Ferrari California T vs Porsche 911 Turbo S Convertible
There’s plush leather, perfect stitching, brushed aluminium trim and build quality born from the Blitz, and the luxury touches you’d expect in this segment are very much in evidence: heated seats, cup holders, sat-nav, Bose sounds, cruise control, parking sensors, all factory-fit.
But first impressions of the 911 at a cruise disappoint. The steering has an unappealing syrupiness up top, there are anodyne noises from the engine, and the lumpen ride quality feels more tectonic than Teutonic. Why, when the Turbo has adaptive suspension, can’t Comfort offer more of it?
The Ferrari is a very different proposition. The seats are surprisingly firm and lacking in support, offer less generous adjustment, and even delicate piano-player fingers will chafe between seat controls and door casings. Where you’re ensconced in the Porsche, the Ferrari’s waistline dips down, inviting you to spill an elbow over the side and bask in sunshine; it subtly changes your mindset as you thumb the starter.
Fit and finish generally feels of high quality, and there’s cruise control, sat-nav, parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers, and electric seats all thrown in, but the fillets of silver trim look easily damaged and too Tin Man for comfort. A manettino dial on the small, button-festooned steering wheel is limited to just three settings, not five – Comfort, Sport, ESC-Off – a little hint that this Prancing Horse is tamer than its siblings.