The Geneva Motor Show will see the official debut of the new version of the Ferrari California, production of which has already commenced, with a reduction of weight of 30 kg and an increase in power output of 30 CV.
The Ferrari California's GDI V8 now delivers 490 hp with maximum torque of 505 Nm at 5,000 rpm, thanks to new exhaust manifolds and engine mapping. The torque curve has also been modified and is higher across the engine's generous rev range.
Cutting-edge aluminium fabrication techniques and construction technologies used by the Scaglietti Centre of Excellence in the manufacture of the Ferrari California's chassis, have led to an overall reduction of 30 kg in the car's weight without impinging in any way on its structural rigidity and performance.
These enhancements have improved the Ferrari's California's performance, reducing its 0-100 km/acceleration time to 3.8 seconds. This heightens its sporty feel without detracting from the mission and character of a car that has won universal acclaim for its performance and exceptional versatility resulting from its retractable hard top and 2+ seating. To meet the needs of clients desiring a more dynamic, yet not overly extreme, driving experience, an optional Handling Speciale package has been developed which encompasses modifications to the suspension set-up that minimise body roll and make the car even more responsive to driver inputs.
The Handling Speciale package includes Magnetorheological dampers controlled by an even faster ECU (-50% response time) running patented Ferrari software. The package also features stiffer springs for more precise body control combined with a comfortable ride. Lastly, the California benefits from faster turn-in with smaller steering wheel angles thanks to a new steering box with a 10 per cent quicker steering ratio.
All these new features combine to underscore the California's sporty prowess without affecting its high-performance grand touring vocation - an achievement very much in line with Ferrari's DNA.
The technical features are matched by a new, even more extensive choice of colours developed by the Ferrari Styling Centre, including two-tone finishes, three-layer paint technology and modern re-interpretations of classic colour schemes which increase the exclusive personalisation possibilities even further. In addition, the Ferrari California benefits from the free seven-year standard maintenance programme.
The availability of the lighter and more powerful vehicle, along with the optional Handling Speciale package, varies according to each market with first deliveries scheduled for Europe.
Company press release, last updated on February 16, 2012
The horsepower upgrade could be Ferrariís way of giving the California a last Hurrah, itís an old marketing trick manufacturers do, giving a car a performance boost as they send it to pasture. So many American muscle cars got HP boost the year before the Government crackdown on emission. Even Ferrari has done it in the past. It could mean the California could be gone for the model year 2014. Which is about right because it meets Lucaís schedule of a 5 year production cycle.
So many jack asses called the car a chickís car or a hairdresserís car, yeah a chickís car with 400+ HP. I think all cars are gender neutral. I would never hesitate owning a car a few ignorant jerks call a chick car if I like it. I would however admit am not a big fan of this California for its looks.
The front end grill/air intake protrudes too much just like it does on a Daimler 250SP a car which has been compared to a fish mutated by radiation. Also the rear end looks big and ungainly much like on a W140 Mercedes Benz S class, that car got a rear end makeover during mid-production run.
Although a lot of people know The California as being named after a Ď60s Ferrari model most assume that those Californias were soft cars, on the contrary. The Pininfarina Cabriolets were the ones based on 250 GTE 2+2 with 240 HP engines, The Californias were built on TdF and SWB chassis and had 280-300 HP engines.
Ferrari needs to be careful
I'm not a big fan of revising the same model Ferrari for one reason only. Existing Ferrari California owners would probably be disappointed that there is a "better" more powerful version of their car. Their resale value has just gone down further.
I'm not sure whether this is just to extend the life of the California for say another 2-3 years until I guess a replacement model.
If I were Ferrari, I would have just gone with the optional 'Handling Speciale' option and keep everything else the same. Remember, the California is not meant to be a car you can go to the track with. It is an every day Ferrari.
If I just bought a 2011 California say, I would be a little upset.