Ferrari’s chief technology officer has taken a swipe at Bugatti, suggesting the French automaker’s vehicles are “fun” to drive only in a straight line.

Speaking to Autocar, the Maranello-based firm’s Michael Leiters said “emotions are the actual secret of Ferrari”.

“Take Bugatti: they put 1 000 hp in a car, and if you go straight, it works very well. To have fun on mountain streets, we think this is our secret. It’s not just about being on the limit. Our cars are always fun,” he told the British publication.

Leiters went on to define what makes Ferrari’s vehicles enjoyable to drive.

“But what’s fun? It’s sound, perceived acceleration – not just the 0-100 km/h or 0-200 km/h times. I accelerate and I feel the torque and how the acceleration evolves. It’s not like driving a diesel. It’s a turbo that evolves power and torque like on a naturally aspirated engine.

“Then it’s a go-kart feeling. Everything you do brings a controllable feel to the car. Every customer can drive a Ferrari and have fun.

“We have a very special engineering approach which combines engineering data with perceived emotions. We have a catalogue of manoeuvres which are connected to car characteristics perceived from customers. So we talk a lot to customers and our test drivers are very capable of translating customer perceptions into more engineering evaluations of cars,” he said.