonder when you look at the dustbin lid-sized rotors that were originally designed to stop the 650bhp Enzo. Subject the Gallardo's brakes to the same treatment on the same road and they soon start to grumble in protest. The pedal simply doesn't have the consistent firmness, and when the brakes start to get really hot the ABS is keener to trigger over bumps, or if you're still on the brakes as you begin to turn-in. They don't crumble completely, but when you're carrying as much speed as these cars allow you to do, any change or deterioration in brake feel and stopping power is a big deal, chipping away at your confidence and forcing your right foot to waver when the Ferrari driver still has his foot hard on the gas. Lamborghini needs to get on the blower to Brembo, and fast.

    We need to drive the Ferrari in the UK, and in the rain at that, to really feel like we know the F430 intimately, but after a fascinating battle on home turf it's first blood to Ferrari, thanks largely to its superb brakes but also to its higher degree of involvement and connection. It might be more of a challenge to master, but the F430 is a challenge with rich rewards.
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  3. damcgee

    damcgee Formula 3

    Feb 23, 2003
    1,864
    Mobile, AL
    Thanks! I'm anxious to read the comparision between the Ford GT and the 430. I know that the GT is [considerably] faster, but at least they drove these two cars simultaneously.
     
  4. Cavallini

    Cavallini Formula 3

    Nov 2, 2003
    1,818
    No surprises really, and I'm happy to see the Lambo hold its own in its own way. I bet Audi will increase the HP but retain the AWD. That seems to be the G's greatest advantage, despite the weight.
    The Gallardo just may be able to strike the mean between the 911 TT and the 430. The big question is whether buyers will want that midpoint.


    Forza,


    Cavallini
     
  5. shin

    shin Karting

    Apr 8, 2004
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    Shin
    Thanks for the post! Tonyh, do you have larger versions of the pics, especially ones comparing both cars in profile? Please post them if you do, thanks a lot! :)
     
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  7. Mark(study)

    Mark(study) F1 Veteran
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  8. 2000YELLOW360

    2000YELLOW360 F1 World Champ
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    Art
    Price difference?

    Art
     
  9. 4i2fly

    4i2fly Formula 3

    Apr 16, 2004
    1,330
    SF, Bay Area
    I haven't driven the Gallardo but I have heard there are more issues with its drivability than just its brakes. But from the article it sounds as though if Audi came up with a weight shedding program and better brakes to match Ferrari's they don't have to fight on HP and Gallardo will be just as rewarding to drive.
     
  10. racerdj

    racerdj F1 Veteran
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    Jan 19, 2003
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    Thanks for posting the article. What's wrong with having a future 430 and Diablo in the garage? I believe it's the best of both worlds!!
     
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  12. 5to1

    5to1 Formula Junior

    Mar 15, 2004
    522
    The G's brakes are as good as any car i've driven and better then most. Infact they are probably better then the standard brakes on the F430 given the specs released.

    However, they don't offer CCB on the G. And the conventional brakes obviously have the brake fade drawback.

    But CCB have drawbacks too. The biggest being cost of replacement. For example on the GT2, 4/5 brake changes = new GT2.

    So CCB brakes provide an odd dilema IMO. Brake Fade isn't a huge factor on road use. (But CCB's will last longer on road use, thus offsetting some of the cost). But for track use (where they obviously stand out) will the average guy be able to afford to use them?
     
  13. 4i2fly

    4i2fly Formula 3

    Apr 16, 2004
    1,330
    SF, Bay Area
    If the steel rotors that I saw posted on some other thread come standard on the F430 they are a joke. They look way too small for the 19" wheels and if they are the same size as the 360s I would say with the heavier F430 they will not work as well. It will almost push every F430 buyer to get the CCBs and not even think twice. It would have been good if Ferrari was offering a conventional big brake upgrade for the F430.

    I guess if we are talking heavy track use like some Ferrari owners do they can be costly. But if you are going to track your car 3 - 4 times a year they should be o.k.
     
  14. rossi

    rossi Formula Junior

    Feb 6, 2004
    480
    Sooo right, 412fly, bigger steel discs (they SHOULD be standard, but an upgrade would be better than nothing...) and everything would be fine.
     
  15. 5to1

    5to1 Formula Junior

    Mar 15, 2004
    522
    I know the GT2 guys who even semi track there cars retro fit GT3 steel rotors. (Althogh there is a glazing problem with the PCCB when used on the track. I know they no longer warrantee them for track use, lol).

    Its just a big expense to worry about. I think alot of people will get a big shock when it comes time to replace their Brakes. And it will be a big problem for second hand buyers. You really need to do your homework before buying a car with CCB.
     
  16. Testacojones

    Testacojones F1 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2003
    5,139
    Terra

    Also I dont care about PCCB brakes, Porsche GT3s use steel rotors during races and they do extremely well in racing.
     
  17. Cavallini

    Cavallini Formula 3

    Nov 2, 2003
    1,818

    From certain angles the Gallardo is more stunning than the 430, at least in photos.


    Forza,


    Cavallini
     
  18. Koby

    Koby Formula 3

    Dec 14, 2003
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    Jason Kobies

    Very different situation, Porsche has had major problems with wear on the PCCB. Search this forum and you will see that CS owners have very positive feedback about wear on the CCBs.

    Back to the topic at hand, I hold evo in very high regard, and judging by their comments on the F430, it looks like Ferrari have really out done themselves with this car.

    Meaden is not easily impressed, to hear this level of praise is very meaningful.
     
  19. 5to1

    5to1 Formula Junior

    Mar 15, 2004
    522
    I'm just using the PCCB's as an example for the cost of replacement. Not the Longevity.

    Point is if you hammer the car around a track, any brakes will wear quickly enough. Cot per mile of usage IMO is definately going to be higher if you track the car. So there's a catch 22 situation for owners/buyers:

    The main advantage of the CCB's is realised on the track. But it could be costly. On the road I think you'll come closer to realising the cost differential with the longer life of the brakes (IMO again). But when it comes to resale how confident will people be buying from private buyers?

    Personally given the size of the steel brakes F offer I think I would spec them. But its not a no brainer.
     
  20. 4i2fly

    4i2fly Formula 3

    Apr 16, 2004
    1,330
    SF, Bay Area
    That's right, the only advantage of CCB is resistance to fade after 100s of track laps. In real world driving I doubt anyone would run into a situation where CCBs are needed. Always better brake fluid and air flow can remedy steel brakes fading in hard consecutive usage... But those 360 steel rotors look too funny on those 19" wheels and they won't be as effective since F430 is gobs heavier than 360. So what is the owner to do. I think if there were other sources for the replacement parts than Ferrari the price would not have been so expensive to replace... Early adoption of any technology will have adverse effect on one's pocket book.
     
  21. SimonA

    SimonA Karting

    Sep 2, 2004
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    Simon Adams
    I am sorry but I wish that when car mags decide to compare or do a comparison of two sports cars that they actually drive them at the same time. I have always liked reading EVO. I find most articles interesting. But I did not expect them to do this. I would have much rather them wait and do a proper comparison. Am I the only one who wishes this?
    In regards to braking and brakes. I watched a Video about a year ago by Best Motoring. They did a test with both the Gallardo and the Muci. They said in the video that the brakes were not as good as the 360. So imagine for a moment what that means compared to a Stradale and then to the F430. It has always been that Lambo is not as good on brakes lasting when driven hard. I believe the F430 will be a terrific car to drive. I can't wait to be able to see one and drive one.
    I am also looking forward for all the mags specially Car, EVO and Top Gear to do a sports car test. I hope to see all the players like Ford GT, Gallardo, F430, and 997 S, 996 TT. I am curious how the F430 will compare to all these sports cars?

    Cheers,
     
  22. 5to1

    5to1 Formula Junior

    Mar 15, 2004
    522
    The 997 TT is the one that really has me thinking. Given the strength of the S where the hell is this car going to be?

    If only it was differentiated from the rest of the 911 line up. It would be my first pick everytime.
     
  23. ben, lj

    ben, lj Formula Junior

    Aug 23, 2004
    589
    probably several hundred lbs heavier as usual.
     
  24. Koby

    Koby Formula 3

    Dec 14, 2003
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    Jason Kobies
    Am I missing something? There's a pic of the two side-by-side....
     

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