The most unloved Ferrari (if there ever was such a thing) in today’s current lineup is the California. As the entry-level Ferrari, it was designed to expand the brand’s appeal in markets like – you guessed it – California.
It has succeeded at doing that, selling over 8000 units since 2008, with 70 percent of them going to first-time Ferrari buyers. There is room for improvements though. The California is a Ferrari without a hard edge, and it is heavier than most want thanks to its retractable hardtop design. For enthusiasts, it has just failed to strike a chord. We’ve never had a problem with the styling, but it isn’t for everyone.
Car & Driver reports that Ferrari is eager to change the California’s image by readying an all-new model by as early as next year. Next year? The California is still a spring chicken, at least by Ferrari’s standards. It seems fresh to us, and it isn’t as if Ferrari has let it sit without update. The refreshes have been focused on eliminating the car’s vices; reducing weight, offering a handling package. Problem is, Ferrari’s are supposed to handle really well fro the start. C&D says the next-gen model is designed to provide a boost to the California’s enthusiasts appeal.
It’s good to see Ferrari paying attention. Next year’s model will be so extensive it could ditch the California name. Extensive as in, all-new sheet metal that draws from the classic 250 GTO. The styling effort is being led by Flavio Manzoni and Pininfarina at Ferri Centro Stile in Maranello. Change isn’t limited to styling though. Under the hood will be a big change as well. We told you turbocharged power was popping up everywhere, and Ferrari is getting in on the action as well. The new California replacement is said to get a turbocharged version of the current 4.3L V-8. Forced induction will result in an output over the 500 horsepower mark. It will be hooked up to a road-going Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) that will provide boost of power in the 600 hp range. The tradeoff is weight reportedly won’t be reduced by much; with a 0-60 time of 3.5-seconds and increased efficiency though, we doubt most will care.