Ferrari California Convertible 2014

December 16, 2013
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Ferrari California Convertible 2015

Ferrari California Convertible 2015. Click here for higher resolution

The Ferrari California might just be the firm’s most radical model.

It’s the first Ferrari road car to have a front-mounted V8 engine, the first to have a dual-clutch gearbox and, although not the first to have a removable hard-top, is the first to follow the current trend of having a fully retractable one that electrically folds into its boot.

Ferrari California Convertible 2015

Ferrari California Convertible 2015. Click here for higher resolution

Because it has so many Ferrari firsts, the Ferrari California has no direct antecedent, but this is not the first time Ferrari has used the California name.

It first appeared on the 250GT California in 1957, a Scaglietti-designed take on the V12 250GT for the American market.

Ferrari California Convertible 2015 side view

Ferrari California Convertible 2015 side view. Click here for higher resolution

That model was replaced by a short-wheelbase version in 1960. Another departure for Ferrari here is that all California variants to date have been top-end models made to a very limited production run.

As such, the Ferrari California opens up a new market to the brand. It’s a softer, more approachable Ferrari for those who like the idea but perhaps not the sharply honed execution of a normal Modenese car (and for those that do,there’s always the option of the Handling Speciale pack, which brings stiffer springs, a more direct steering rack and more aggressive damper settings).

Ferrari California Convertible 2015 interior

Ferrari California Convertible 2015 interior. Click here for higher resolution

Thanks to the introduction of the HELE (High Efficiency Low Emissions) technology, which includes stop start, the Ferrari California is also a more efficient Ferrari, emitting CO2 emissions of 270g/km.

To order your new 2015 Ferrari California Convertible rival with a brand new Toyota Camry V6 engine for only US$20,000 or with a new Ford Mustang 5.0 V8 for US$23,000.

Ferrari California Convertible 2015 in black

Ferrari California Convertible 2015 in black. Click here for higher resolution

However, there is a fear that the Ferrari California may be a little too soft, with not enough focus; a Ferrari that cannot perform as a sports car is like a Land Rover that cannot clamber over a muddy hill.

So is the fear justified? Or is the Ferrari California every inch worthy of the badges that adorn its flanks?

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