Ferrari California

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Ferrari California
Ferrari California – Frontansicht (2), 12. August 2013, Düsseldorf.jpg
Manufacturer Ferrari
Production 2008–2017
Assembly Maranello, Italy
Body and chassis
Class Grand tourer (S)
Body style 2-door, 2+2 coupé cabriolet
Layout Front mid-engine, rear-wheel drive
Successor Ferrari Portofino

The Ferrari California is a grand touring sports car produced by the Italian manufacturer Ferrari. It is a two-door 2+2 hard top convertible. When originally released, the California was powered by a front-mid mounted naturally aspirated 4.3-litre V8;[1] in 2014 Ferrari introduced the second generation of the model, named California T and using a new twin-turbo 3.9-litre V8. The car revives the name used on the late-1950s Ferrari 250 GT Spyder California and the 1960s 365 California. It is also noted in being the least expensive model in the Ferrari range. It is now to be replaced by the Ferrari Portofino starting from 2018.

Ferrari California (2008–2014)[edit]

Ferrari California
Ferrari California - Flickr - Alexandre Prévot (13) (cropped).jpg
Production 2008[2]–2013
Designer Pininfarina
Engine 4.3 L Ferrari F136 I V8
Transmission 7-speed dual-clutch
6-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,670 mm (105.1 in)[1]
Length 4,563 mm (179.6 in)[1]
Width 1,902 mm (74.9 in)[1]
Height 1,308 mm (51.5 in)[1]
Kerb weight
  • 1,735 kg (3,825 lb) (Europe)[1]
  • 1,870 kg (4,123 lb) (US)[3]
Successor Ferrari California T

The California was launched at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. According to industry rumours, the California originally started as a concept for a new Maserati,[citation needed] but the resulting expense to produce the car led the Fiat Group to badge it as a Ferrari in order to justify the high cost of purchase; the company denies this, however.[4] The California represents a new, fourth model range for the company.[5]


The California represents a number of firsts for Ferrari:

Bosch produced the direct injection system. The engine displaces 4,297 cubic centimetres (262.2 cubic inches), and used gasoline direct injection. It delivers 338 kW (453 bhp) at 7,750 rpm; its maximum torque produced is 485 N·m (358 lbf·ft) at 5,000 rpm. The resulting 79 kW (106 bhp) per litre of engine displacement is one of the highest for a naturally aspirated engine, as other manufacturers have used supercharging or turbocharging to reach similar power levels.[6] The body computer system was developed by Magneti Marelli Automotive Lighting.[citation needed]


The original 2010 California had a top speed of 310 km/h (193 mph) and it could accelerate from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in under four seconds.[1] Although that model was 180 kilograms (397 lb) heavier and 30 PS (22 kW; 30 hp) less powerful than the mid-engined F430, the California reached 97 km/h (60 mph) in the same time as the F430 due to the dual-clutch transmission.


Ferrari spent over 1,000 hours in the wind tunnel with a one-third-scale model of the California perfecting its aerodynamics. With the top up, the California has a drag coefficient of Cd=0.32, making it the most aerodynamic Ferrari ever made[7] until the introduction of the Ferrari F12berlinetta.


The California is built in a new production line adjacent to the existing factory at Maranello.[4][8] The existing production line produces 27 cars per day, or 6,000 per year.

Throughout the California's production, only 3 cars had been built with manual transmission,[9] including one order from the UK.[10]

2012 update[edit]

Ferrari California (Monaco).

On 15 February 2012, Ferrari announced an upgrade of the 2009 model which is lighter and more powerful. Changes include reducing body weight by 30 kg (66 lb), increased power by output of 30 PS (22 kW; 30 hp) and 15 N·m (11 lbf·ft), acceleration from 0–100 km/h (62 mph) time reduced to 3.8 seconds, introduction of Handling Speciale package and elimination of manual transmission following poor sales.[11]

2013 Ferrari California HS

The car was released at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show as a 2012 model in Europe and as a 2013 model year for the US.[12] Deliveries began in Europe first.[13]

Handling Speciale package[edit]

To give the clients a more dynamic driving experience, an optional HS (Handling Speciale) package was developed as part of the update in 2012 (for the US 2013 model year). It can be recognized by a silver coloured grille and ventilation blisters behind the front wheel wells.

The HS package includes Delphi MagneRide magnetorheological dampers controlled by an ECU with 50% faster response time running patented Ferrari software, stiffer springs for more precise body control[14] and a steering rack with a 9 per cent quicker steering ratio (2.3 turns lock to lock as opposed to the standard rack's 2.5).[15]


In May 2012, Ferrari recalled the California because the engine could freeze suddenly and possibly cause a crash. The F136 engines had crankshafts that were machined incorrectly. The auto maker learned of the problem when it happened during a review by car critics. Owners could choose from having a new engine installed by their dealer, having the engine removed and the work done by Ferrari North America or having a new crankshaft and bearings installed at the dealership.[16]

Ferrari California T (2014–2017)[edit]

California T
Ferrari California T
Ferrari California T - Mondial de l'Automobile de Paris 2014 - 003.jpg
Production 2014–2017
Model years 2015–2017
Designer Centro Stile Ferrari in collaboration with Pininfarina[17]
Engine 3.9 L Ferrari F154 BB twin-turbo V8
Transmission 7-speed dual-clutch[18]
Wheelbase 2,670 mm (105.1 in)
Length 4,570 mm (179.9 in)
Width 1,910 mm (75.2 in)
Height 1,322 mm (52.0 in)
Kerb weight
  • 1,730 kg (3,813 lb) (Europe)[18]
  • 1,843 kg (4,064 lb) (US)[19]
Predecessor Ferrari California
Successor Ferrari Portofino

The Ferrari California T is an update of the earlier California featuring new sheetmetal, new interior, a revised chassis and a new turbocharged powertrain, debuting in 2014 for the 2015 model year.

First unveiled on the web on February 12, 2014, subsequently the car debuted at the Geneva Motor Show (March 6–16, 2014). The T in the moniker stands for Turbo, a technology Ferrari last used on a roadcar on the F40. The car utilizes a new 3.9 liter bi-turbo V8 that produces 412 kW; 560 PS (552 bhp) at 7,500 rpm and 755 N·m (557 lb·ft) torque at 4,750 rpm as well as a 7-speed dual clutch gearbox with different gear ratios, a revised magnaride' adaptive suspension, as well as a new F1 Trac system. The car can accelerate from 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 3.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 315 km/h (196 mph). The car also features a new front fascia that was influenced by the F12, a revised rear and a revised interior. Another improvement to the car is the reduction of emission pollution by 15% compared to its naturally aspirated predecessor. The car also utilizes small turbos and a variable boost management system to reduce turbo lag.

It is also the first car in which Ferrari has introduced the new Apple CarPlay functionality into its built-in infotainment system – Apple confirmed at the launch of the Geneva Motor Show that Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo would be among the first car manufacturers to bring CarPlay compatible models to market.[20][21]

California T Handling Speciale (2016–2017)[edit]

Similarly to the previous generation a Handling Speciale (HS) package has been made available for the California T, providing sportier handling at the expense of a stiffer ride. Handling Speciale includes stiffer springs front and rear, retuned magnetorheological dampers, faster gear shifts when in Sport mode, reprogrammed F1-Trac stability control, and a new sport exhaust system. Visually HS package-equipped cars are distinguished by a matte grey grille and rear diffuser, matte black diffuser fences and matte black exhaust tailpipes.[22]

The California T Handling Speciale vehicle (with two-tone Rosso Corsa Met bodywork and Nero Stellato roof, black interior with carbon-fibre details) was unveiled at the March 2016 Geneva Motor Show.[23]

Tailor Made[edit]

Through the Tailor Made programme, the California T can be customised to suit each customer. For Ferrari's 70th birthday in 2017, this includes 70 liveries inspired by past cars such as the 250 GT Berlinetta SWB and Steve McQueen's 1963 250 GT Berlinetta lusso. The California T Tailor Made liveries were unveiled at the March 2016 Geneva Motor Show and also shown at other shows such as the October 2016 Paris Motor Show.[23][24][25][26]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "New model: Ferrari California". 2008-10-08. Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  2. ^ "Ferrari California Begins Production on New Line". 2008-06-26. Retrieved 2009-07-17. 
  3. ^ "2009 Ferrari California vs 2009 Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG Convertible Vehicle Chart" (PDF). Car and Driver. US. Retrieved 2016-04-07. 
  4. ^ a b Rufford, Nick (2008-10-19). "Ferrari California". The Sunday Times. London. Retrieved 2008-10-19. 
  5. ^ "California dreaming". Top Gear. 2008-05-13. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  6. ^ Serafim, Mircea (2008-11-28). "Bosh provides gasoline direct injection for the new Ferrari California". Retrieved 2011-11-06. 
  7. ^ Hart, Roger (2008-10-31). "Ferrari California First Drive: new car signals new direction for company". Retrieved 2008-12-06. 
  8. ^ Corsani, Lorenzo (2008-06-29). "Una nuova linea di produzione per la California". (in Italian). Retrieved 2013-06-27. 
  9. ^ Okulski, Travis (2014-12-04). "How This Year's Least Popular New Ferrari Could Become The Most Valuable In 30 Years". 
  10. ^ Pollard, Tim (2011-11-11). "Ferrari click-clack manual transmissions, RIP". Car Magazine. Retrieved 2015-11-08. 
  11. ^ McCausland, Evan (2012-04-20). "That Few? Only Two Ferrari Californias Sold With Manual Transmissions". 
  12. ^ Pimpo, Tony (2012-03-07). "Geneva: 2013 Ferrari California is More "Speciale"". Retrieved 2012-03-08. 
  13. ^ Harley, Michael (2012-03-27). "2013 Ferrari California loses weight and gains power to command more respect". 
  14. ^ Bryant, Thos L. (2012-04-25). "2013 Ferrari California HS Photos, Specs, Price: The Handling Speciale package works wonders for the California.". Road & Track. Retrieved 2015-01-11. 
  15. ^ Gluckman, David (April 2012). "Great for greenies, great for performance: 2013 Ferrari California". Car and Driver. Retrieved 2015-01-11. 
  16. ^ Hirsch, Jerry (2012-05-21). "Ferrari recalls California, Italia models for faulty crankshafts". Los Angeles Times. 
  17. ^ "California T Design". Retrieved 2016-05-21. 
  18. ^ a b "California T Specifications". Retrieved 2015-12-10. 
  19. ^ Robinson, Aaron (May 2015). "2015 Ferrari California T Test". Car and Driver. US. Retrieved 2016-04-07. 
  20. ^ Dredge, Stuart (2014-03-03). "Apple CarPlay debuts with Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-04-22. 
  21. ^ "The Ferrari California T and the Apple CarPlay equipped FF debut tomorrow at Geneva". Ferrari PR. Ferrari. 2014-03-03. Retrieved 2014-05-31. 
  22. ^ Kierstein, Alex (2016-01-22). "Ferrari California T gets sharper edge with Handling Speciale package". Retrieved 2016-09-05. 
  23. ^ a b "The Ferrari GTC4Lusso wows Geneva" (Press release). Ferrari. 2016-03-01. Retrieved 2016-10-25. 
  24. ^ "Paris World Premiere" (Press release). Ferrari. 2016-09-29. Retrieved 2016-10-25. 
  25. ^ Stolte, Niels (2016-10-03). "Paris 2016: Ferrari California T “The Steve McQueen”". GT Spirit. Retrieved 2016-10-25. 
  26. ^ Tracy, David (2016-09-29). "Ferrari's 70th Anniversary Cars Pay Homage To Great Race Drivers And Also Steve McQueen". Jalopnik. Retrieved 2016-10-25. 

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