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In recent years, Ferrari company was engaged in producing bright and ultra-fast cars like Enzo, F430 or 599GTB Fiorano. But the market dictates the rules, and the company, taking into account the wishes of customers, has gone a different way, as a result appeared California - brand new Ferrari. California is an alternative F430 - it is more a Gran Turismo, but not an extreme sport coupe. Novelty is positioned as a “younger brother” of coupe 612 Scaglietti. Let’s find out more about it in Ferrari California Review.
The name California shone for the first time in 1958, and belonged to exclusive luxury convertible 250 GT, designed for the US market. The new Ferrari California is its spiritual successor, but the car is not alien to modern technologies. A lot of things were used in Ferrari for the first time: the rigid folding roof, direct fuel injection, transmission with a dual-clutch, and multi-link rear suspension.
The design of Ferrari California can be called classics. Shaped hood with air intake is common to coupe-cabriolet and its ancestor. It is very long, while the trunk is short and upbeat. In the drop-shaped headlights and wide grille one can see the features of 599GTB Fiorano and 612 Scaglietti – front-wheel models from Maranello. Incidentally, front optics is xenon. Huge round taillights look particularly impressive at night, thanks to LED lamps. Under them in the bumper there are two exhaust pipes, and the carbon diffuser in-between. 19-inch alloy wheels fit well in the overall style. 20-inch lightweight wheels are available as an option, which reduces unsprung weight by 3 kg. The roof can be folded in 14 seconds with the help of actuator.
The front seats offer exemplary comfort and lateral support, of course, electric heating is mandatory. The options list includes racing bucket seats with carbon fiber frame. The roof does not limit the space above the head, but people with height of more than 180 cm will experience a lack of legroom. Ferrari has always manufactured upscale salons, and California - is no exception. There are 12 different colors of leather available to choose from. The center console is finished with polished aluminum.
In the center console there is 6.5-inch touch screen multimedia system, which includes the USB-port, Bluetooth, hard drive and satellite navigation. Also the equipment includes ABS tire pressure monitoring system, anti-lock, ESP stabilization, traction control F1-Trac, 4 airbags. Among the options there is a rearview camera and adaptive optics.
California is the first serial front-wheel drive Ferrari with a V8 under the hood. The displacement is the same as in F430, but the engine has a completely different character. Its capacity is slightly smaller, since it rotation rate is not so high: 460 hp is achieved at 7750 rev / min. However, the torque in the medium speed range is greater and its peak - 485 Nm at 5000 r / min. The economic engine complies with Euro 5, so California is the most environmentally friendly Ferrari. Moreover, direct injection reduces fuel consumption. This is the most economical Ferrari: it consumes 13.1 liters / 100 km in the combined cycle.
As the tachometer needle reaches maximum 8000 rev / min, the roar is amplified. The car is capable of accelerating to 100 km / h in 3.9 seconds and its top speed - 310 km / h. And with the help of startup Launch control the car takes off without slipping.
The new 7-speed dual-clutch transmission is better than the previous F1 gearbox, which was considered one of the fastest. It is offered with a fully automatic mode or manual shifting of gearshift paddles. Transmission allows measured driving at a speed of 80 km / h at the seventh gear. The engine in this case behaves quietly and almost inaudible. As an option the buyer can choose traditional 6-speed “mechanics”, but it is only installed on 10% of the cars.
Hope Ferrari California Review developed a theme well, and yet there is some more information about driving. Comfort mode of manettino system is just impressive: the suspension is very comfortable, and surprisingly easy to cope even in condition of the poor quality of roads. A leisurely drive through the city streets is good in cabriolets. But as soon as you switch manettino to Sport, the situation changes radically. The suspension becomes stiffer, the gears in automatic mode are switched at higher speeds, and F1-Trac intervenes less, this allows triggering an elegant slip of rear axle. Since the engine is located behind the front wheels, the weight distribution over the axles is good (47% to the front wheels, 53% - on the back). This contributes to the neutral-steering. California is not as sharp as F430 or 599GTB, but still incredibly fast in the turns. The steering is sharp and informative, because it has a hydraulic power, not newfangled electric.
If you really want to know the coupe-convertible character, choose CST off mode. F1-Trac and the ESP are switched off, and allow the driver to cope with Ferrari. In this case, the rear wheels easily come off into a skid in cornering and lose traction at startup. But still the car is not difficult to control. And on a straight road it moves as if glued to it - much downforce promotes good directional stability. Carboxylic-ceramic brakes are mandatory for all Ferrari. They provide lightning slowdown and do not lose their effectiveness in repeated use.
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