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!