Accusations over 'tuning' test cars

A motoring journalist and test driver has accused Ferrari of making special adjustments to its cars supplied for comparison tests.

Chris Harris, writing in a blog post, claimed that the so-called factory fresh Maranello marquee cars are specially "tuned" before they are made available for press tests against rivals on specific tracks.

Surreptitious adjustments made to optimise the performance of the cars include alterations to suspension tuning, fitting special tyres and illicit engine tuning, Mr Harris claims.

He added that when he tested owners' cars they fell short of the performance he witnessed with the road test example.

The claims come before the upcoming road comparison tests between the Ferrari 458 Italia and its rival the McLaren MP4-12C, and suggest that some cars used for tests might not always be the same as those available in the market.

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