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Launched in 1999, the much-loved Ferrari 360 Modena is currently undergoing a technical upgrade and visual makeover. The sportscar marque's new "mainstream" sports car, which is due to debut next year, will fight back at the recently launched 500 bhp V10 Lamborghini Gallardo.
Exact technical specifications of the new sportscar remain unclear, but an increased capacity version of the 4.2-litre V8 used in the Maserati Coupe and Spyder is being tested.
Expected to be around 4300cc (though there are also rumours of a new 5.0-litre unit), it will offer an even higher rev band through the continued use of a flat plane crank, revised, lighter internal components and a new air induction system and electronics. With in excess of 475 bhp on tap it will be well up from the 360 Modena's present 400 bhp output.
However, with major strides being made in the mid-size mid-engined sector by sportscar rivals, Ferrari is strongly considering fitting a new 5.0-litre V8 or V10 engine, derived from the Enzo supercar's 600 bhp 6.0-litre V12 unit. With 500 bhp available it will meet the Gallardo head on, while offering 75 bhp more than currently on offer in the 'extreme' 360 Modena derived road racer, the Challenge Stradale.
Rumours are that Ferrari has already registered the Ferrari 430 name in the USA.
Development of the new car has seen several evolutionary stages. The launch of the new 192 mph Lamborghini Gallardo raised the bar, but Maranello's engineers and management are very confident that they can respond to the challenge thrown down.