Weve just come across a very interesting post from journalist Chris Harris, in which he explains the ridiculous nature of the Ferrari press department.
In the article, on Jalopnik, Harris describes how for years the PR department of the legendary Italian manufacturer has been engaging in ludicrous methods to make sure their cars get the best coverage.
These methods apparently include providing two cars for road tests. One the magazines can use to record the acceleration figures and one to test the handling in. Sound a bit suspicious? It is.
Harris also claims that for an Autocar test, the PR department visited the track in advance so they can optimize the car to get the best performance from it. Apparently they also prohibit journalists using owners cars in articles, and have intervened when journalists have tried to borrow one.
Harris clearly states that he believes Ferrari have a habit of tuning their cars and providing journalists versions that arent quite the same as those the public can buy.
Why do we care?
Here at carwow we give an overview of what experts think of each car, by aggregating the best reviews. Showing users a broad range of opinions mean they can quickly see how highly rated each car is, then go on to make an informed purchase.
These tactics from Ferrari clearly impact on the reviews their cars get. We like reviews which show readers what the car is like to drive and to live with, and these verdicts have to be based on the actual cars the public can buy, otherwise they arent representative.
Theres no doubting that Ferrari make exceptionally good cars, we cant help but question why these tactics are used. Its unfair to potential buyers, to other manufacturers and impacts poorly on the brand.
The original article, which is a fascinating read - 'How Ferrari Spins'
Addition: Perhaps this is why Ferrari have to optimize their cars, it appears the new McLaren is a fair bit quicker off the mark! (Skip to 40 seconds in).