Chris Harris Exposes The Ferrari Spin Machine

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

EVO Magazine’s Chris Harris was recently taken to task here at TTAC for daring to diss the Mazda MX-5, a move that had many of our readers bemoaning the out-of-touchness that seems to come with access to the world’s fastest, hottest cars. Now, however, Harris is lashing out the ultimate sacred cow of the performance car world: Ferrari. In a lengthy rant over at Jalopnik, hotshoe Harris lays into Ferrari’s “bullshit-control-edifice,” revealing that Maranello custom-tunes its cars for track tests, fitted non-stock rubber for a 430 Scuderia dyno test, and “turn[s] up at any of the big European magazines’ end-of-year-shindig-tests with two cars. One for straight line work, the other for handling exercises.” Ferrari even prevents its “approved” journalists from borrowing private Ferraris. And, concludes Harris,

The control freakery is getting worse: for the FF launch in March journalists have to say which outlets they are writing it for and those have to be approved by Maranello. Honestly, we’re perilously close to having the words and verdicts vetted by the Ferrari press office before they’re released, which of course has always been the way in some markets.

Should I give a shit about this stuff? Probably not. It’s not like it’s a life-and-death situation; supercars are pretty unserious tackle. But the best thing about car nuts is that they let you drive their cars, and Ferrari has absolutely no chance stopping people like me driving what they want to drive. Of course their attempts to stop me makes it an even better sport and merely hardens my resolve, but the sad thing is its cars are so good it doesn’t need all this shite. I’ll repeat that for the benefit of any vestige of a chance I might have of ever driving a Ferrari press car ever again (which is virtually none). “Its cars are so good it doesn’t need this shite.”

Obviously, this is exactly the kind of media manipulation that has been tolerated by the motoring press for too long. And, based on the fact that a number of online reviews of the new Mclaren MP4-12C have been written without attribution, the pressure put on testers of high-po metal comes from more than just Ferrari. Kudos to Harris for calling out the spin, and here’s hoping these poor practices continue to be brought to light.

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  • R.Fortier1796 R.Fortier1796 on Feb 15, 2011

    Having spent a short bit of my life in the professional auto industry, be it Ferrari or GM, it isn't any surprise that any auto company does this. They have to make the product look competitive. Not saying its right, but it is the way it is.

  • JMII JMII on Feb 15, 2011

    I wonder where Jeremy's boys gets the cars the Stig tests? Also this is why Consumer Reports buys their cars. Granted nobody buying a super car cares about CR dots, but everyone knows the game is rigged, atleast CR has found a work-around.

  • SCE to AUX This is good news, as long as the Tesla plug can deliver the kind of power needed in the future. I'm not sure that's a settled matter.
  • SCE to AUX Hyundai/Kia/Genesis, if we're talking mfrs of consequence in the EV space.But to their credit, they've tried to remain distinct from the Tesla approach to everything. They've been quick to respond to the Biden IRA domestic content stuff for EVs (by building more US plants), so maybe they'll jump on this NACS bandwagon.
  • FreedMike I guess it's good to hear they finally made the third row livable - the one on the old RX was a joke - but, man, is this generic-looking.
  • Alan I read the front wheels are driven by the engine and the rear wheels by electric in the hybrid. I also find it odd it isn't offered as the 2.4 hybrid with 250kw on tap.
  • KOKing That base hybrid system must be something other than the normal Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive, since that uses the two electric motors as the ('CVT') transmission without a separate transmission of any kind.