2011 Ferrari California with HELE system

Ferrari has unveiled a special California at the Paris Auto Show. What makes it so special is a new HELE (High Emotion Low Emissions) system designed to reduce the environmental impact of its cars whilst boosting their performance and driving pleasure. With the use of the new HELE system, California delivers an emission improved by 23%.

HELE incorporates new intelligent engine fan and fuel pump control, electronic air-conditioning compressor displacement control and a gear-shift pattern that adapts to driving style. Next to it Ferrari is also offering the Stop&Start system which restarts the car in just 230 milliseconds.

Next to this amazing system Ferrari is also offering its customers the possibility to customize their California. Clients will be able to choose from four traditional areas: Racing and Track, Exteriors and Colors, Interiors and Materials, and Equipment and Travel. Options include: 16 basic colors, 19” wheel rims or sportier forged 20” versions with either colored or diamond finish, carbon fiber elements, leather, Alcantara® upholstery or any of a wide range of carbon-fiber trim elements.

Updated 12/03/2010: Ferrari has unveiled a new video in which they explain how the new HELE system works. For those uninterested in the technology behind the vehicle, you can always check out the video to see a few more shots of the California. Enjoy!

Press release after the jump.

Press release

The 2010 Paris Motor Show provides the backdrop to Ferrari’s presentation of the new HELE (High Emotion Low Emissions) system designed to reduce the environmental impact of its cars whilst boosting their performance and driving pleasure.

The first model to benefit from the HELE system is the Ferrari California which, at launch, produced 299 g/km of CO2 on the combined ECE+EUDC cycle. Thanks to the HELE system, however, that figure has been drastically reduced and the Prancing Horse convertible now produces just 270 g/km. However, emissions fall by up to 23 per cent over an urban cycle that represents real-life use by a client.

The Maranello engineers are tackling the emissions challenge by optimising the existing technological content of the car and by introducing innovations designed to reduce its energy requirements (vehicle efficiency) and increase the amount of power generated (engine efficiency).

Together with the Stop&Start system, HELE incorporates new intelligent engine fan and fuel pump control, electronic air-conditioning compressor displacement control and a gear-shift pattern that adapts to driving style.

Ferrari California with HELE system

All of these solutions cut emissions and boost sportiness. In fact, in terms of the cooling system, the introduction of the brushless motor and continual fan speed control has allowed the Ferrari technicians to decrease current absorption and cut the system’s weight by over 2 kg as well as reduce aerodynamic drag by 5 per cent at high speeds.

The fuel pump capacity is controlled constantly by the engine CPU to limit power demands on the alternator, while intelligent air-conditioning compressor displacement control slashes the amount of torque absorbed by the system by 35 per cent and makes for more rapid, efficient cabin cooling.

The result of these refinements is that, under normal running conditions, the engine can avail of an extra 25 Nm of torque which in turn boosts responsiveness.

With regard to the transmission, in automatic mode the gearbox CPU automatically identifies the driving style being used and adapts the gear shifts to match. If, for instance, it recognises a driving style that demands moderate torque at low engine speeds (typical of city driving), it optimises the gear shifts to cut fuel consumption. If, however, a sportier driving style is adopted, then gear shifting becomes more high performance too. There is also a pedal map for each gear to guarantee maximum responsiveness to even small amounts of pressure on the accelerator and very precise torque delivery at all times.

Added to this, the California is the first Ferrari to sport the Stop&Start system which restarts the car in just 230 milliseconds, so that there is no impingement at all on driveability. Once again, the technicians’ goal with this technology was to improve fuel consumption levels and sportiness in tandem. They have done so using features designed specifically to allow the driver to restart the engine not just by releasing the brake pedal, but also by using the accelerator pedal (ideal for people who left-foot brake) or the UP paddle mounted on the steering wheel.

Ferrari California Personalisation Programme

Ferrari California with HELE system

An incredibly wide array of personalisation options is available to ensure that the Ferrari California’s high performance GT soul shines through at all times. While it’s true that all Prancing Horse cars are unique, it is equally the case that Ferrari California owners can further enhance either the sportier or more glamorous side of their car, thanks to what goes well beyond a conventional personalisation programme.

The Ferrari California personalisation programme offers a superb range of options in the four traditional areas: Racing and Track, Exteriors and Colours, Interiors and Materials, and Equipment and Travel. In addition to this, however, clients may also request specific content not included in the catalogue to make their car even more unique and individual.

Two-tone liveries and three-layer paintwork underscore the depth of the colour and sleek forms of the Ferrari California Ferrari California . They also permit owners to add an extra touch of exclusivity to the exterior of their new car. There is a virtually endless palette of colours available, in fact: 16 basic colours, 10 inspired by the Grand Tourers of the 1950s and 60s and a further 12 from the recent Ferrari model range. Alternatively, owners may have their own custom colour made up on provision of a sample. Such is the detail of our personalisation programme that even the brake calipers are available in a choice of different tints.

The exterior personalisation options extend beyond the merely aesthetic to the functional too: choices include 19” wheel rims or sportier forged 20” versions with either coloured or diamond finish. Certain elements of the car, such as the front spoiler, the rear diffuser and the licence plate surround, are even available in lightweight carbon-fibre. There is equal freedom when it comes to the cabin where owners can further underscore the car’s character by opting for out-of-range leather, Alcantara® upholstery or any of a wide range of carbon-fibre trim elements.

The in-car spec can also be enriched with other accessories, including a JBL Professional audio system, a rear parking camera or heat-absorbing windscreen, to name but a few.

The Ferrari California displayed on the stand features new combinations of colours for the exterior and new materials and equipment for the cockpit.


I love the sexy appearance of this California vehicle and I love the angst on its headlight! smiley However, I am hoping that it would also have an impressive engine output.

California convertible vehicle is truly had a very satisfying exterior and interior features. However, I wonder if it also had an impressive engine specification? Well, I hope that it really had.

I hope that they would release a video of this vehicle! smiley Anyway, they are right that it really looks so great and striking on its platform and to its body paint. Well, I hope that it also had an efficient engine.

This Ferrari California is really looking so sexy and looking great on its sleek hot body paint, and the fact that it is a Ferrari car, I am expecting it to have an impressive speed performance as well.

This Ferrari California absolutely looks so awesome on its aesthetic design and I must say that it is so striking on that body paint. Well, I only hope that it had also an impressive engine.

The back of this Ferrari seems too huge, and I’m not agreeing with them that it’s not impressive, instead I found it very classy and sophisticated on its sleek body paint and seems so fun to drive.

hmm. I really don’t get the point of this HELE system. I think its not that reliable for the California still needed this technology in order to deliver a low emission of fuel. Therefore, the production version of this car is not efficient to use.

We all dream of having our own Ferrari on our garage, right? That’s why we keep on praising it. However, the reality is that we cannot afford to own it.

I’m actually checking its current speed and I found out that this one is truly a road superstar! We all knew that Ferrari is one of the best sportscar that we have seen so far. All I wish is to drive this one in real life.

You forgot Ferrari’s place as a role model. As a more recent example, paddle shifting. Invented by Ferrari for their Formula 1 cars, translated to the F355 in the mid-90’s, now ubiquitous.

I absolutely hated the California and the 458 Italia when I first saw them.
But here them screaming and they start to grow on you.

Of course ferrari’s are meant to be awsome,with that price for sure every cent is worthy.

Nerve Wracking, Ferrari is really awesome. The California is one sexy little roadster.

agree not all of the country will have their hands on the Ferrari California HELE, you can only see this over the internet.

Sadly due to regulations from Countries. Though I’ll say this, Ferrari implimenting and doing research in this area may have a trickle down effect in reducing cost’s of such systems for other automakers.

Great write-up Jeff, definitely hit the nail on the head. I wonder how much it helps in fuel economy. I’m betting not much, but at least they’re heading in the right direction.

Nice ride, it has something that makes me think maybe it’s not a Ferrari. Probably it’s a bit taller than a usual Ferrari and this is why.

I thought Mini was THE front drive BMW. It was BMW’s way of channeling an inferior (yet accepted) platform to the masses without soiling the purity of Bayerische Motoren Werke proper.

The California is one sexy little roadster.

not many people drive their Ferrari’s so no worry about pollution. why not just but a v12 in it instead? and bring back proper gear boxes?

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