Born in 2008, the Ferrari California has the clear intention of becoming the first Red truly usable in everyday life, contributing to the technological and stylistic development of the Maranello house with innovative solutions.
Although the Prancing Horse is entering a segment unexplored for her until now, she relies on tradition for the name of her first convertible-coupé: with California she pays homage and celebrates the 250 GT California of 1957.
The story is also praised by the protagonists and collaborators of the development that hide behind the California: in addition to Ferrari, we find Pininfarina for style and technology related to the mechanics of the roof, while the studies and the construction of the frame are carried out by the Scaglietti Center of Excellence, long time controlled by Ferrari itself.
The chassis is a fundamental component when it comes to open cars, since, usually, to achieve greater torsional stiffness, it results in a higher weight at the expense of driving dynamics. In this case, Ferrari is able to obtain the same performance and structural stiffnesses of the past from a frame built with eight different aluminum alloys, with significantly lower dimensions and weight compared to previous creations, about 30 kg, which, integrated with other electric-mechanical nature, allow to improve the pleasure and enjoyment of driving.
Even the hood opening and closing system, despite being made of metallic material, is lighter than all previous canvas models built in Maranello. Precious is the contribution of Pininfarina, which not only gives the aesthetic contribution, but also the design one, given the greater experience acquired in this field over the years.
The suspension scheme is made up of triangles superimposed on the front, while the rear features an innovative multilink system, designed specifically for the California, to achieve greater longitudinal flexibility without losing stiffness and rigidity. As an option it is possible for the customer to order magnetorheological control shock absorbers, which allow more reactive response times, favoring the sporty behavior of this Ferrari, when required.
When closed, the retractable top, designed in collaboration with Pininfarina, plays a great aerodynamic role with a downforce of 70 kg at 200 km/h.
The Turin body shop, in shaping the car, is guided by the immense historical and cultural background that the two companies have shared for decades in the field of automotive design.
The main muse for California is the aforementioned 250 GT California: not only in its nomenclature, but also in its features. The front features teardrop headlights, a large horizontal grille, and on the bonnet there is a vent to let the V8 breathe, reminiscent of that of the Gran Turismo of the late 50s and early 60s.
The references do not end there, since the side also takes up concepts already seen in the 250 GT California and readjusts them after almost fifty years: from the three ventilation slots located after the front wheel, actually much smaller on the new convertible-coupé, it begins a clean cut that runs along the entire side giving life to the high waistline that rises above the door handle and becomes a line of contact with the tail and the rear fender. The whole is harmonious but also muscular, even more enhanced by the play of light that is formed thanks to the processing of the concave and convex surfaces present on the bodywork.
The tail features round lights with the headlight gem that appears to be set and fused with the sheet metal of the car body, while a dark strip located at medium height houses service lights such as rear fog lights and reverse. The four tailpipes are iconic, divided into pairs but with a vertical arrangement.
Specially designed by Ferrari engineers, the melody of the first V8 mounted at the front in a longitudinal position comes out of the exhausts.
Code F136IB, the engine is an evolution of the one mounted on the F430 family, of 4,297 cm³, entirely in aluminum, which delivers 460 HP at 7,750 rpm with a torque of 485 Nm at 5,000 rpm. Values that allow California to reach 100 km / h in less than four seconds, and to exceed 310 km / h of top speed certify California's thoroughbred DNA.
However, the Ferrari California manages to obtain important results also in terms of consumption and emissions thanks to the direct injection of petrol, the first Ferrari in history, and to a variable valve timing system, because a Gran Turismo of this era, for achieving excellence cannot aim only at pure performance, but must be able to combine concepts, even far awaybetween them, for a total driving experience.
The total experience is also lived outside the cockpit, because California requires minimal maintenance to be a Ferrari: if the contemporary 599 Fiorano requires thirty-one hours of workshop every 80.000 km for servicing and overhauls, for this model only eleven are enough. This highlights the great technical and design work to obtain a fast and performing car, but also solid and versatile: in short, a balanced supercar.
An important innovation is the High Efficiency Low Emission system, an electronic management program that works on second-tier components, such as air conditioning and lights, instantly calculating the efficiency of these systems and eventually turning them off with a view to reducing consumption.
Once in the passenger compartment, the dominant word is only one: comfort. California is designed for everyday life and for long journeys, so ergonomic research and materials are the result of many analyzes to achieve the final result.
Precious leathers and a handcrafted touch convey style and enveloping sensations to the environment, combined with technological aspects such as the seat adjustment guides, while the 6.5 inches touch-screen screen allows California passengers to enjoy and experience the car without use restrictions.
This search for exploitation can also be seen in the details. The Bridge, made of aluminum and placed between the two seats, in addition to having aesthetic functions that are conceptually and aesthetically reunited with the rest of the range, is also designed to be a convenient object holder.
The configuration is 2+2, which Ferrari cleverly calls 2+ given the opportunity for customers to give up the two rear seats and replace them with an excellently finished leather bench, which becomes an additional compartment for suitcases by integrating the luggage compartment capacity. equal to 340 liters, 240 if we travel in the open.
In the steering wheel there is the manettino, a device derived from the world of Formula 1 that allows drivers to choose trim variants to better adapt to the circumstances of the road, or the driving style they want to adopt.
To make the car usable even in everyday life, the lever works in coordination with the F1-Trac traction control and with the stability control. In addition, there is an exclusive electronic system for tires, the TPMS, which controls pressure and temperature.
During the development phase, the Maranello house benefits from the contribution of a special tester. In fact, a key role in the launch is played by a legend of Formula 1 and the Ferrari world, Michael Schumacher.
Produced until 2014, with a slight update in 2012, the Ferrari California was sold in about 8.000 units, becoming one of the best-selling and most popular Reds ever.
The car manages to convey the purest essence of the Gran Turismo concept according to Ferrari, that is an elegant high-performance car, but in addition to these classic factors it integrates a truly exceptional ease of driving in everyday life, making it accessible even to less users. expert and who wishes to approach the world of the Prancing Horse gradually.
Two-seater cabrio-coupé bodywork
Front engine position
Size and Weights
Tank 78 liters
Length 4563 mm
Width 1902 mm
Height 1308 mm
Front track 1630 mm
Rear track 1605 mm
Wheelbase 2670 mm
Unladen mass 1630 Kg
Mass in running order 1735 Kg
Weight distribution 47% front, 53% rear
Luggage compartment capacity 340 liters, 240 with folded roof
Displacement 4,297 cm³
Unit displacement 537 cm³
Type F136IB, 90° V8 with direct petrol injection, front, longitudinal
Bore and stroke 94x77.4 mm
Compression ratio 12.2:1
Four valves per cylinder distribution
Power 338 kW / 460 hp at 7,750 rpm
Specific Power 107 hp/liter (79 Kw / liter) and 113 Nm/liter
485 Nm torque at 5.000 rpm
Ferrari F1 automatic transmission, seven-speed + RM, plus self-locking differential
Optional six-speed manual gearbox
Car body composed of several light aluminum alloys
Front suspension with overlapping triangles
Multilink rear suspension
Front brakes Ø 390 x 34 mm Brembo carbon-ceramic discs, self-ventilated and perforated, with six-piston calipers
Rear brakes Ø 360 x 32 mm Brembo carbon-ceramic discs, self-ventilated and perforated, with four-piston calipers
245/40 front tires
Rear tires 285/40
Optional front tires 245/35
Optional rear tires 285/35
19" wheels, made of light alloy
Consumption and emissions
Emissions 305.6 g/km (combined)
Consumption 13.1 liters/100 Km (combined)
Speed 310 Km/h
Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.0 seconds, from 0 to 400 meters in 12.2 seconds, from 0 to 1000 meters in 21.1 seconds