As you might expect, the 16M's driving dynamics are virtually without fault. The engine is as happy loping along at 1500 rpm - where the flat-crank V-8's bizarre engine note sounds almost mopedlike - as it is belting out 8500 rpm. The adaptive dampers provide a supple ride with excellent body control, and the brakes are simply amazing. The interior appointments are less luxurious than in the standard F430, but no material anywhere on this car is left wanting for quality.
There's even a big surprise - the stereo. Thinking it would have no chance competing against the engine's opera, the tire roar, and the wind whoosh, we turned up the volume and prepared to hear barely a whisper. Instead, we had front-row access to a live concert courtesy of JBL-branded speakers dancing to the tune of tight bass, crisp treble, and a surprisingly well-defined and well-positioned sound stage.
Of course, when we asked for more information on the sound system, we were handed technical specifications on that magnificent 4.3-liter V-8. Point taken.
Want an FM radio? You have to pay extra--the 16M comes standard with only a sixteen-gigabyte iPod Touch that fits neatly into the dash. A volume-control rocker switch is mounted near the shifter. You select your music via the iPod's touch screen, provided you can see the teensy display from the driver's seat.