Ferrari California

Ferrari California

  The Ferrari California made its debut in 2008 and is the company's 2+2 hardtop convertible. It is a front engine, rear wheel drive grand touring sports car and was the first vehicle in four decades that did not carry an alphanumeric appendage. The California is powered by a 4.3L V8 delivering 454 HP and 358 lb-ft of torque. This engine can be mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or the company's first seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission.

After being rumored for quite some time, the Ferrari California Handling Speciale has officially been introduced almost a full month before its world debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. The first details offered by Ferrari are that the Handling Speciale will be 66 lbs lighter and will deliver 30 HP more than the standard model.

The new Ferrari California Handling Speciale is equipped with new exhaust manifolds and, after some engine mapping, the V8 engine now delivers a total of 490 HP and a peak torque of 372 lb-ft at 5,000 rpm. Ferrari also used plenty of aluminum, as well as construction technologies used by the Scaglietti Center of Excellence to offer the decrease in weight and maximize the increase in power. This translates to a more dynamic and faster vehicle with a 0-60 mph sprint time of just 3.8 seconds.

Handling is also improved modifications to the suspension set-up that minimize body roll and make the car even more responsive to driver inputs. Magnetorheological dampers controlled by even faster ECU (-50% response time) running patented Ferrari software are also added to the mix for better response, with stiffer springs for more precise body control and a more comfortable ride. Finally, the California benefits from faster turn-in with smaller steering wheel angles thanks to a new steering box with a 10% quicker steering ratio.

Updated 05/11/2012: Ferrari has unveiled a new video presenting the technical details behind their new California. Enjoy!

The Ferrari California isn’t the newest model in Ferrari ’s line-up, so there typically isn’t any reason to splatter news about it on the front page. That is, until a celebrity decides to do a little Black Friday shopping in a Ferrari dealership.

Paris Hilton has chosen a bright red Ferrari California as an early Christmas present for herself and, although we think the 460 HP California is an amazing supercar, we have to wonder why she opted for this particular model and not for Ferrari’s newest roadster model: the 570 HP 459 Italia Spyder . Maybe she’s had her fill of the super speedy since she just received a 560 HP Lexus LF-A for her 30th birthday . Or maybe she just got a really good Black Friday deal. Either way, this beautiful, red Ferrari California has just joined the elite group of amazing vehicles owned by Hilton’s princess.

While there doesn’t appear to be anything "regular" about a Ferrari California , it’s also important to know that tuning companies like DMC can still take something as "regular" as this Italian supercar and turn it into a monstrous piece of carbon fiber mayhem.

The Dusseldorf-based tuning company has come out with special aerodynamic and performance upgrades that would make any fan of the Prancing Horse drool with envy. Heck, they even have a pretty slick name for it: the Surfista Silver Star!

The program carries plenty of carbon fiber as DMC made sure to use the expensive material on the body kit, including a new silver carbon fiber splitter on the front, one that improves downforce at high speeds. In addition to that, DMC also added a sliver carbon fiber rear diffuser that minimizes the upforce on the rear axle, a new carbon fiber apron, new carbon fiber side skirts, and a new set of 21" and 22" wheels courtesy of ADV1 Wheels.

On the engine front, DMC modified the California’s 4,297 cc V8 engine by using a turbo-loader with physically enlarged injection nozzles and adding a new tailor made crankshaft and a new exhaust system that’s made of T309 stainless steel. These modifications boosted the supercar’s output from the standard 460 horsepower all the way up to 606 horsepower. Translate that to performance figures and you have a supercar that can hit 0-62 mph in 3.9 seconds while reaching a top speed of 202 mph.

The fact that Ferrari is preparing a more powerful version of the Ferrari California should not be a surprise to anyone. That’s the funny thing about tradition; it’s predictable. At some point or another, every other Ferrari model has received a more powerful engine - even if only as a special edition - so the California will be no exception.

Our spy photographers have caught a strange Ferrari California prototype testing around Maranello with a special feature on its front hood, or rather, under its hood. This prototype was caught with a strange bulb on the hood and different air intakes, leading us to think of only one thing: a turbo engine. Especially since the spy photographers also said that the engine sounded like a turbo and that the engineers on the race track had to remove the cover on the lower end of the hood to ensure that the engine would get enough cooling.

The only question we have is if this new, more powerful California will be penned a Scuderia or a GTO. Whichever name christens this sports car will probably only be revealed after we see the facelift California rumored to debut sometime in late 2011.

Ferrari launched the California GT back in 2008 at the Paris Auto Show, but for the 2012 model year, the California will get some special treatment in the form of a big update. The model will be about 66 lbs lighter and will deliver an additional 30 HP. Both the exterior and interior will also be improved.

The new 2012 Ferrari California will be powered by the same 4.3 liter V8 engine, but will get new software and improved machining of the internals to achieve the 30 HP boost. This increase will bring the output up to a total of 483 HP and 373 lb-ft of torque. And since it is also 66 lbs lighter, performance will get a bump as well. The revised California will make the sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 3.85 seconds (down from 4.0 seconds).

Next to the technical improvements, the 2012 California will receive a few exterior and interior updates, including a bigger hard drive for the in-car entertainment system, 40 GB up from the current 30.

The new California will go into production in January 2012, making a debut in late 2011 a necessity.

UPDATE 04/13/2012: After making its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, the new 2012 California has been taken to Maranello where the car was tested by company drivers and the engineers that developed it. Check out the video by clicking on the image above!

Project Kahn has never been ashamed in rolling out tuning packages for some of the most powerful cars in the world. Sure, they do a lot of work on Land Rovers - more than we’d like to count, actually - but every so often, they go the Italian route and work on something a little more exotic.

The UK-based tuner’s latest project involves a Ferrari California , one that has been given numerous aesthetic improvements, including a set of 21" matte black forged Monza wheels in the front and 22" versions at the back. On top of that, Project Kahn also dressed up the interior with new accessories, most notable of which are new Dayton seats in black with white piping and stitching, a carbon fiber dashboard, a new carbon steering wheel, and a touched up instrument panel and infotainment system, among other things.

Not one to leave the performance department alone, Project Kahn added a new sports suspension system and a modified version of Ferrari’s own F1-Trac traction control system. Both these improvements were done to give the California better balance, handling, and to improve fuel consumption and emissions, critical elements for a supercar that boasts of a 4.3-liter V8 engine delivering 454 horsepower and 358 lb/ft of torque.

Of course these changes are nothing compared to the package provided by Wheelsandmore. Don’t get us wrong, Project Kahn is a tremendous tuning firm, but the extra 46 HP and 168 lb-ft of torque provided by Wheelsandmore gives their package a little more bang for our buck. Plus, the Ferrari California ’Dreamin’ includes lacquered selected serial parts and a double-line black race stripe, black plasma coated end tips, and discreet carbon elements at the front and rear bumpers. Other additions include side skirts and a carbon boot lid spoiler, among other things.

So which Ferrari California package do you prefer?

Ferrari 458 Italia Spider

Ferrari is burning the midnight oil, coming up with plans for the next couple of years. We already know we’ll be seeing the Spyder version of the 458 Italia at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, but it looks like future plans will produce a few other models to clean and freshen up the Italian automaker’s lineup.

The 2012 Ferrari 458 Italia Spyder will be powered by the same engine as the coupe while a retractable hard top will replace the canvas top offered on the 430 Spider - the model it replaces. Ferrari will be jazzing up the variants for this model in 2013 with a 458 Scuderia, followed by a refreshed model in 2014.

The first vehicle to follow the 458 Italia Spyder will be the replacement for the 599 GTB , codenamed the F152 , which will make its world debut in March at the Geneva Motor Show. It will be a two-seat coupe with rear drive and a direct-injection V-12 longitudinal engine mounted in the front. Sales on the US market will begin by the end of 2012.

After the 599 GTB’s replacement has its time to shine, Ferrari will be readying up the successor for the Enzo , which will also debut in 2012. This vehicle will be an all-carbon fiber model powered by a new, normally aspirated V-12. It will herald weight-reduction and fuel-saving technologies that Ferrari plans to adapt to its entire range by the end of decade.

When 2013 hits, Ferrari will be ready with facelift versions for the California and the 458 Scuderia as well. This is where Ferrari’s revealed plans end, but we’ll keep digging to find out more so stay tuned!

Ferrari California

Ever since the Vettura Laboratorio HY-KERS made its grand debut at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, we’ve been waiting for a solid piece of machinery that would solidify the hybrid technology’s existence in Ferrari’s future models. Ferrari hasn’t exactly been keeping the notion of highlighting hybrid technology in their models a secret, but details for such vehicles haven’t exactly been forthcoming either. Tough luck, Ferrari, because spy photographers have captured what looks to be hybrid prototype testing.

This prototype just so happened to be wearing an "S" on its plates which means the car is registered in Stuttgart. This may mean nothing to some, but to us it confirms the involvement of German supply giant, Bosch, who just so happen to be helping Ferrari with the engineering and software set-up of the hybrid. The prototype is also sporting a special exhaust system with two pairs of side by side pipes which may be the biggest hint towards a hybrid powertrain. So far, Ferrari has been able to keep the details of the hybrid powertrain a secret, but rumors suggest that it will consist of a standard engine with two electric motors, one at the front wheels and one at the rear, each developing around 100 HP.

As for the vehicle debuting this new powertrain, that’s still being kept under wraps. The prototype caught testing had body panels illustrating a 599 GTO , but underneath those sheets of metal looked to be a Ferrari California . The vehicle spotted also featured the California ’s headlamps, wheels, chromed wheel nuts, folding metal roof shutlines, brake caliper position, and distinctive instrument binnacle.

Source: AutoCar

We don’t know if this was what the Mamas and the Papas were talking about when they released their hit, California Dreaming, but this latest tuning package from Wheelsandmore would definitely warm us up on a Winter’s day. Apparently, the German tuner thought they could do better than Ferrari by tweaking this California’s engine, along with its exterior look, to come up with their California ’Dreamin’ package.

The ’Dreamin’ package starts off with a new removable, valve controlled exhaust system and an update to the ecu software of the 4,300 cc V8 Direct Injection engine. These changes boost power to 500 hp and 525 lb-ft of torque, up from the standard 460 hp and 357 lb/ft of torque. Other technical additions include an optional combination of 200 cell sports catalysts and premuffler replacement tubes, handcrafted by Wheelsandmore.

The California ’Dreamin’ package continues on the exterior with aerodynamic and design packages. These packages include lacquered selected serial parts and a double-line black race stripe, black plasma coated end tips, and discreet carbon elements at the front- and rear bumper. Other additions include side skirts and a carbon boot lid spoiler. The final touch was provided by a new set of 3-piece forged wheels (size 9.0x21” at the front and 12.5x21”) wrapped around S1Evo barrels from Hankook (245/30/21” tires at the front and 345/25/21” tires at the rear). The Ferrari California was also dropped by about 40mm with special lowering springs.

With summer teasing us from just around the corner, we thought this photo shoot of a Ferrari California with a smoking hot model was the perfect way to start our week. Peeling our eyes away from model, Laura Elisa, for just one moment finds us with a matte white California decked out in a new set of Savini wheels (21x9 front and 22x11.5 rear) with a carbon fiber outer rim. This outer rim is color matched with the wheels’ gloss black face. Add Ms. Elisa back in to the picture and you get a deadly combination perfect for the long summer beach rides.

As for the engine, no modifications were needed to make this Ferrari beach ready. The California already comes with a 460 HP V8 engine launches the sports car up to 60 mph in less than 4.0 seconds.

We’ll stop wasting time now and let everyone soak in as much of the girl - ahem - car as possible.

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