The Ferrari California has seen quite a lot of success since its introduction in 2008, bringing new buyers to the brand as well as increasing the company’s overall sales volume. However, many devotees have never really accepted the car as a true Ferrari with its soft handling, heavy chassis, and its tameness. Its exterior design has not been widely accepted either; always criticized for the compromise in design due to its folding roof and lack of Ferrari passion.
Ferrari’s response to this has been multifold. The California has received a mid-cycle refresh that added more power and torque and brought down weight through by replacing many chassis components with aluminum components. There is also a new Handling Speciale package that stiffens up the suspension and reduces body roll. Long terms plans will be an all new California with a new turbocharged V8, seen tested below. This new 500 horespower engine will also be powering the Maserati Quattroporte and Gran Turismo. Design will be handled by Ferrari Centro Stile in Maranello headed by Flavio Manzoni. Pininfarina is also involved with the design of the new California. That being said, Ferrari will be heading back to form over function heritage that has been responsible for Ferrari’s success in the past.
Last but not least, the powertrain available for the new California will be a hybrid system that would deliver an additional 100 horespower to the rear wheels. It is not certain whether the California will receive an electric only function. With this new hybrid system, Ferrari sacrifices weight for increased fuel economy, reduced emissions, and a faster 0-60 time at or below 3.5 seconds. All this is expected as early as summer of 2013.
Ferrari has dedicated a lot of time and effort to redesigning the new Ferrari California with a lot of focus on powertrain and handling feedback. It seems that Ferrari listened from their purists and made adjustments to their game plan, in hopes of achieving the same success the car had in 2008.
– By: Moe Adawy