Rule number one: No matter how fast a car is, there will always be someone who wants to go even faster. Rule number two: If you want to go faster, there will always be a tuner ready to oblige.
Call it indulgence, excess or a sheer ego trip, but considering most people who own highly modified cars never use them to their full potential, the sole motivation has to be individual expression, one-upsmanship-or both.
This is certainly the case with the Scuderia, as near perfect a sports car as Ferrari has ever made. Unlike its Lamborghini Superleggera rival from down the road, which only really bests its Gallardo brother when you plumb the last 15 percent of its capabilities, the Scuderia feels more finely honed all around than the F430 F1 from the word go.
With its better engine breathing and lower weight out of the box, it's the perfect base for Novitec Rosso to create an even faster and more spectacular version of the well-regarded F430 Bi-Kompressor conversion. Here on the stretch of autobahn running outside Novitec Rosso's Stetten base towards Munich, I discovered that the 717-hp, twin-supercharged demo car would not reach the advertised 348 km/h (217.5 mph) top speed. This isn't because the car runs out of puff, but because at 204 mph it hits peak revs with the factory gearing. If top speed is your thing, you definitely need the optional taller final drive.
A top speed past 200 mph is academic, anyway. Where the car really delights on a more frequent basis is slicing down challenging cross-country roads where its steering, chassis and power deliver the kind of visceral driving experience that pumps raw adrenalin straight to your senses.
At any speed, the directness of the Scuderia's controls, the feel of mechanical parts meshing with other mechanical parts, and the seemingly direct connection of the loud pedal with forward motion are a revelation, the fact that Ferrari has been able to imbue so much of a racecar sensation despite the continued presence of electronic assistance systems. This is especially so with the power steering and e-gas throttle, and ironic that countless hours have been spent trying to restore the kind of feel and feedback that used to come as standard.
While larger wheels and tires offer more mechanical grip, and indeed are de rigueur with this level of power, they can also corrupt steering feel and introduce unpleasant side effects like tram-lining and camber chasing. Novitec's development team was very rigorous in its task of ensuring that the uprated suspension and wider rubber had minimal negative impact.
While it would be irresponsible to test the high cornering limits of such a car on public roads, it's not a problem to dip into the boosted Scuderia's stupendous straight-line performance.
One of the areas of Scuderia superiority over the F430 F1 is in the speed of its gear selection. In Race mode, the paddle shift gearbox now opens and closes the clutch so fast, the irritating jerk on upshift is significantly minimized. It's not as smooth as the PDK in Porsche's new 911, but slick enough to make you look forward to rather than bracing for the next selection.
The great thing about the Ferrari V8 is its smoothness and high revving capability. In stock form, it has plenty of power at the top end, but with just 4,305cc and over-square bore and stroke dimensions, it needs revs to wind up its cavallini. With the twin blowers supporting it down low, the engine feels like it has gained displacement.
The greater torque means you don't need to use as many revs, and you can effectively drive one gear higher than the standard car in any given situation. On fast country roads I mainly used fourth and fifth gear, saving the lower ratios for trickling through villages.