Yesterday, I had the opportunity to drive both a normal 360 coupe and a 360 Stradale back-to-back at the Motorsport Ranch here in Texas. In light of all the "magazine racing" and somewhat baseless conjecture I've seen here, I'd like to share my impressions on the differences between the two. For brevity, I will refer to the normal 360 as the "360" and the Stradale as the "CS". First, the configuration, so that we all know how each car was set up. The Coupe had fresh Hoosier road course tires mounted on street rims, while the CS had the factory street tires. The Coupe has a "track" alignment (positive front toe and more rear camber than street spec). The CS has the factory alignment (negative front toe and probably less rear camber). The Coupe has over 23K miles, the CS had less than 500. I drove the Coupe for a total of 30 minutes, at speed, on the track, clockwise. I then drove the CS likewise for 60 minutes. The weather was in the mid-60s (F) and partly cloudy. The track was dry. Appearance: The CS presents itself in a slightly more aggressive way. The aero mods are subtle, but do register. Even the uninformed noticed the small differences. Acceleration: The CS is noticeably faster. I suspect not so much in terms of engine output, but probably from weight reduction. The low-end feels about the same, but the power build-up as the revs increase is a little better. While it is noticeable, it's not startling... but I wouldn't have suspected it to be, since the published power increase is not that great (<10%). Since the motor was still young on the CS, we did not play with the launch control. Nor did we repeatedly rev it to redline. Also, perhaps from better power, or better weight, but the CS seemed to have tighter gear ratios. I strongly suspect the C&D and R&T published acceleration times are accurate. Sound: The CS is noticeably louder on the outside (in a "Tubi" kind of way). It's only a little louder inside, at least on the track. Track rules require windows down and helmets on at all times. With the windows down, most of what you hear is intake growl (and Lordy, what beautiful music that is!). Whether or not it's louder on the inside on the street, I don't really know. Handling: Since the Coupe had the more appropriate alignment, and far superior tires, to make an outright handling comparison was not really possible. I will say that the CS's street tires are very sticky for street tires. The CS seems to turn in faster and was more tossable than the last normal 360 I drove on street tires. In the tight parts of the course (turns 8-11), the CS could maneuver better, all most all likely to the weight reduction. Both cars exhibited the classic Ferrari handling that I'm used to. Very much like all the mid-engine Ferraris I've driven (almost all of them, 'cept an Enzo [hint, hint!]). The ASR (traction management) was FAR LESS intrusive on the CS than the Coupe, although I ran without for most of the time. Ergonomics: The CS was far better for my physiology than the Couple. The Alcantara covered seats were deep enough to provide nearly all the support I needed, both in my legs, and in my upper body. The fabric was surprisingly grippy. Only in the hardest turns did I have to extend my left elbow into the drivers door frame. The Coupe is good, but not ideal for track use. For street use, I think it would be a toss up. Since the CS seats are not very adjustable, the Coupe (multi-way adjustable power seats) would probably be better for touring and long trips. With the addition of 6-point belts, the CS would be about perfect for track use. I wonder how well the Alcantara will hold up over time. The CS did have a little more headroom, due to the lower plane of the race seats. Other ergonomics, such as the steering wheel placement, pedals, etc. seemed to me to be the same. Ride: Since all my time was in track use, I didn't really even think to compare ride quality. Since the Coupe had the race tires, I couldn't objectively compare dive and roll, because the two cars had vastly different grip limits. Brakes: The CS wins, period. The pedal effort, lack of fade, repeatability, and pedal feel were superb. Of course the Coupe has great brakes, too. The carbon brakes on the CS didnt ever seem to give up. I tried to brake later and harder on successive laps, but never really reached the full potential of the system. The hardest braking on the course was from about 100 to 60, and it felt as if you could make the transition from those speeds by just blipping the brake really hard for a few tenths of a second. Im impressed. As an interesting side note, after over 2 hours of track use, the CS wheels were still clean no dust at all. Do the carbon brakes make no dust? Or does the dust just not stick to the wheels? Transmission: Another generation of improvement on the F1 gearbox made the CS the clear winner. The downshifts were almost completely jerk-free. Some downshifts were so smooth it absolutely startled me. Shifting was fast on both cars. Since the changes to the CS gearbox is mostly software, I wonder if it would be worthwhile trying to update the Coupe. I hope Ferrari makes this the normal 360 gearbox soon. For my money, if I were to buy a 360, Id almost assuredly get the CS. Is it worth the 10% premium? For my purposes: Absolutely. Anyone that claims that the CS is pure marketing hype is full of Mr. Hankey. Now Im counting the days until I get to try it out on real tires and with full use of the engine.