Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

The standard sports seats place you in front of a huge rev counter that dominates the minimalist dashboard along with a sculpted steering wheel that adjusts for height and reach. On the wheel is where you'll find the engine start button and the Manettino lever that allows you switch between the electronic stability system settings. You'll also find that the horn buttons are set into the rim – probably when you press them by accident, something that's all too easy to do.

Cars with the F1 semi-auto gearbox have paddles fixed to the steering column, not the wheel as is in the case in Jaguar's XK and Audi's R8.

Compared with the cockpits of some supercars with their huge transmission tunnels and pillar box window slits, the F430's is surprisingly airy and easy to see out of. There are just two seats and although the driving position is offset, there's ample leg and headroom room for both driver and passenger providing neither is massively taller than average.

And even that won't matter if you fold back the hood. There are no fiddly catches, just press the button to reveal daylight in around 20 seconds. There is some wind rush around the window seals with the hood up, while noise levels in general are higher than in the F430 coupé, but by no means uncomfortably so.