Sexy styling; slick retractable hardtop; potent 4.3L V8; dual-clutch paddle-shift transmission; world-class performance and handling
Introduced in 2010, the Ferrari California returns unchanged for 2011.
Ferrari's 2010 California fills dual roles as a both a grand tourer and an open 2-seater. It also serves as a showcase not only for Ferrari racing technology but for the elegance of design and luxury drivers have come to expect from the Maranello marquee. With staggering performance and an exclusive price tag, the California has very little in the way of competition on the street.
The 2011 Ferrari California is meant to recall one of the all-time great Ferraris--the 250 GT California Spyder. But the similarities end with the name. The new California is the first retractable hardtop the company has ever offered, and the entire package offers owners all the benefits of a nimble grand tourer and a top-down cruiser.
As with any Ferrari, the heart of the California is its powerplant. In this case it is a high-revving 4.3L V8 mounted in a front-midship design, which places the unit as close to the center of the car as possible and allows for optimum weight distribution. The twin-overhead-cam engine utilizes direct fuel injection for increased efficiency--a Ferrari first, and power is rated at 460 hp and 357 ft-lb of torque. The only transmission offered is a 7-speed, F1-inspired, dual-clutch, fully automated manual with launch control, and is controlled by paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel.
The California's suspension is all aluminum, with double wishbones up front, while the rear is an all-new multi-link design. With all that power and handling, stopping is achieved thanks to carbon-ceramic Brembo brakes.
Of course the real standout feature on the California is its top. The fully automatic retractable hardtop takes just 14 seconds to deploy, unfolding neatly from its hidden spot in the trunk. Top up or down, the silhouette of the California is incredibly attractive, a feat difficult to achieve in hardtop convertibles.
Plush interiors are a Ferrari hallmark, and to that end, the California employs nothing but the highest-quality materials. Nearly every surface is covered in rich, supple leather, and the driver's seat is nearly infinitely adjustable to provide the ideal driving position. A 6.5-inch touchscreen controls the infotainment system. A large useable space behind the front seats can be configured to seat two children, or a small bench can be ordered to create easy-access storage. In either configuration, the rear seat-backs fold down to connect the passenger cabin with the trunk.
The California's steering wheel, like the rest of the Ferrari lineup, features a wheel-mounted control called the Manettino, which allows the driver to adjust the attitude of the various mechanical systems of the car, including engine mapping, traction control and suspension.
Standard safety goodies include control for stability and traction with F1 Trac--a system derived from the F1 racing program which uses predictive software to give a delicate and refined control over drive-wheel spin.
Vehicle Price: 196,100.00
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