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TreVoR

Civic Type-R & F430

I stuck my drunken hand up at a charity auction a couple of months ago and came away with a couple of Knockhill experience vouchers.

One was for a Aston Martin V8 Vantage and the other was for a F430.  I have driven a Vantage and while it was a nice car, it didn't blow my frock up (so I donated the drive to a mate), but I have driven a V8 Ferrari in the shape of a 355 and loved it so was rather excited to try a F430.

I have never been to Knockhill but have heard of it and seen it on TV - my pre conceptions were that it is a tricky and challenging circuit and I have to say that I was marginally nervous.

Firstly, the Type-R.

The latest version of the ubiquitous hot hatch.  I liked the car - the sports seats were comfortable and it was easy to settle into a good driving position behind the sweeping dash and chunky wheel.

I was blown away by the performance.  It pulled hard from low revs and once it was in the VTEC zone, it really sang with a nice throaty roar.  I was less satisfied by the massive tendency to understeer.  It has been a long time since I have driven a FWD car so it may just be me but I really didn't like this trait very much.  I could have done with a few more laps to get the hang of it and it didn't leave me with much confidence for driving the Ferrari.

I needn't have worried.  On first glance, the F430 is merely an updated F360, which again was an updated F355.  I really gelled with the 355 I drove some years ago and the same could be said again with the F430.

The car was a joy to drive.  Very easy to place exactly as you wanted with steering that let you know exactly what was happening.  The throttle was easy to modulate and the chassis let you know when to apply the power.  The whole car was very forgiving - it had a slight tendency to squirm under hard braking but I really enjoyed that - made me feel like I had to work a little bit to keep the balance under control before applying the power.

The grip levels even in the damp were phenomenal - I could feel the TC fighting a little bit but you could balance the car with a bit of throttle and brake in the right places.

Flappy paddles - yes, I would have preferred a stainless steel open gate dogleg 'box, but for performance, this paddle 'box was very good and didn't remove any enjoyment of the experience at all.  There was the usual jerk on upshift, but downshifts were fantastic.

It made a lovely noise like only a V8 Ferrari can.

Overall, a very enjoyable day - I loved the fact that the instructors let you wring out the car to get the best performance.  I also loved Knockhill - a challenging track but very rewarding when it all flowed together as it should.  I would love to take the TVR around.

I drove up from Consett up the A68 so the drive there and back was not without excitement too.  I think I may have wound up a dash cam warrior by overtaking him so look out for Youtube videos involving TVRs!  

Altogether, highly recommended.
simonp

Interesting fact alert: Honda reversed the VTEC for the new CTR. It does the high lift cam bit at low revs now and then drops down when the turbo comes on song.
Twelfth Monkey

Sounds like a great day.  Autocar tracked their CTR, I think for most of a day.  It needed new tyres, discs, pads etc - £1,600 or so.  Eek.
TreVoR

simonp wrote:
Interesting fact alert: Honda reversed the VTEC for the new CTR. It does the high lift cam bit at low revs now and then drops down when the turbo comes on song.


Really, that's is interesting - you would have thought it was the other way around.  Either way, it pulled really well and power delivery was very linear.
franki68

the 430 is superb,when I bought the gallardo it really was a hard decision which one to buy.
Never gelled with the steering ,too quick for me,made the car feel nervous.
TreVoR

The steering is very direct but full of feel.  I am used to quick steering in any case.

A couple of photos.  It is a good looking car.

KP-080416FER0011_original by Mark Lee, on Flickr

KP-080416FER0010_original by Mark Lee, on Flickr

KP-080416FER0007_original by Mark Lee, on Flickr
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Wouldn't you rather have that than a Defender?
TreVoR

Seems an odd question.  The Defender is a tool to do a multitude of jobs which I happen to quite like.

I loved the F430 but they are £70k+ for a decent one.
Bob Sacamano

TreVoR wrote:
Seems an odd question.  The Defender is a tool to do a multitude of jobs which I happen to quite like.

I loved the F430 but they are £70k+ for a decent one.


No-one's suggesting you buy a decent one.


Just buy a good value one and have it re-built on a new chassis at great cost over a number of months...


(gets coat.....)
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Bob Sacamano wrote:

No-one's suggesting you buy a decent one.

Just buy a good value one and have it re-built on a new chassis at great cost over a number of months...

LOL !
PG

Bob Sacamano wrote:
TreVoR wrote:
Seems an odd question.  The Defender is a tool to do a multitude of jobs which I happen to quite like.

I loved the F430 but they are £70k+ for a decent one.


No-one's suggesting you buy a decent one.


Just buy a good value one and have it re-built on a new chassis at great cost over a number of months...


(gets coat.....)


Sorry, but I had to laugh at that..  
gooner

Bob Sacamano wrote:
TreVoR wrote:
Seems an odd question.  The Defender is a tool to do a multitude of jobs which I happen to quite like.

I loved the F430 but they are £70k+ for a decent one.


No-one's suggesting you buy a decent one.


Just buy a good value one and have it re-built on a new chassis at great cost over a number of months...


(gets coat.....)


Best me to it Bob! I think even Mark would baulk at a replacement chassis and new engine for a Ferrari.
Dr. Hfuhruhurr

He could share the V8 between the Ferrari and the TVR
TreVoR

Bob Sacamano

To be fair this would be a far less interesting forum if Mark didn't share his car buying exploits.
Alf McQueef

When we did the trackday with work a year ago, two cars won universal praise from people, even those who expected not to like them - the Nissan GTR and the 430. I certainly would not say no to a 430...

FWD cars, well sorted, can be a hoot on the road but just don't work on track. You drive up the limit of grip on corner exit, you start understeering, you back off - you start thinking about what you are having for dinner. There's not a lot of finesse or adjustability there, whereas with RWD you are always playing with the rear a little, daring yourself to exit the corners with less and less lock.

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