Custom Search

The Ferrari California

When Ferrari unleashes a new design upon the world, not only is it cause for celebration but it almost always causes a storm of media coverage as reporters scramble to find out as much information about the vehicle as possible and car enthusiasts the world over inhale as many details as they can find. This is especially true when Ferrari decides to build a new convertible – after all, drop top automobiles evoke some of the most passionate reactions possible from a driver.

When it came out as a 2009 model, the Ferrari California stopped more than a few hearts based on its sheer beauty alone. For 2010, the California is equally breathtaking. The convertible’s gracefully flowing lines are imbued with a muscular sense of purpose that somehow manages to evoke strength instead of brutality, giving the car a grace and presence not often seen on modern roads. Far from the aggressive, angular look-at-me styling found on the automobiles produced by Lamborghini, the Ferrari California is the thinking man’s Italian supercar. It’s also appropriate for family use, seeing as it comes in a 4-passenger, 2 plus 2 configuration.

The 2010 Ferrari California is mechanically one of the more interesting cars built by the company in the past few years, in the sense that they have taken a few risks in putting together the total package. The heart of the vehicle is a 3.2 liter V8 engine that produces a stunning 454 horsepower and 357 lb-ft of torque. This in itself is no surprise coming from Maranello’s high-performance background, but what is unusual is that the engine is found between the California’s front fenders, the first time an 8-cylinder motor has migrated there from Ferrari’s traditional rear-mounted position. The convertible also uses a retractable hardtop, allowing it to straddle the line between coupe and open top automobile, which is also new ground for Ferrari. Drivers can also choose to shift via a 6-speed manual transmission or Ferrari’s brand new 7-speed dual clutch automatic. Either way, acceleration is smooth and predictably rapid, placing the Ferrari California amongst the convertible elite. Other goodies included in the automobile to help improve the overall driving experience include traction control software derived from the company’s Formula 1 research, enormous brakes and lightweight wheels to help keep unsprung mass at a minimum.

The Ferrari California is intended to take over the entry-level spot in the company’s lineup, allowing the F430 to be positioned as a more upscale vehicle. While this means that the California will be less expensive than all other models produced by the automaker, it doesn’t necessarily translate into the convertible actually being affordable – prices are expected to continue to be out of the reach of the average buyer. However, it is encouraging to see Ferrari once again tackle the grand touring sports car segment, a market they had until very recently left entirely in the hands of Maserati. Whether this means that Ferrari’s luxury division will find themselves playing a reduced role in the company’s future plans remains to be seen.

Back to TOP