I read this on Jabbas World, and thought you'd like to enjoy it too, so here it goes!
While this is not a direct comparison (sadly), here are the first impressions on probably two of the most exciting cars to be released this year!
Speed Read: FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Maybe there's a place for F1 technology on the street after all. SPECS
* 503-hp 4.3-liter DOHC V8
* 2,975 pounds at the curb
* Integrated differential settings and stability control
* Tunable suspension and transmission 911 GT2: FIRST IMPRESSIONS
All the speed technology for the track creates a daunting challenge for the street. SPECS
* Turbocharged 530-hp 3.6-liter flat-6
* Six-speed manual transmission
* Three-mode stability control
* 214-mph top speed Articles: 430 Scuderia: At Fiorano With All the F1 Technology You Can Buy
Despite Ferrari's protestations to the contrary, the 2008 Ferrari 430 Scuderia is just a stripped-down F430, yet the factory engineers needn't worry about making excuses to justify this car's place in the model range.
It's been built with technology from Ferrari's super-exotic FXX specialty cars, has been tuned by Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher and laps the Ferrari test track at Fiorano as quickly as the $1 million Enzo.
It's one of those cars that will leave every other carmaker in the world wondering how it will ever catch up with the ever-adventurous enthusiasts in Maranello.
What else do you need to know? Stripped for Action
The 430 Scuderia is meant to be a track-ready car, the closest thing to the F430 Challenge that's built for Ferrari's worldwide marque racing series.
Just as with a racing car, all of the expense has gone into giving you less weight, not more car. The 430 Scuderia weighs 2,975 pounds, some 221 pounds less than a standard F430 and thus even lighter than a Porsche 911 GT2.
The suspension springs and wheel nuts have been carved from lightweight titanium, and even the shock dampers have been slimmed down by 5 ounces at each corner. Meanwhile, the carpets have been stripped out, replaced by carbon-fiber door panels and bare aluminum floors. It looks a bit raw from behind the wheel, as you glance down and see an enormous exposed weld in the floor next to your foot. It's kind of like a Lotus Elise in that way, but with far more room inside.
There are a few more horsepower on call, as the DOHC 4.3-liter V8 now produces 503 hp at 8,500 rpm, an increase of 20 hp. Meanwhile, torque output has increased to 347 pound-feet at 5,250 rpm, a mere 4 lb-ft more than before. All this has a lot to do with a revised intake
system made from carbon fiber, new pistons that increase the compression ratio to 11.75: 1 from 11.3:1, and a lightweight exhaust system.
The V8's electronic package also has been tweaked with a new ion-sensing knock-detection system that's integrated with the spark plug in every cylinder. These sensors can detect the very early onset of detonation, so the engine can run with the maximum amount of ignition advance to take advantage of its taller compression ratio. The Moment of Truth
The motor crackles to life with a microprocessor-perfect stab of the drive-by-wire throttle and sends a tantalizing, abrupt praapp past the trick exhaust valves and out through the free-flowing exhaust system. Acoustical graphs shown to us by the Ferrari engineers indicate that the Scuderia is actually louder than the F430 Challenge, although the character of the sound isn't as objectionable.
A big storm has blown in from the West and it's been raining, and the idea of cutting loose with a 503-hp Ferrari among the little Fiat Pandas that clog the roads on the streets of Maranello as we head for the countryside sends shivers up our spine.
Somehow we live through the fear and frustration. We feel out the car as much as we dare, and we are surprised that we don't care for the steering as much as we thought we would. It's not as direct as that of the Porsche 911, and you can feel some play on-center (perhaps because of the track-ready alignment). The ratio is quick enough, though, and there's not much shuffling of the wheel required to negotiate hairpins in the hills.
The suspension proves surprisingly compliant in its street setting, certainly far more friendly than that of a Porsche 911 GT3. The chassis is ultra-stiff, yet even a bumpy country road doesn't give you a shock through the lightweight carbon-fiber seat, the sort of thing that curses any extended drive in the GT3. If anything, it's the transmission that shakes you up, as it slams from gear to gear with a deliberate thud if you're deeper into the throttle than about 25 percent. Moment of Truth II
Fortunately the pavement dries up by the time we get to the 1.8-mile Ferrari test track at Fiorano in the afternoon, and no one seems more relieved than Marc Gene, a longtime F1 test-driver now under contract to Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro. It's his job to mind us on the track.
The 430 Scuderia is a showcase for Formula 1 technology. Normally we blanch when we hear such statements, as tangible technology transfer between F1 and the normal world doesn't exist. Or rather it didn't until now. When we see the throttle traces from Marc Gene's demonstration laps at Fiorano, it's clear where the car's electronic differential and stability control systems allow him to use full throttle very early in the corner and then wait for the computers to maximize traction as the car hooks up at the exit.
The Scuderia marries the F430's E-Diff and the 599 Fiorano GTB's F1-Trac traction control system, and then melds them into a single system called E-Diff2. They have been revised and taught to communicate with each other, and this, the engineers insist, has been the most difficult aspect of the car's entire development process. F1 champion Michael Schumacher apparently was instrumental in this.
Just as during our drive on the street, the action of the six-speed automated sequential manual transmission dominates your sense of the car. Here again you'll find F1 technology, as the gearbox swaps cogs in 60 milliseconds compared to the 150-millisecond interval you find in the standard F430. Say "bang-bang" as fast as you can and you'll get the idea. Gene told us that the gearbox is about as quick as a Ferrari F1 car from two years ago, and even the latest F1 car does it only in 30-40 milliseconds. Clipping Curbs
Thanks to the clever ignition tech for the 4.3-liter V8, the torque curve is fatter between 3,000 and 4,000 rpm, and the improved tractability and lighter chassis weight make the car surprisingly easy to drive, far more relaxing than the road-going F430. When you're at wide-open throttle and the transmission is done changing gears, you feel a fairly constant push from the engine until redline is reached. Ferrari claims 100 kph (62 mph) comes up in 3.6 seconds and 200 kph (124 mph) will arrive in 11.6 seconds on the way to a top speed of 198 mph.
There's some understeer to be found in slow corners (this has a lot to do with the setting you can dial into the E-diff), but it didn't seem to bother test-driver Gene during the laps we rode with him, as he wasn't wrestling with the wheel at all. For us, the setup felt better on the track than the road, and there's good steering feel as soon as you dial in about a quarter turn, as though there's some toe-out in the front alignment, and you're able to make minute corrections that don't seem possible on the street.
Using all the electronics to help the car carve the neatest, fastest lines through the corners, you feel magically talented as the electronics help you drive faster rather than simply avert disaster when you make a mistake. And yes, it is possible to hold a slide, as the ECU holds your hand.
Braking potential is limited only by the adhesion of the fat Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires, 235/35ZR19s in front and 285/35ZR19s in the rear, because the ceramic-composite brake rotors are up to the task, as you can see by the 15.7-inch front rotors with six-piston calipers. The brakes begin to grumble after about three laps and become difficult to modulate, which is something we've never noticed in Porsche's ceramic brakes. Available in Stores Near You
Some 250 examples of the 2008 Ferrari 430 Scuderia are scheduled to arrive in the U.S. next spring, and no pricing has been announced. Ferrari says it expects buyers of the 430 Scuderia to spend about 15 percent of their time in the car driving in track events, and it also believes most buyers will probably already own one or two Ferraris.
When you look at all the improvements made to the 2008 Ferrari 430 Scuderia, it's all legit stuff, although whether most buyers will make much use of it might be debatable.
We actually talked to a Ferrari engineer about this. We told him that most American buyers will probably opt for the Scuderia just to get the loud exhaust, plus the unique racing stripes down the middle of the bodywork. He laughed and said that customers in Europe tend to be more serious and often come to the factory looking for more performance, which is one reason the car has been built.
Here's the bottom line: If you see a guy driving a 430 Scuderia into valet parking, he's probably a poseur; but if a guy shows up at a track day in the pit stall next to you with one, then you'd better have something really, really fast or he's going to blow by you without breaking a sweat. Porsche 911 GT2: Finding 205 mph on the Autobahn With 530 Horsepower
The A1 autobahn, somewhere north of Bremen, Germany. We're at the wheel of the 2008 Porsche 911 GT2.
At an indicated 186 mph — almost 3.5 miles per minute — the surrounding countryside blurs into one constant stream. The slap of the tires against the expansion joints in the concrete road surface combines with the steady rush of the wind pouring over the car's curved profile. Yet even together they can't overcome the deep roar of the engine, which is still pulling hard some 800 rpm shy of its electronic cut-out at the redline of 6,800 rpm.
Long sweeping curves in the road ahead tighten in intensity and our heart rate races. We can feel the front end of the car lifting as it fights to control the huge aerodynamic forces. Yet the new 2008 Porsche 911 GT2 manages to track better at such extreme velocities than any other road-going 911 thanks to bodywork developed for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
It's uniquely challenging but wonderfully addictive. And thanks to Germany's insistence that speed — no matter how outrageous — is the right of each and every road user, all this is completely legal. Velocity Max
Officially the GT2 reaches a top speed of 215 mph, making it the fastest series production 911 ever unleashed for the road. "With speedometer error factored in, that's an indicated 214 mph," explains Alan Lewin, the new car's project boss.
We're ultimately 10 mph short of this at an eye-widening 205 mph as the sign to Oldenburg flashes by to our left. We've managed to better the 193-mph top speed of the Porsche 911 Turbo, with which this latest Porsche shares so much of its mechanical package. More than just 15 mph in top speed separates these two cars, however, as they are very different in character.
The four-wheel-drive 911 Turbo goes about its business with almost clinical efficiency, insulating the driver with technological wizardry in a way that has led many to describe this car as being too sophisticated for its own good.
The rear-wheel-drive GT2, on the other hand, relies on compelling rawness to stamp the driving experience with its own personality, challenging those behind the wheel to use its immense reserve of performance. Extreme Aerodynamics
While the GT2 borrows heavily from the Turbo in terms of its fundamental appearance, there are a number of detailed styling changes that serve to set it apart, all of which, Lewin tells us, have to do with airflow management.
The changes begin with a heavily revised front bumper with sizable outer air ducts that's also punctuated on each side by a row of eight LEDs. The central duct has also been enlarged to ensure more cool air finds its way to the trio of front-mounted radiators, a pair of air-conditioning condensers and the front brakes.
Porsche claims cooling efficiency has been improved, allowing the GT2 to retain the same-size radiators as the Turbo despite its greater power output. In addition, the GT2 has an oil-to-water heat exchanger for the gearbox (the 911 Turbo has an air-to-air cooler for this purpose). The front aero splitter has been strengthened to resist underbody airflow at extreme speed and thus reduce aerodynamic lift.
The rear wing is without a doubt the most defining visual feature of the new car, just as it's been for every GT2 since the racetrack original appeared in 1995. Fixed to the engine lid, it once again boasts a twin-element design with ram-air ducts to help the engine breathe deeply at speed. Below the wing, there's a heavily revised bumper that features vents to extract hot air from the engine bay.
Although the GT2 has a lower ride height than the 911 Turbo, its aerodynamic addenda results in a slightly higher drag coefficient — 0.32 Cd against 0.31 Cd. But compared to the meager 35 pounds of downforce the 911 Turbo develops at 200 kph (124 mph), the GT2 registers 20 pounds of downforce over the front wheels and 64 pounds over the rear at the same speed. This is comforting to know when you've got the GT2 wound up in 6th gear on a deserted German autobahn, believe us. A Soul With Six Cylinders
The engine of the GT2 shares its broad specification with the 911 Turbo, but internal tweaks provide a small but important edge in performance.
Capacity of the horizontally opposed six-cylinder remains 3.6 liters, but the combination of the latest Borg-Warner variable-geometry turbochargers making 20 psi of boost and a new variable inlet manifold together help increase power to 530 horsepower at 6,500 rpm, 47 hp more than the 911 Turbo.
The GT2 engine also produces 501 pound-feet of torque, an improvement of 44 lb-ft. More important is the fact that this torque is produced all the way from 2,200 rpm to 4,500 rpm. This makes the power delivery extraordinarily consistent across the rev range, as phenomenal flexibility combines with monumental top-end thrust. The power only begins to wane in intensity shortly before the ignition is retarded at 6,800 rpm. Feel the Power
On one lonely strip of autobahn we slotted the GT2 into 6th gear at just 1,000 rpm. With the speedometer indicating 50 kph (30 mph), we put the pedal on the floor mat and the car surged ahead without any unruliness until we'd broken 300 kph (186 mph). There's no discernible lag as the turbochargers spool up to maximum boost; just one smooth, linear and titanic seam of energy. You need to think hard about whether it is strictly necessary to call up that last couple of thousand revs in lower gears. Most of the time, it isn't.
The GT2's comparatively light curb weight of 3,175 pounds heightens your impression of speed, a useful reduction of the Turbo's curb weight of 3,483 pounds by 308 pounds. Then there's the fact that the power is being channeled to just the rear wheels, which makes you question whether even fleeting moments of full throttle are indeed prudent on public roads.
This is the first GT2 to get three-mode stability control and a limited-slip differential as standard equipment, yet wheelspin is not exactly an uncommon commodity when you're out to explore this car's limits. At 3.7 seconds, its acceleration to 100 kph (62 mph) is 0.2 second quicker than the 911 Turbo and 0.3 second quicker than the previous-generation GT2. The new car's headline performance number is its acceleration to 100 mph — just 7.4 seconds.
The revs build so suddenly in 1st, 2nd and 3rd gears that you always have to be at the ready to grab the next gear before the electronic cut-out at redline surprises you. It's only when you get to 4th that it all becomes less frenzied, though even then the acceleration remains strong. More Than Speed
Sheer speed is only part of the thrill, though. The latest 911 Turbo with its new fast-acting, clutch-type center differential and all-wheel drive is very much foolproof when it comes to fast driving. The GT2, on the other hand, is very much from the old school — tail happy and ready to punish those who fail to heed the warning signs.
Accelerate hard out of even a moderately fast corner in a lower gear and the GT2 will spin its rear wheels almost on demand. Fortunately the steering is more alert than in the Turbo, so winding on steering lock in a timely fashion keeps the GT2 under control.
The three-mode stability control intervenes much later than you'll find for other models of the 911, and it cleverly provides separate switches to completely disengage both the stability and traction functions. While on the subject of chassis electronics, it's worth mentioning that the stability control's electronics intervene viciously as soon as you try to left-foot brake — unsettling behavior at best and downright dangerous at worst.
In the right hands, the GT2's potential is phenomenal. Former world rally champion Walter Rohrl has lapped the Nürburgring in 7 minutes 32 seconds, a full 14 seconds faster than the previous GT2. The Comfort Quotient
Although the GT2 has been built for speed, not comfort, the ride quality is acceptable given the lack of compliance afforded by its low-profile Michelin Pilot Sport tires, 235/35R19s in front and 325/30R19s in the rear. Like the Turbo, the GT2 gets Porsche's active suspension that allows you to alter the damping in two predetermined stages.
There's an overall intensity to the ride that is just not apparent in the Turbo, but at the same time the GT2 still manages to swallow nasty ridges in the pavement without sending you off your line through the corner. That said, only a masochist would consider the sport mode on public roads. Developed specifically for track use, you have to fight the wheel to keep the GT2 pointed exactly where you want it, and even the smallest of surface imperfections makes it feel nervous.
If you get into trouble, the braking power is colossal. The GT2 has Porsche's carbon-ceramic rotors as standard equipment, measuring 15.0 inches in front and 13.4 inches in the rear. Eight-piston calipers grab the front rotors, while four-piston calipers do the job in the rear.
Porsche tells us that the brakes play a crucial role in helping the GT2 accelerate from zero to 186 mph and then back to zero again in just 40 seconds. Even more impressive is the ability of the brake package to resist fade. In fact, you could argue that the GT2 stops even better than it goes. Caution, Trained Professionals Only
Is this car wild? Certainly. Even rally ace Walter Rohrl admits that it's not for everybody. And its price of $191,700 when it goes on sale this November makes it even more of a challenge.
Yet the 2008 Porsche 911 GT2 can also be hugely rewarding in the right conditions. No, we can't imagine driving it down an unfamiliar country road in the rain at night. It's just too intimidating. But it is a car that is meant for the track, a huge driving challenge that is nevertheless brought within reach by a carefully tuned array of technology.
As Porsche's Alan Lewin points out, "It's a car for those who want to be able to take the car to its limits on their own without feeling impeded by any electronic features."