As far as Ferraris go, if there is one model that enthusiasts are the least enthused (no pun intended) about, it would be the Ferrari California. The California is weighty, thanks to its retractable hardtop system. While Ferrari always does things the lightest way possible, retractable hardtops are never kind to weight totals.
The California’s name is really fitting; we see a lot of them (relatively speaking of course) in the Bay Area and around Los Angeles. For sales, it is a model that makes sense for Ferrari. When it debuted it showed off a new direction for Ferrari styling, and while it had detractors we’ve always liked it. Yes, the back end is too heavy looking but up front the car strikes a perfect balance. For 2013, Ferrari is perfecting the package further with a drop in weight, a boost in power and a new handling package.
The car’s 4.3-liter naturally-aspirated V-8 now makes 490 horsepower, up 30 hp from last year’s 460. Bump in power is thanks to a new exhaust manifold and remapped engine control software. A 66 pound reduction in weight is accomplished by an increased usage of aluminum. Coupled with the weight loss and increase in power, the California now hits 62 mph in 3.8 seconds, down from 3.9.
Now, about that new package – it is dubbed “Handling Speciale.” Ticking that box nets you magnetorheological suspension dampers, a faster ECU with 50% faster response time, as well as stiffer springs and a new steering box with 10 percent quicker ratio.
The rest of the news has to do with appearance. Ferrari, along with other high-end and exotic manufacturers, is increasingly seeing more customization being done. To give customers more choices, the California is now available with two-tone color schemes, three-layer paint technology and other personalization options. What’s more, every California comes with free maintenance for 7 years. What?! We must have missed that somewhere – Ferrari maintenance has always been an arm and a leg. Where do we sign?