On a sunny Sunday morning. My friend and I finished breakfast at the Golf Club and we are ready to head home. As I was about to step into my car, my friend offered to swap cars so we could drive each other's car from the Club to the roundabout several Kilometers ahead. He has got a Ferrari 430 Scuderia, how can I say no!
In no time, I hopped on, adjusted the bucket seats and buckled myself up in the 4 point racing harness. I put the big red key into the ignition, turn it and heard the fuel pump hist behind me..... Just like a race car I thought to myself. My adrenaline was already pumping so I hit the big red start button.....the unmistakable Ferrari starter go......BAAAARAM!
It's ALIVE I am truly excited.
Flip the paddle on the right, first gear engaged and I am off. It was a leisure drive to the gatehouse and you can feel how light the car is and how little sound deadening it has. You could hear every little stone that got thrown up onto the wheel well. The transmission was very docile and the muffler was very calm. In no time, I was at the gatehouse. I looked at the rear view mirror and saw my friend busy getting used to driving my manual transmission car. He must be a bit rusty driving a manual.
Let's not wait for him.
I looked down at the steering wheel and did the obvious.... Evil smile. Click click..... Race Mode....ON! Hell yeah. I gunned it, off we go onto the uphill straight. The previously docile transmission has suddenly been alerted of my intention and tensed up. First gear………. 8000 rpm.....BAM ..... Second gear........ 8500 redline BAM .......third!
The transmission, although a single clutch unit, shifts lightning fast. A little research showed me that it can perform each shift in 60 milliseconds! No human can match that. Although a double clutch unit can shift even faster, it lacks the violence and the "Godfather" like "smack" in the back of your head every time you upshift, which I kind of like, for this particular car.
The sound! Glorious is the word. It is the right kind of loud, especially after 4000 rpm. It's a combination of great induction sound and exhaust roar perfectly orchestrated unmistakably by the one and only manufacturer, Ferrari.
A corner was coming up fast, so I eased off the throttle and started applying the brakes. These strong carbon ceramic brake not only inspire confidence for late braking, they were also full of feel and you know exactly how much braking force you were applying to the disc, it is nothing short of amazing.
Oh, about the corner.
Pull the left shift paddle to downshift....whammmmm, pull again, WHAMMMM, third gear engaged, trail brake, turn in, ease off the brake, reapply throttle. The tail stepped out just a little wee bit and I am catapulted to the exit. The steering and handling were..... For the lack of words..... Telepathic. In fact, I thought the Scuderia can actually read my mind!
Honestly, I rarely felt so connected to a car. The 430 Scuderia felt like a..... Huge Go Kart….. very light, fast, tractable, so much fun.
Before I knew it, I arrived at the meeting point near the roundabout. I pulled into the parking lot and stepped out of the car. It felt too short, but I savor every second of it.
I just noticed, the car is well designed and achingly beautiful too.