Many of you already know my pick for Jalopnik s Car of the Year (2005) is the Ferrari F430. You also know that Farago has dismissed my opinion — and advanced his own choice of the 05 Porsche Boxster — by holding the F430 liable for the sins of Ferrari owners, whose reckless adventurism has led many to their deaths in grinding, high-speed crashes. Naturally, blaming an entire marque for nudging rich morons toward eternity is a rather desperate argument of a man who knows he doesn t have a leg to stand on. Don't you think?
As Farago readily admits, the Ferrari F430 is the rarer, faster, more beautiful and charismatic of our candidates. We'd be inclined to end things right there, claim our bragging rights, and head off for a long weekend in St. Thomas.
But, Farago later admonishes, you re nowhere near skilled enough to bring her back from the brink. Sorry, there bucko. The F430 is not our older brother s 355. The point is, the F430 can bring you back from the brink, then out for a haircut and a grande mochaccino and a dozen eggs and a (small) load of dry cleaning and whatever else can be had within the suburban sphere. It s a genuine, 483hp supercar with manners enough for the sweater set. Plus, it s fitted with an F-18A fighter jet s worth of electronic gadgetry that says you can do anything a heel-and-toe-certified SCCA jockey can. Assuming just a middling knowledge of planar geometry, opposable thumbs and a thimble's worth of common sense, that means tearing up both track and highway like a seasoned club racer and living to tell the tale.
Then there s the music. Approaching redline, the F430 roars like a Silverback Gorilla gargling with molten glass. Downshifting ahead of a corner proffers the most satisfying buzzsaw-burble ever contrived by motorsports engineers for a road-going vehicle. Ripping through electro-hydraulic-mechanical upshifts - at 150 milliseconds a pop — is an all-you-can-eat buffet at the Sensory Overload Hotel and Casino. Nothing German, short of Guenther Klum s granddaughter, comes close to the F430 in the area of X-factor aesthetics.
Which brings us to why you should choose the F430 over the Porsche Boxster (and, I might add, Mr. Johnson, the Dodge Magnum R/T).
The Boxster is a fine roadster, a great one even, with taut handling, a sweet tone and, if need be, a six-speed manual. Upgrades this year have lifted the mid-engine, entry Porsche out of the hairdresser's lot and into the enthusiast's paddock. The Charger R/T realigns the sports-sedan market with our uniquely American taste for brute-friggin'-force. But the F430 is a next-level supercar, one that combines a host of new technologies with a proven visceral experience, that of a superbly engineered, Italian-designed scream machine.
Choosing Jalopnik s Car of the Year: Farago s Plea for the Boxster S [internal]