Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

In an age of wraparound dashboards and centre consoles, the F430's open layout feels unusual. There's no huge transmission tunnel to separate driver from passenger and the dashboard floats in mid air like that of a 1970's supercar, rather than connecting to the centre of the floor. The perfectly shaped steering wheel is spoiled only by the positioning of the horn buttons within its rim which makes it too easy to blast the horn accidentally.

Some of the switchgear is 1990s Fiat parts bin stuff and so not as attractive as the Audi-derived kit in a Gallardo, but everything feels fairly sturdy.

Although designed and built with performance firmly in mind, the F430 is no stripped out racer – try the more hardcore 430 Scuderia if that's what you're after. Instead there's enough sound insulation to ensure motorway journeys are never a chore. You sit with legs outstretched and there is enough room to accommodate drivers taller and wider than the average, although the optional sports seats might not suit the stouter driver.

However, the standard seats are supportive enough, fully adjustable and surprisingly comfortable. Full racing style harnesses are an optional extra but they can make it difficult to reach some controls such as the electric window switches located on the centre console.