It's not a good sign when there is a massive throng pushing into the display hall and an announcement from inside the hall is asking people to step back away from the stage. But when the booth happens to have a Prancing Horse above it and none other than 7-time World Champion Michael Schumacher is standing front and center, it's understandable that there might be some interest in seeing what he has to show. Jean Todt was even on the outside looking in...for a short time. He was here like the rest of us, of course, to see Schumacher unveil Ferrari's latest track model for the street, the F430 Scuderia. We already know all of the pertinent details about the car, but seeing one in person was what this event was all about. And it didn't hurt that MS was here for the photo op. We actually lucked out and he walked right up to us at the side of the stage after his introduction. He looked incredibly well-rested and relaxed, unlike the car which looks like it wants to jump out of its skin.
Follow the jump for the rest of the story and make sure you check out the galleries as well.
They had to announce several times that the debut would be canceled if everybody didn't just back off for a bit to allow things to proceed. They promised that we would all get a chance to see the cars eventually if we would just step away for now and come back right after the presentation was finished. Yeah right. Like that was going to solve the problem. Somehow they managed to pull it off and after about 20 sweaty minutes of getting tossed about like we were in a mosh pit, we found our way to the front of the queue.
Like the Challenge Stradale was to the 360 Modena, this Scuderia is an evolution of the F430, taking the car from perennial contender in the high-end sports car market to weekend special. Think Gallardo Superleggera, Porsche GT3 RS, et al. In this case the Ferrari drops a couple hundred pounds and gets a slight cavallini bump. In real numbers that's a weight savings of 100kg (220 lbs.) and 510 horsepower instead of 483 from Ferrari's 4.3L V8. Sounds pretty good too from the pre-reveal video we posted a few days ago.
The car gets its weight reduction from the use of lighter materials and some equipment deletions throughout. There's a huge gallery of live picks and the old media gallery as well. Eagle-eyed readers will spot the exterior changes that show this to be a Scuderia and not just another F430. Carbon mirrors, different rims, the revised front and rear fascias, as well as the altered side skirt and vent treatment. We're still not sold on the stripe package (especially on the silver blue car on hand for the show), but the car is drop dead gorgeous.