Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

The mid-mounted all-alloy 3.6-litre V8 engine produces 400bhp with peak power coming in at a heady 8000rpm, but there's also plenty of go lower down the rev band to make the 360M surprisingly easy to cope with in traffic. The six-speed manual gearbox is the better bet as the optional F1 'box with paddle shift can be tricky to master at slow speeds and when reversing.

If you have little regard for the clutch, 0-62mph flashes past in 4.5 seconds and a 360M will reach 183mph. The Challenge Stradale is quicker yet thanks to its lower weight and 25bhp more over the standard model, though it only really feels significantly quicker on a race track.

The Ferrari 360M is a fine introduction to the world of supercar handling as there are no nasty surprises waiting to catch you out. It has near-prefect balance thanks to the engine being mounted behind the cabin, while Formula One-style underbody aerodynamics help keep the car planted to the road at higher speeds, giving it superb stability. The steering is equally well up to the job and its power assistance gives just the right amount of help without interfering with sensation.

Standard ESP traction control was fitted to all 360Ms which makes this Ferrari easy to drive swiftly with confidence. The brakes are strong, but the pads wear quickly and braking performance can drop off markedly, which means new pads every 12,500 miles are a necessary service cost. The super-low profile tyres dish up plenty of grip, but they also contribute to a very firm ride.

However, the 360M is not harsh or uncomfortable over long trips by supercar standards.