Today I decided to take my search for the right F car to the next level and go on a test drive. I flew to California yesterday due to a death in the family, and convinced myself that I needed something to take my mind off of all the sad and solemn events that had transpired over the past few days. I went to a dealer and had a conversation with the sales rep to establish myself as a serious looker, and not just someone who is there for s' and g's.
I looked over the inventory of Ferrari's and noticed one particular 575m. It was silver (sorry, dont know the actual color names
) with tan interior. It also had the GTC handling package. I looked it over for a bit and couldn't find a single visible flaw in the paint anywhere, the engine bay looked close to new, and the interior was very clean with no signs of wear on the leather. I found this somewhat surprising due to the 34329 miles. I later found out that a previous owner spilled a drink in the car, causing the power seat controls to get sticky and become stuck on for a while which burnt up the motor in the power seat, so they were replaced. I couldnt see any signs of the spilled drink anywhere so i decided it was a non-issue. After looking over the extensive service records and confirming that the car was regularly serviced by Newport Beach Ferrari for the life of the car, I asked for a test drive and was handed the keys. The only other time I have driven a Ferrari was when I drove a 355, and I couldnt help but notice that it felt like it had less low-end torque than my turbocharged Subaru Forester, but was otherwise quite sublime. The car started right up without any fuss and settled into a smooth idle after about 30 seconds. I opened the hood and looked things over/listened for sounds that it shouldn't be making (not that im an expert on 575m engine bay sounds :P). Once the fluids started to warm up after about 5 minutes I cruised out of the parking lot. The first thing i noticed was the silky smooth torque delivery from the v12. It was like a drug. After getting somewhat familiar with the car I decided to start shifting manually. I felt more comfortable with the F1 trans in the 575m than I did with the one in the 355. It felt more natural, for whatever reason. Maybe someone can enlighten me as to why that might be. We got to a stoplight right before a freeway on ramp, and the sales rep told me to put it in sport and go for it, so I did. I shifted into second fairly soon, and the way the car pulled through second gear was intoxicating. Third gear and the V12 was still effortlessly accelerating the car. I let off at 7,000rpm in 3rd gear (no sense in going overboard, I learned what I needed to learn about the power of the car) and immediately decided to test the carbon ceramic breaks. Never before have I felt such strong stopping power. I was equally impressed with the stop as I was the go of the 575m. After that I put the car in automatic and settled into a nice cruising speed of 70 mph. The sales rep directed me to an exit, he claimed it led to some nice twisty backroads. I have no idea where I am at this point, so I cant really say where I was. After negotiating a few lane changes and intersections I noticed that we werent in any sort of commercial or residential area. Then I saw the yellow sign with the squiggly line. Once again I pushed the sport button and took over the transmission and immediately downshifted into 3rd. I left it there most of the time, occasionally taking 2nd for the tighter corners. The steering felt so different to the 355, yet equally involving and communicative. Sorry BMW, but this is the ultimate driving machine. The car felt so balanced in the corners. It was so easy to nudge the throttle to get the rear end to begin to push ever so slightly towards the outside of the corner. I was very impressed with how easy it was to carry a few degrees of drift angle through a corner. The car literally felt like it was alive to my commands, and at that point I realized that this was the car for me. Everything from the throttle response to the driving position to the braking feel was absolutely perfect (in my opinion). I knew I had the cheesiest, most ridiculous smile on my face and I really could not care less.
The drive back to the dealership only convinced me more that the car was anything and everything I have been been looking for. Overall, it was an incredible experience and one that I want to be able to have any time I wanted. Unfortunately the car was more than I was planning to spend on this purchase, but the way I see it is this: I may very well be completely underwhelmed by the next 575m I test drive, and this particular one seemed to fit my wants and needs perfectly. When we got back, the sales rep agreed to a PPI (which I will be having done by an acquaintance of mine who has owned and worked on several ferrari's over the years, and currently has a 575m of his own). Unfortunately, since this trip was originally a result of a death in the family, I did not think to bring my camera
. I will make sure to keep you all up to date.
Wish me luck!!