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Ferrari UK Pulls Stradale from GT3 Twin test

Discussion in '360/430' started by 355fiorano, Dec 3, 2003.

  1. 355fiorano

    355fiorano Formula Junior

    Oct 21, 2003
    773
    London
    Full Name:
    Philip
    Last week Autocar magazine advertized that the next issue would have a test between the CS and GT3 RS... I couldn't wait. This morning the magazine landed on my doormat and no article. Chris Harris, the journo, describes that both the GT3 and the Stradale were private cars but the CS owner had a word with Ferrari UK (or the other way round) and the test was off as he pulled his car :(

    I can't believe how stupid this is of Ferrari. There was an article a few weeks ago that proclaimed the Ford GT better than the 360. The 360 was again a customer car and Ferrari wrote in to complain that as the car was not supplied by them, it was of "unknown provenance" and questionable results. I cannot beleive that any test conducted by one of the premier magazines (let alone the magazine that invented road tests) would allow for dubiuous customer cars to take part. It is probably the other way round in that manufacturers tweek the press cars for better reviews. It is also inevitable that this test will happen and we probably already know the result ... CS wins

    Philip


    PS I wander if the CS owner is an f-chatter ... Wazza was it you by any chance ?
     
  2. LouB

    LouB Formula 3

    Apr 15, 2001
    1,811
    FL, OR
    Based on the Car & Driver comparison results, I'll bet they didn't want to be embarassed again.
     
  3. 355fiorano

    355fiorano Formula Junior

    Oct 21, 2003
    773
    London
    Full Name:
    Philip
    It could be but on the other hand Autocar chose CS as their car of the year above the GT3 only last month ! I think they would give a much more unbiased view between the two as they have no axe to grind (none of the cars are British).
     
  4. wazza

    wazza Formula Junior

    Oct 9, 2003
    614
    No. Not me. I wish it was.
    I would love the chance to go up against a GT3 RS.
    In fact I would love to a have a go in the GT3 RS just to compare for myself.

    I think we need to know.

    Good or bad it wouldn't change my attitude towards the CS.

    I love my CS and no Pcar could change that.(even a good one).

    Any Fcar has that special "something" a Pcar could never have
    and feel very proud to own one.

    SO BRING 'EM ON:p

    Wazza
     
  5. trevi

    trevi F1 Rookie
    Owner

    May 19, 2003
    2,619
    Switzerland
    well said!
     
  6. 355fiorano

    355fiorano Formula Junior

    Oct 21, 2003
    773
    London
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    Philip
    Wazza I totally agree. Although I completely agree that P cars are very good they lack any emotion for me. Just going to AFN or a P dealer, it is like a hospital ... no excitement, no emotion, my heart does not skip a beat. It s very different with an f-car showroom :D

    May I propose you call 0208 267 5759 (Autocar Editorial Enquiries), ask for Chris Harris and suggest an alternative car to the one they had in mind ? I am sure they would be willing to be accommodating on a drive of the GT3 RS.

    We may see that test yet...

    Philip

    P.S Don't tell Ferrari UK !!!
     
  7. Clax

    Clax Formula 3

    Oct 3, 2002
    1,611
    Manufacturers ALWAYS tweak press cars. That is a fact. Every single one of them does it, to varying degrees. Believe me, these Ford GT's are not going to be indicative of what you can expect from the production cars. Sure, they will still be lightning fast, but Ford has done everything under the sun to properly tune these press vehicles. You can be assured that they have dialed-in every aspect of that car prior to the tests. Do you think that manufacturing plant assembly workers are going to be able to produce a car that is as tuned/dialed-in as these press cars? Not a chance. And that's not just exclusive to Ford, the same goes for every manufacturer. These early test cars are ringers. Wait 12 months and see what the test results are of production cars. It's going to be substantial.

    For those who may recall, the pre-production Corvette ZR1's and the Ford Cobra SVT's were prime examples of cars that were dialed-in/juiced-up/tuned for press use.
     
  8. Senna1994

    Senna1994 F1 World Champ

    Nov 11, 2003
    12,771
    San Clemente
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    Anthony Tonokaboni

    Exactly, always look at the numbers of the cars one year after press introductions. ZR-1's varied quite a bit from the first Press Cars GM introduced. Even Bob Wallace from Lamborghini admitted how much their press cars were tweaked in the 70's.
     
  9. lionsfan54

    lionsfan54 Karting

    Nov 7, 2003
    112
    I would tend to disagree with that sweeping generalization. Do manufacturers sometimes send "ringers" to car tests? I'm sure that some do, from time to time. But this practice would be exposed pretty quickly and they would look stupid in no time.

    With so many enthusiasts chat boards out there for everything from Vipers to Vibes people would notice that their own cars aren't laying down numbers like they see in the magazines. But the fact is that this isn't happening. Which leads me to believe that most (not all) cars in magazines are legit. I've plenty of "civilian" Vipers lay down as good, or better, 1/4 mile times than any magazines (stock cars).

    Shoot, Car and Driver often will comment on a "fresh" engine not putting up the 0-60 numbers they expected, or received on a previous test.

    Car companies that lie or exaggerate power are quickly caught and then have to work at compensating customers (Cobra, Miata, and RX-8 all come to mind). Trust me, they can't sneak ringers into tests anymore.

    Tuning companies are a whole different animal and exempt from what I just wrote.
     
  10. 355fiorano

    355fiorano Formula Junior

    Oct 21, 2003
    773
    London
    Full Name:
    Philip
    I agree, this happens a lot. There are actally some funny stories in the article about the 60's and 70's. I didn't know for example that when releasing the Jaguar E-Type, during the last few months before launch, the marketing department was claiming 150 mph when the car could only do 138 mph. What did Jaguar do ? They put a racing D-Type engine in the press car and hey presto the E-type was labled a 150 mph car.

    I understand this happens but the point is that the manufacturers should not try to restict owners from giving their cars for road tests, as clearly Ferrari have done in this case ! This is the second time that Ferrari have done this as a few months back they restricted an Enzo owner from giving his car for a road test (I think it was to be put aginst the McLaren). Strongarming your clients like that is clearly not right.
     
  11. Clax

    Clax Formula 3

    Oct 3, 2002
    1,611
    How would this be exposed? In order to tune/dial-in a vehicle, you don't need to add extraneous components. Dialing-in a vehicle would not leave any clues or evidence. There is nothing that would be able to prove this. If Ford properly calibrated, blueprinted, and programmed the required components on the vehicle for the tests, but they won't do this in production, how could this be proved? They can play with a number of powertrain parameters that wouldn't even modify the car from stock. My guess is that the production vehicle will have 500hp, but the test vehicles exceed that number. You may ask why don't the car mags put them on a dyno now, and then compare next year? Easy answer. Advertising dollars. If one of the magazines ever exposed the difference in dyno figures, it would be like cutting their nose off to spite their face.

    The reason this isn't happening is because the Viper tests that you refer to are now true production cars. And the civilian Vipers are cars that are probably dialed-in (not modified, but dialed-in). The people you are referring to are drag racers, so they are certainly going to make sure their cars are tuned properly and dialed-in. Do you think Dodge assembly workers dial a car in as well as an owner that drag races the car?

    Revisit this post in 12 months, and take a look at actual production Ford GT tests. The proof will be in the pudding. There is no way that those production cars will be as dialed as the cars that Ford has constructed for these tests.
     
  12. nberry

    nberry Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    714
    I am not sure what the consternation is about. The Stradale was preferred by several car magazines over the GT3. The GT3RS is a step above the GT3 in performance and more than likely subtantially outperform the Stradale ( you can extrapolate the result by comparing the performance of the GT3 to the Stradale ).

    As Ferrari has stated "Our cars are not about numbers".
     
  13. okey

    okey Rookie

    Nov 19, 2003
    2
     
  14. noony

    noony F1 Veteran

    Nov 25, 2003
    5,903
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    Johnathan
    Around a track, a GT3 RS will beat a CS. The best mag(IMO)-EVO-rated GT3 as their car of the year, and the CS 4th, behind the GT3, Gallardo and V6 clio.
     
  15. Clax

    Clax Formula 3

    Oct 3, 2002
    1,611
    It is a fact that Ford torn-down and rebuilt the 360's that they own, and are using for testing. Also, Ford had difficulty reconstructing the 360's, so they had to "quietly" request the assistance of a Ferrari dealer's service techs to help.

    Without question, the GT vs. 360 tests are skewed. Not saying that the GT isn't a great car, or that it is better or worse than the 360. But tests are definitely skewed.
     
  16. lionsfan54

    lionsfan54 Karting

    Nov 7, 2003
    112
    Clax, this kind of scam by automakers would be exposed in about 10 minutes when enthusiasts dyno their cars and see the numbers not adding up.

    Just look at the Cobra 'stang, Miata, and RX-8 incidents as perfect examples.

    My friend raced his stock Viper and laid down a very close number to the magazine tests. He was a few tenths off their pace but close enough that I'm sure his lack of experience at the track was a factor.

    I'll keep waiting for the "real" GT to be a sec slower to 60, but I wouldn't hold your breath on that one.

    Ford would never take this chance for two big reasons

    1. It's their 100th ann "halo" car. They can't afford one word of bad press. A scam like you propose would produce reams of negative writing.

    2. They already got burned with their Mustang Cobras. A 2nd incident would be crippling.
     
  17. Bukem

    Bukem Karting

    Sep 27, 2003
    225
    London
    Full Name:
    Ben M
    Wazza,

    my mate (the racerboy) has a GT3 currently and has a GT3RS on order - taking delivery early Jan. I'll drag him out to one of our meets on a cold winter's morning, and we can have our very own Autocar Stradale v GT3RS test - what do you say?

    Ben.
     
  18. zsnnf

    zsnnf Formula 3

    Sep 11, 2003
    1,877

    Umm... I have a question here...... What is Ferrari UK going to do to someone that tests his personal car? Revoke his warranty? Refuse to sell them parts or work on the car? I mean really...... I thought THIS was a free country?
    I wonder what they will do when my F40 dyno story comes out?
    Of course the F40 is out of production, so has no effect on future sales.

    Rick
     
  19. Clax

    Clax Formula 3

    Oct 3, 2002
    1,611
    Getting bad press for sending a dialed-in car would most likely never happen. The next time you look at a car mag, count how many pages of Ford ads you see.

    And this problem is not only limited to Ford. Any manufacturer that produces performance cars is on this same track. They make sure that everything is perfect with their press cars. Why wouldn't they? I would do the same thing. All I'm saying is that the true numbers will be from the cars that are produced from the factory, purchased from a dealer, and put to the test.

    Getting back to the subject of this thread, the reason that Ferrari wants to provide the test cars is to compare apples to apples. All manufacturers would react in the same manner. Comparing a pre-production dialed-in (guaranteed) vehicle to a vehicle that was bought through normal supply channels (and is now being driven by a customer) is not a fair comparison.
     
  20. Mark(study)

    Mark(study) F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 13, 2001
    5,892
    Clearwater, FL
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    Mark

    'both the GT3 and the Stradale were private cars "

    I don't see Porsche worried about the results of privat car against private car?
     
  21. lionsfan54

    lionsfan54 Karting

    Nov 7, 2003
    112
    Again, the whole Mustang/Miata/RX-8 fiasco proves your point wrong. Both makers got slammed in the press for this perceived bait and switch.

    It's one thing to underrate power at the crank and put out something faster (that's been happening for years). It's quite another to send a "special" car to a mag test.

    I propose that if Ferrari doesn't like the fact that some non factory car is being used that they reduce the angle of their nose, get off their high horse (no pun intended) and send a factory car to be tested. It's not like C&D is some 2 bit operation.

    As far as ad dollars buying better reviews... GM carpet bombs all the mags with ads, but up until 12 months ago they couldn't get a positive review to save their life. As a 10+ yr C&D subscriber I have watched them shred GM in almost every review. Sorry, but the "Ad dollars = better reviews" doesn't hold water.
     
  22. scuderia47

    scuderia47 Karting

    Nov 5, 2003
    208
    Mainland
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    Bill
    Clax,

    ive never heard of the fact that Ford supplied and rebuilt a 360 for a comparision. what test was this done for?

    also, my .02:
    the numbers are in a sense arbitrary. the matter of the fact is, that Ford has made a car (the GT40) that is now in the performance leauge with Ferrari, Porsche, Lambo, ect. i dont care if the GT40 is a few tenths faster than the CS....what i care about is that im driving a Ferrari and that it performs like an animal!! the Ferrari evokes passion in me that the Ford could never do....no matter how fast. although, id love to get behind the wheel of a GT40 sometime...
     
  23. 355fiorano

    355fiorano Formula Junior

    Oct 21, 2003
    773
    London
    Full Name:
    Philip
    I agree with you about EVO.It's a fantastic magazine and I have grown up with it, way back when it was the old "Performance Car". I also know a couple of friends that have lent them cars for tests in the past.

    I don't agree with them on this outcome though ... and it is not the first time ! I still think that however much objectivity, there is still some sensationalism in reporting. Pronouncing the CS as a winner, same as what Autocar did would not get them more circulation. If they have the CS beaten however then everybody is curious how this happened ... so they buy the mag. The other extreme is what CAR magazine did and made the Vauxhaul/Opel VX220 their car of the year beating the CS and the GT3 .. that's plain stupid.

    Bottom line, everyone tries to protect their own interest but sometimes this just gets too intrusive.
     
  24. Clax

    Clax Formula 3

    Oct 3, 2002
    1,611
    In the early development stages of the Ford GT, Ford Engineering purchased a 360. First, they performed driving tests, generating performance numbers and subjective criteria from the car. They then proceeded to tear-down the vehicle and study it, as a benchmarking & educational tool for the development of their car. After their analysis, the Ford team "struggled" to get the car back to the state that it was in prior to dismantling it. They quietly received the support of Ferrari dealer techs in order to properly reassemble & configure the car. This same car was then provided "courtesy of Ford" to the car mags for their testing purposes. Some of the tests that you currently see of the GT vs. the 360 have this Ford-supplied vehicle.
     
  25. 355fiorano

    355fiorano Formula Junior

    Oct 21, 2003
    773
    London
    Full Name:
    Philip

    Now THAT is what Ferrari should prohibit... not their own customers freedom of supplying their cars for tests.
     

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