I recently collected a 488 Spider from Maranello, where I was shown a graph with a notional “competitor” on it. I pointed out to the cheerless spokeswoman that I’d been led to believe Ferrari didn’t have any. “We don’t have competitors, but unfortunately you journalists insist on pretending that we do.”
If any other company said this to car magazines, the editors would politely suggest they stick their pretty red cars somewhere dark and pungent, but when Ferrari says it, they just laugh and go, “Oh, those Italians”.
So let’s not describe the completely coincidental bookings I had of the 488 Spider and a Lamborghini Huracan Spyder – which I drove along the exact same Italian mountain pass just a week apart – as a comparison. Because it’s not.
As I’ve told my editor.
Having said that, I’m always stupidly fascinated by what the current state of play is between the only two supercar companies that really matter (sorry, McLaren, you are very fast, but so are Japanese trains), even though it’s only a genuine concern to the very few who can actually afford to make the choice, and are willing to wait two years for their by-then-dated Ferrari to arrive.
That gap is currently wide, with Ferrari’s 488 better in almost every way. is far superior to Lambo’s less absurd and more sexy, faster that the Huracan feels y. Its folding solid roof canvas one, it looks and it’s so much els like a lap dance in the like a lap dance in the dark. It also feels more expensive. There’s far too much plastic going on in the Huracan.
Still, I’d understand you taking the Lambo, because its naturally aspirated werewolf-beingkicked- in-the-groin howl is so much more super than the Ferrari’s turbo-truncated scream.
But where was I? Ah yes, noise, and Ian Callum, who told us at the launch of his incredible, shocking I-Pace electric SUV that he’d designed it with the idea it would actually emit a sound; the ‘vrreeee’ and ‘woop, woop, woop’ of a Star Wars pod-racer.
Callum says EVs that make some sort of noise are as inevitable as he now firmly believes the demise of natural-combustion engines to be.
“It will happen in the next decade, and it will happen dramatically,” he insists.
Governments will simply demand that these whisper-quiet pedestrian-frighteners make some sort of warning tone. Think about it. If you live in a city, as most of us do, what’s the background sound you hear most often? Cars, engines.
If Callum and co are right, we’re heading into a future that could be far less polluted by noise. And it could be a world that sounds as rubbish as The Phantom Menace. Governments will most likely make these vital calls, with the result being potentially catastrophic, depending on your politicians.
At least Tony we’d y Abbott is gone, or we d be surrounded by cars humming God Save the Queen.
The specifying of sounds for EV cars to emit by various international governments could get genuinely colourful, and it would be as simple as a software switch for the car companies to make their stock compliant in each case. Japan would defi nitely sound like Blade Runner, Sweden would be a barely audible soothing hum, America would be lumbering V8s, the UK would be unable to decide and would have to put it to a referendum. And Australia?
I dread to even imagine.