Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ferrari California

2009 Ferrari California
Ferrari Press Release

2009 Ferrari CaliforniaThe Ferrari California is an exceptionally innovative car whose philosophy takes its inspiration from the spirit and emotions of one of the great Ferraris of the past, the 1957 250 California, a superbly elegant open top car designed for the track, which has, over the years, come to symbolise not only superior sportiness and performance but also exclusivity, craftsmanship and faultless sophistication.

This new car joins Ferrari's 8-cylinder range which is made up mostly of very high performance models. It also flanks the 12-cylinder flagship 612 Scaglietti in the Grand Tourer category. The Ferrari California is a car with the track in its DNA. It is enormously innovative and will more than fulfil the expectations of even our most discerning clients, offering breathtaking driving pleasure and fun behind the wheel as well as extreme versatility of use and in-car comfort. It is available exclusively as a convertible with retractable folding hard top in either a two-seater version with a traditional rear bench or in the 2+ version which sees the rear bench equipped with seating for one to two passengers.

2009 Ferrari CaliforniaIn line with Ferrari tradition, this model positively brims with innovative features. In addition to its retractable hard top and the aforementioned original 2+ concept, the new Prancing Horse car also offers: a new direct injection V8 engine, a 7-speed gearbox with steering wheel-mounted F1-style paddles coupled with a new dual clutch, a new suspension system (double wishbones at the front and multilink at the rear), the new evolved F1-Trac traction control system and Brembo brakes with CCM (carbon ceramic material) discs as standard (this latter feature is shared by the other models in the current range).

Styling
The California's sleek aerodynamic styling is, like the rest of the current Ferrari models, the result of our longstanding collaboration with Pininfarina and offers a host of signature Ferrari styling cues. Viewed from the side, the aerodynamic sweep of the bonnet beautifully contrasts with the compact tail volume and the pulled-back cabin. The front continues some of the themes hinted at on the flanks, harmoniously alternating concave and convex volumes. Seen head-on, the car clearly takes it much of its inspiration from the prestigious Prancing Horse car from which it takes its name: the grille and slender air intake at the centre of the bonnet most notably harking back to the 250 GT California. At the rear, the sides and the muscular tail section are both familiar too. As at the front, the single round LED taillights are inset directly along the edge of the boot. The California's vertically stacked twin tailpipes are an original flourish as is the boot which sweeps right down to the bumpers to improve functionality. Of course, the interior also reflects the same level of design sophistication, exuding a sense of refined luxury, comfort and bespoke quality. Situated between the front seats, the new aluminium-trimmed centre console is another distinctive touch that goes beyond the merely aesthetic, beautifully combining functionality and design.

2009 Ferrari CaliforniaAerodynamics
The Ferrari California's aerodynamics were, of course, developed in tandem with its styling. This allowed Ferrari to keep the Cx (drag coefficient) right down with respect to the downforce required for optimal vehicle dynamics. In the coupe configuration, the California has a Cx value of 0.32. A desire to achieve perfect balance between vertical load and drag influenced the shape of the rear diffuser and the spoiler incorporated into the front bumper. Drag has been cut to 10% lower than on the other Ferrari models which not only makes the California a more aerodynamically efficient car but also reduces fuel consumption. Last but not least, the air intake on the bonnet ensures highly efficient cooling of the engine compartment.

The new 8-cylinder engine
This is the first V8 in the history of Ferrari road-cars to be mid-front mounted. Built entirely from aluminium, it retains the typical Ferrari architecture with a 90° angle between the two cylinder banks and a 180° angle between the cranks.

The engine has a total displacement of 4,300 cc and a maximum power output of 460 hp/338 kW at 7,750 rpm. With a specific power of 107 hp/litre, its maximum torque is 485 Nm (49 kgm) at 5,000 rpm, 75% of which is available at just 2,250 rpm. The Ferrari California takes less than 4 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h and delivers a blistering 310 km/h top speed.

The new V8 features direct fuel injection and variable timing (on both intake and exhaust) to guarantee superb performance, exceptional handling and fuel consumption and emissions that easily comply with the toughest Euro 5 and Lev2 standards. Thanks in part to these solutions, the Ferrari California consumes just 13.1 litres/100 km (ECE combined) and has carbon emissions of 305.6 g\km (ECE combined).

The California's engine sound was also carefully developed as this is one of the great Ferrari signatures and really does contribute to enhancing driving pleasure. Particular attention was lavished on sound perception in the cabin both with the top up and down to ensure that trademark thrill without compromising on occupant acoustic comfort.

Gearbox and transmission
The Ferrari California sports a new dual clutch gearbox (7-speed + reverse) with the now traditional steering wheel-mounted F1-style paddles. This is an innovative system that guarantees a superb combination of performance and ride comfort. With the dual clutch, one clutch is used for even-numbered gears and the other for odd-numbered ones, and allows the pre-selection of the next gear required. The gears are changed by overlapping the opening and closing stage of both clutches, resulting in gear shifting times that are close to zero and with no "torque interrupt". The result is not only enhanced performance but truly thrilling driving pleasure. The traditional transaxle layout (engine to the front and gearbox to the rear) also contributes to the California's perfect weight distribution (47% front - 53% rear) and to reducing vibration to the bodyshell. In manual mode, the new gearbox guarantees great sporty driving pleasure while extra comfort is assured in automatic.

Chassis and suspensions
The Ferrari California's chassis and bodyshell are both made entirely from aluminium. Thanks to the use of different aluminium technologies (extrusions and shell casts), the car's exceptional versatility, onboard comfort and driveability has not added to chassis weight or to the dimensions of the structural sections - something that simply would not be the case had traditional steel architecture and technologies been used. Furthermore, static rigidity (torsional and flexional) has been improved with respect to average figures for a Spider to ensure exceptional handling in any kind of road conditions and to guarantee GT-standard comfort both with the top up and down.


The Ferrari California retains the traditional double wishbone suspension to the front while a new multilink system has been specially developed for the rear. The multilink system improves longitudinal flexibility of the suspension, keeping transverse rigidity values high. What this means in practice is that the car beautifully absorbs any unevenness, and noise and vibration are efficiently damped for exceptional ride comfort well on a par with the car's nimble handling. The SCM Magnetorheological Suspension Control System, debuted on the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, is also available on request.

Retractable Hard Top
Of course the Ferrari California's signature feature has to be its retractable hard top (RHT). It is made from aluminium panels and has a cast aluminium weight-bearing structure which has reduced its overall weight and the moving masses involved. The entire opening/closing cycle is completed in just 14 seconds and thanks to the original stowage system, the California's boot space remains extremely generous regardless of whether it is up or down.

Technical Specifications
Engine: 4.3 litre V8
Aspiration: Natural
Maximum Power: 460 hp (343 kW)
Maximum Torque: 358 lb-ft (485 Nm)
Transmission: Seven-speed dual clutch gearbox
Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive

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