Words by: Ben Abrams | Cameras by: Drew Larrigan and Blake Siebe | Video by: Steven Campbell
Although heavily overused, the phrase “racecar for the street” is especially appropriate when discussing the two vehicles we found ourselves shooting. The purpose of these cars was to give the Ferrari owner a more streetable version of their Challenge cars. These cars are for the owners who choose not to compete but rather want the option of a streetable car that is basically track prepped from the factory.
So, Ferrari developed lighter and more powerful production cars that still retained some interior amenities and were able to pass crash and emissions testing. If you didn’t already know, the subjects of today’s photoshoot and short video are the Ferrari Challenge Stradale and the Ferrari 430 Scuderia. They are the stripped down and beefed up versions of the 360 and 430 models.
The Stradale and Scuderia are the answer to Porsche’s RS and Lamborghini’s Superleggera. They are for the enthusiast who wants a more engaging experience from their exotic. If you’re the type of owner who wants to drive his exotic daily, these are not the Ferraris you seek. Can you get driver engagement and engaged driving out of the same package? With these two examples, there is no other way. Every undulation in the road translates to the steering because of stiffer, titanium springs and bushings sourced from the Challenge cars.
There is less weight to move around – 243lbs less than a Modena in the Stradale and 220lbs less than the 430 in the Scuderia. With carbon ceramic brakes standard on both models and larger 19″ wheels unique to each car, there’s no doubting these aren’t your “typical” road going Ferraris. These cars are akin to glass bottom boats in the ocean but substitute what you can’t see for what you CAN hear and feel under you. Every piece of gravel flying under the car’s carbon bottom is heard for no sound escapes the cockpit in these carpetless machines.
And the noise… thank goodness for the special intakes and resonators, and in the Scuderia’s case, a bypass valve designed to transmit that oh so gloriously raspy noise of 8 cylinders howling behind you! Throttle response is improved over the stock models however the Scuderia’s SuperFast2 60millisecond shifts gives it the edge over the Stradale’s Enzo-shared transmission. The power battle is won by the Scuderia as well with 508hp as opposed to the Stradale’s 420hp. And although the Scuderia is the newer, more refined model, many fans of Fiorano tend to gravitate towards the Stradale.
Some have said it all boils down to exterior styling which is purely subjective. Both are purposely styled with aerodynamics as the priority and only the skilled Ferraristi can tell them apart from their base model brethren. Some think that the Scuderia came with too much interior spec to be compared to the sparsely optioned Stradale and therefore waters down the purity and intent. The Scuderia’s technology included the F1-Trac traction/stability control system, which electronically controlled E-Diff2 wet-clutch limited-slip differential. In “Race” mode, this let the electronics modulate brake pressures, engine torque, and differential lockup. As the love-hate relationship with technology typically goes, the Scuderia is easier to drive like Schumacher whereas the Stradale, although with less power, requires more awareness and input from the tool behind the wheel and less reliance on the car to make the driver look good.
As the owner of the Stradale, I obviously have a soft spot for the car. Undeniably though, the Scuderia is a “better” car. It’s faster, shifts better, handles better, and just feels more solid. All that being said, the Stradale won’t be leaving my collection any time soon. Race cars for the street? Yeah, the Stradale and Scuderia really have earned that title.