Porsche Or Ferrari?
Porsche and Ferrari are German and Italian sides of the same coin, respectively. Each represents an unique interpretation of the concept of a sports car. Both were founded by a dominant patriarch, both designs are more than 50 years old, both honed their craft in racing, and both possess engineering and styling integrity. Whether they are on the track of Le Mans or on urban streets, the two brands have constantly been put head-to-head to be compared and contrasted. Even those motorists unmoved by sports cars associate these two names with both performance and style.
Take for example the methodical Porsche 911 Carrera 4S and the passionate Ferrari F430. Both cars astonish the driver with their performance while successfully maintaining a respectable amount of practicality, but neither pretends to be anything aside from a sports car.
There are certain characteristics every modern sports car should possess. It must be started easily. It must maneuver around town competently and politely. It must be able to, when demanded, blast along country roads. It must, both in looks and performance, echo it's roots on the racetrack while at the same time being perfectly safe on any road.
Since both cars meet and exceed these expectations with aplomb, and all the various intangible qualities are largely decided by personal taste, perhaps the easiest way to compare the two cars is by measuring the facts and figures.
One number that immediately impresses is the Ferrari's lightning fast 4-second 0-100km/h acceleration. The new generation 4.3-litre V8 pushes out 368 snarling kilowatts, pinning the occupants to their seats. While the Porsche's acceleration also offers that amusement park ride thrill a super car should deliver, it is 0.8 seconds slower at the 100 km/k mark.
Of course such acceleration performance isn't worth much unless the cars also excel in the braking department, which both do. Each car comes with optional ceramic discs brakes, allowing for impressive stopping.
In the engine department Porsche gains the upper hand. With its more refined motor, Porsche scores points for economy, earning 18.3 liters per 100km while the Ferrari brings up a distant second with a mere 11.8 liters per 100km. Both cars deliver the power through impressive 6-speed gearboxes and stay glued to the road with top rate handling performance.
Even if the space is somewhat limited, both the F430 and Carrera 4S offer great interior comfort. Occupants won't feel cramped or claustrophobic. Although Ferrarri sports an impressive mix of suede, carbon fiber and aluminum, the Italians simply can't answer the precision fit and finish attained by the Germans.
Key elements for any super car are speed and silence. The car's styling and stance draw buyers more than raw numbers. True to its Porsche roots the Carrera 4S, despite the new proportions, is visually recognizable as a member of the 911 family. While it is certainly a great looking car, somehow the styling no longer creates the jaw dropping reaction that it once did. Even though traditionalists may insist that Porsche pay homage to its roots, the truth of the matter is that Ferrari F430 draws the attention and turns heads.
Regardless of whether the Ferrari F430's stops you dead in your tracks with its appearance, the super car title must go to the Porsche Carrera 4S, which represents a more complete package.