Ferrari California – Everything you need to know
Rumor has it that the Ferrari California originally was a concept for a new Maserati and that Fiat thought that producing the car was too expensive for a Maserati, thus badging the car as a Ferrari.
Many of the features in the Ferrari California are firsts such as the front-engine V8, 7-speed dual clutch transmission and a folding metal roof. The engine delivers 453 bhp / 338 KW without any turbocharge, the car accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 3.8 seconds and a maximum speed of 312 km/h.
The production of the car started in 2008 after it was unveiled at the Paris Auto Show. During the show the car design wasn’t exactly hailed, it was said to signal a new direction for Ferrari and many fans thought the car personality looked too nice and clean. Ferrari on the other hand said that many of the design features were borrowed from the 1957 Ferrari 250 California.
The California was intended to appeal to a wider audience than the traditional Ferrari racing and burning rubber crowd. For example there is a backseat with seatbelts, it’s very narrow but still possible to use if you are a child or a grocery bag. Compared to other contemporary Ferraris the California is more comfortable and more touring than racing. It also features a retractable hard top roof made from aluminum panels that folds in 14 seconds.
During 2012 Ferrari launched a midlife upgrade of the California with the “handling speciale” package was introduced. The package meant more responsive steering (thanks to magnetorheological dampers), less weight and more power. Ferrari managed to shave off 30 kg:s of the car thanks to newly developed alloys. The power of the engine was also increased to 483 bhp.
During 2014 the California T was introduced, which is basically a turbocharged version, with 552 bhp it was the first since the legendary F40. Ferrari also made some changes in the architecture of the car, and lowered the engine with 40mm into the chassis, compared to the previous model. This means enhanced handling because of the lowered center of gravity. Another interesting feature is Apple’s CarPlay and reduced emissions of 15% compared to the original California version.
Since the launch of the first California in 2008, Ferrari has sold over 10 000 of them, 70 percent of the buyers where first-time Ferrari owners. Evidently the car has helped Ferrari to grow their audience, but the California might prove to damage the Ferrari exclusive rand performance allure. There are certainly contenders for the spot.