Porsche and Ferrari are German and Italian sides of the same coin, interpretations of the sports car idea. Both founded by a dominant patriarch, both honed in racing, both more than 50 years old, both with engineering and styling integrity. Whether on the track of Le Mains or on the streets, the two have always been put head-to-head and compared. Even the most naive motorist associates these two names with both performance and style.
We've decided to compare the methodical Porsche 911 Carrera 4S and the passionate Ferrari F430 because both of them astonish with their performance while attempting to maintain a reasonable amount of practicality but do not pretend to be anything other than sports cars.
A modern sports car should feature these characteristics: it should be started easily, maneuvered around town, blasted on a couple of country roads, it looks and performs the part on a racetrack but at the same time it is very safe.
The easier way to separate the two cars is by measuring figures since both of them have mastered the modern sports car requirements and basically there's no other way to choose between these two phenomenal cars.
What initially impresses is Ferrari's lightning fast 4-second 0-100km/h acceleration and thrilling exhaust tone. As the occupants are pinned to the seats, the new generation 4.3-litre V8 pushes out 368 snarling kilowatts. Porsche's acceleration also offers that kick in the pants a super car should deliver, although it is 0.8 seconds slower at the 100 km/k mark.
With such acceleration performance, it comes natural for both cars to excel in the braking department. The two cars offer optional ceramic discs for impressive stopping.
Porsche's engine gets the upper hand as it is more refined and on the economy rank leaps ahead Ferrari with a 11.8 liters per 100 km as opposed to 18.3 liters. Both cars deliver the power through impressive 6-speed gearboxes and offer top rate handling performance.
Both F430 and Carrera4S offer great interior comfort and even if the space is limited, the occupants don't feel claustrophobic and flustered. Although an impressive mix of suede, carbon fiber and aluminum abound in the Ferrari, the Italians stand no chance when it comes to the high finish level attained by the Germans.
Speed and silence are key elements for any super car. The look and appearance is the biggest draw card. The Carrera 4S is a typical Porsche, despite the new proportions. It is a great looking car, like any other 911 but somehow the styling no longer creates the jaw dropping reaction that the Ferrari does. Indeed, traditionalists may say that Porsche pays homage to its roots, but the truth is that Ferrari F430 simply draws the attention.
However, even if Ferrari F430 takes your breath away with its appearance, the super car title goes to the Porsche Carrera 4S with a more complete all round package.