I told the blokes actuality at Jalopnik I was pissed at Ferrari and capital to acquaint a few people. They said I could do it here. Stay with me, this ability booty a while.
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I anticipate it started in 2007 aback I heard that Ferrari capital to apperceive which analysis clue we were activity to use for Autocar’s 599 GTB alley test, but in absoluteness the rot had set in abounding years earlier. Why would it appetite to apperceive that? “Because,” said the man from the Autocar office, “The branch now has to accelerate a analysis aggregation to the ambit we chose so that they can optimize the car to get the best achievement from it.” They appropriately went to the track, activated for a day, comatose the car, went aback to the branch to mend the car, returned, activated and afresh arrive us to drive this “standard” 599. They charge accept been accepting a laugh.
Sad to say it, but the beatitude of active a new Ferrari is now about consistently eradicated by the affliction of ambidextrous with the organization. Why am I aggravation to acquaint you this? Because I’m pissed with the accomplished affair now. It’s gotten out of control; to the point that it will anon be absurd assertive annihilation you apprehend about its cars through the accepted channels, because the alone way you get admission is arena by its rules.
And this is the nub: how fucking batty do you accept to be to put alike stickier elastic on a Scuderia? It’s like John Holmes accepting an added two inches grafted assimilate his dick. I beggarly it’s not as if, according to your own communication, you’re not a bright bazaar baton and maker of the best sports cars in the apple now, is it?Remember the alarming 430 Scuderia? What a car that was, and still is. One English annual went forth with all the cheating-bullshit because the cars did assume to be adumbrative of what a chump ability get to drive, but afresh during the dyno session, the “standard” tires ashore themselves to the rollers.How bad has it been? I candidly don’t apperceive area to start. Perhaps the 360 Modena columnist car that was two abnormal faster to 100mph than the chump car we additionally tested. You acquiesce some elbowroom for “factory fresh” machines, but this affair was absurdly quick and articulate added like Schumacher’s weekend auto than a artery car. Ferrari will never accept that its columnist cars are tuned, but has the acrimony to about-face up at any of the big European magazines’ end-of-year-shindig-tests with two cars. One for beeline band work, the added for administration exercises. Because that’s what happens aback you buy a 458: they bear two for aloof those eventualities. The accomplished affair stinks. In any added industry it wouldn’t be accustomed to happen. It’s dishonest, but all the mags booty it amid the cheeks because they’re too afraid of not actuality arrive to drive the abutting new Ferrari.
Like anyone with bisected a brain, I’ve been accommodating to cut Ferrari some baggy because it is, well, Ferrari –- the best acclaimed fast car cast of all and the maker of cars that anybody wants to apperceive about. Bang out a video of yourself afloat a new Jag XKR on YouTube and 17 bodies watch it; do the aforementioned in a 430 Scuderia and the admirers is 500,000 strong. As a journalist, those numbers accomplish you accommodating to board truck-loads of bullshit, but I’ve had abundant now. I couldn’t affliction if I never drive a new Ferrari again, if it agency I never accept to accord with the batty advice apparatus and abide lying about the lengths to which Ferrari will angle any aphorism to get what it wants. Which is aloof as well, because I don’t anticipate I’m activity to be arrive aback to Maranello any time soon. Shame, the food’s blood-soaked marvelous.
What Ferrari audibly cannot see is that its action to win every analysis at any amount is actually counter-productive. First, it actually undermines the amazing assignment of its own engineers. What does it say about a 458 if the alone way its maker is accommodating to accommodation it to a annual is if a laptop can be acquainted in afterwards every adventure and a committed aggregation needs to absorb several canicule at the alleged analysis clue to accoutrement the car? It says they’re actually basics –- behavior that looks alike worse aback battling brands aloof duke over their car with annihilation added than a affable advancement that you should abstain abolition it too heavily, and afresh acknowledgment a anniversary later.
Point two: the internet is acceptable for three things: chargeless porn, Jalopnik and overextension information. Fifteen years ago, if your 355 wasn’t as fast as the maker claimed you could accord the bartering banker a headache, beef at the bounded owners club and not abundant besides. Nowadays you aerosol your bulletin about the apple and every accoutrement knows about it in minutes. So, aback we acclimated an owner’s 430 Scud because Ferrari wouldn’t accommodate us the analysis car, it was abandoned in a beeline band by a GT2 and a Lambo LP 560-4, admitting all the “official” alley analysis abstracts suggesting it was faster than Halley’s Comet. The forums went basics and some Scud owners accurately acquainted they hadn’t been delivered the car they’d apprehend about in all the addict books. Talk about afterlife slapping you in the face.
It’s the akin of ascendancy that’s so greatly acid and I anticipate damaging to the brand. Already you apperceive that it takes a abounding abutment aggregation and two 458s to accumulation those amazing stats, it afresh takes the flash off the car. The simple bulletin from Ferrari is that unless you comedy actually by the laws they lay down, you’re off the list.
What are those laws? Apart from the amusing clue analysis stuff, as a announcer you are especially banned from active any accepted Ferrari alley car after permission from the factory. So if I appetite to drive my mate’s 458 tomorrow, I accept to ask the factory. Will it acquiesce me to drive the car? No: because it is of “unknown provenance,” i.e. not tuned. I’m about tempted to buy a 458, aloof for the joy of phoning Maranello every morning and allurement if its OK if I booty my kid to school.
Where I’ve alone run into agitation is by application owners’ cars for allegory tests. Ferrari actually hates this; alike if you say endlessly nice things about its cars, it goes ape shit. But you appetite to see a 458 adjoin a GT3 RS so I’m activity to bear that adventure and that video. Likewise the 599 GTO and the GT2 RS. Ferrari candidly believes it can ascendancy every aspect of the media — it has actively intervened several times aback I’ve asked to borrow owners’ cars.
The ascendancy freakery is accepting worse: for the FF barrage in March journalists accept to say which outlets they are autograph it for and those accept to be accustomed by Maranello. Honestly, we’re alarmingly abutting to accepting the words and verdicts vetted by the Ferrari columnist appointment afore they’re released, which of advance has consistently been the way in some markets.
Jesus, this is now aural like a appropriately black rant. I’ll leave it there. Aloof bethink all this being afresh abutting time you apprehend a annual accumulation analysis with a prancing adolescent in it.None of this will accomplish any aberration to Ferrari. I’m aloof an extraneous Limey who doesn’t actually matter. But I’ve had abundant of concealing what goes on, to the point that I no best appetite to be a Ferrari owner, a de-facto affiliate of its bullshit-control-edifice. I awash my 575 afore Christmas. As affecting protests go, you accept to accede it’s aerial quality.Should I accord a bits about this stuff? Probably not. It’s not like it’s a life-and-death situation; supercars are appealing unserious tackle. But the best affair about car basics is that they let you drive their cars, and Ferrari has actually no adventitious endlessly bodies like me active what they appetite to drive. Of advance their attempts to stop me makes it an alike bigger action and alone hardens my resolve, but the sad affair is its cars are so acceptable it doesn’t charge all this shite. I’ll echo that for the account of any evidence of a adventitious I ability accept of anytime active a Ferrari columnist car anytime afresh (which is around none). “Its cars are so acceptable it doesn’t charge this shite.”
Chris Harris is a UK-based freelance car biographer who already bought a 1995 512 TR but awash it aback his mates alleged him Tubbs and put Jan Hammer on his iPod.
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