I've been asked more than once to provide my take on driving my new 360 Spider. Now that I'm a pro, having logged approx. 250 miles on my car
I can share a few things.
1. Steering: I love how direct and connected the steering is. It feels so, well, pure. See, in the luxury cars I'm used to driving (even in the M5), the steering feels electronic. It doesn't feel as connected to the turning wheels as it does in the 360. So, I really enjoy the "point and shoot" nature of the steering. I believe this is also supported by an extremely good chassis design - the whole car feels so solid.
2. Chassis: As I said above, the car (even without a roof) feels so solid. It's a "firm" ride, but it's not an unpleasant sort of firm - it's a very solid, welcoming feeling. This was a big surprise to me, given the lack of a hard roof structure. I don't come away feeling any extra flex or vibration due to road conditions - it is remarkably, pleasantly solid.
3. Brakes: Well, they're OK. I have new pads and rotors, so it'll probably take some time to get them working right. Because they squeak. Even at speed - I was taking a high-speed sweeper right-hand corner this morning, with a little corner-exit braking and the outside front wheel squeaked. They are pretty progressive though, and predictable. FWIW, I have stock Brembo pads and rotors. I guess I could do with a little better braking performance, but I haven't tested it in a hard stop or track circumstance.
4. Engine/Acceleration: The car is so light compared to EVERYTHING else I've ever owned. It has a "small" engine at just 3.6L, but it produces well over 100 hp/L and that's an important metric to me. Off the line, it just flies away. And, since it has such a good chassis, it keeps going through the curves. I'm so impressed with the agility of the car, even though it only has ~400 HP and about 275 lb/ft. Those numbers are "low" by modern standards, but don't tell the whole story. I'm beginning to learn that the Ferrari is so well-designed as a CAR, and not just a compilation of great components like a German car might be. I guess an analogy would be like Ferrari designs the car first and the components are secondary. The Germans design all these great components to mesh together into a nice car.
5. Sound: My car has a Fabspeed exhaust, and it makes the engine note sound so, well, divine. I love winding it up to high RPM and pulling the paddle - the shifts are so smooth and the sound is intoxicating. I purposely downshift going under bridges and into tunnels (even tunnels of trees!) so I can enjoy the sound. It's a guilty pleasure.
6. Gearbox: It's an F1 - with an updated TCU (non-CS). It's nice, but isn't the "strongest" part of the car. I've been driving these types of gearboxes in German cars since 2002, so I know how to work them. I'm constantly trying to learn how best to use the F1 gearbox - it's a work in progress. Nice, but not perfect. High RPM shifts produce smoother transitions than lower RPM shifts. It loves to be wound up high, what a surprise...
7. Beauty: With Rosso Corsa/Tan, it's a very desirable combination that gets all the open-mouthed stares. There isn't a single "sharp edge" on the car. It is simply beautiful - that's a good way to put it. Relative to today's cars, it's simple. And its lines make it beautiful. "Simply Beautiful." I can't look at it enough or take enough pictures of it.
8. Experience: Hard to put into words. It is, well, just so special. Every single time. Each time I fire it up. Every time I hit a high exhaust note. Every person that takes a picture of her and all the people that smile and wave, or kids that jump up and down. It's really special. This is why I bought the car - to personally enjoy the Ferrari experience. And I'm loving every second of it.
That's all for now. More as I get a few more miles on the clock!