Utterly brilliant small roadster
A faulty clutch bell housing required a new clutch, which was fitted under warranty at 17,000km.
The exhaust failed at 80,000km and was replaced with an aftermarket item (DTR).
Some paint chipping on the bonnet.
A beautiful car inside and out, the cabin is a triumph of design. It's comfortable and cosseting without ever feeling cramped and the driving position is near perfect, with loads of leg- and headroom for a six footer.
The vinyl roof is tough, easily raised or lowered by one person, and stows neatly underneath a solid, body coloured tonneau cover.
The boot is deep and has plenty of space for a week's (soft) luggage for two people. There's additional stowage space under the tonneau cover if the roof is up.
It's a pleasure to drive: quick, grippy and responsive, with strong brakes. Only a lack of rigidity lets it down, leading to some scuttle shake and a lack of body control in high speed corners.
The comfortable cabin and excellent fuel consumption make it a good car for long distances.
Despite some horror stories from other owners, mine was near faultless, and never let me down in four years. Barchetta quality does vary, but if you get a good one, they're a delight to own. They're always happier if used regularly - mine was my everyday car, used daily. It was always driven very gently when cold, and never used for short trips.
Many owners have the oil changed every 10,000km - twice as often as the handbook says.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 27th June, 2003