Ferrari improves California for 2013

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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It may surprise many to learn that Ferrari's California hardtop convertible sports car was first introduced back in 2008. The voluptuous California was the first Ferrari to have a front-mounted V8 engine, and it revived the name originally given to Ferrari's legendary 250 GT California Spider convertible of 1957. For the 2013 model year, Ferrari has updated the California by increasing its power output and reducing its weight.

The 2013 Ferrari California was introduced at this year's Geneva Motor Show and still provides seating for four occupants in a 2+2 configuration. Thanks to new exhaust manifolds and engine mapping, peak power output from its 4.3-litre V8 gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine is up about eight percent, from 453 horsepower and 358 pound-feet of torque, to 490 horsepower and 372 pound-feet of torque. A choice of transmissions include a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual clutch automatic, with power routed to the California's rear wheels.

Improving the performance of the California even further is an overall reduction in weight by 30 kg. The weight savings was achieved by using "cutting-edge aluminum fabrication techniques and construction technologies" in the production of the California's chassis at the Scaglietti Centre of Excellence. In spite of the significant weight reduction, Ferrari says the California's structural rigidity has been preserved.

The improvements for 2013 make for an acceleration time from 0 to 100 km/h of just 3.8 seconds, about a tenth of a second faster than before. Ferrari has also developed a new "Handling Speciale" package that improves responsiveness and reduces body roll thanks to a modified suspension setup with stiffer springs. The Handling Speciale package includes magnetorheological dampers that are governed by a faster new electronic control unit with a 50 percent reduction in response time. Improvements to the steering have also been made for the 2013 model year; the California now features smaller steering wheel angles and a 10 percent quicker steering ratio.

In addition to its improvements in driving performance, the 2013 Ferrari California is available with a wider colour palette that includes three-layer finishes, two-tone finishes and classic colour schemes. The availability of the updated California and its Handling Speciale package will vary in each of the markets it's sold in. Production has already commenced though, with the first deliveries scheduled for the European market.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Convertible, Ferrari, 2013, California, Exotic,

Geographic location: California

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