The F430 due for launch at next month's Paris motor show is the first of a new generation of Ferrari eight-cylinder models. This new car takes is claimed to take the company's aluminium technology, begun with the 360 Modena, to a whole new level and adds innovations derived directly from the company's Formula 1 single-seaters.

Two of these innovations are world firsts for production cars: the electronic differential (E-Diff) and the steering wheel-mounted switch which manages the integrated systems governing vehicle dynamics.

The other main characteristics of the new F430 are its light, compact 4,300 cc 90° V8 engine, which punches out 490 hp to achieve a specific output of 114 hp/litre, also providing the new car with a weight-to-power ratio of 2.8 kg/hp (dry weight); a braking system with carbon-ceramic discs for optimal efficiency under extreme use (optional); a Formula 1-derived gearbox that cuts gear shifting times down to 150 milliseconds allowing the driver to make the very most of this truly high performance car (0-62 mph acceleration in 4 seconds flat, a top speed in excess of 196 mph) and an aerodynamic design that embodies the very latest competition technologies, specifically the flat underbody and large rear diffuser to increase downforce.