Ferrari showed off its new California model at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. The Pininfarina-designed body uses classic cues from the company, such as the long nose and graceful curves back to the cabin. The concave strips stretching from the front fender represent a bolder direction. The basic design is intended to evoke the 1957 Ferrari 250 California.
The California's stacked exhausts let out the roar of a completely new engine. Although sharing size and configuration with the F430's engine, the 4.3-liter V-8 in the California uses a direct injection system developed with input from Shell. This engine produces 460 horsepower and 358 pound-feet of torque, getting the California to 62 mph in under 4 seconds. Surprisingly, the engine also brings in 18 mpg fuel economy, an impressive number for this amount of power.
One of the major features on the California is the standard retractable hard-top, a first for a Ferrari model. The top comes down in under 14 seconds, and is made of aluminum to reduce weight. Still, with it folded up in the trunk, it will throw off the 53 percent rear/47 percent front normal weight distribution.
Ferrari uses a new seven-speed dual clutch transmission with the California. With this transmission option, the California gets F1-style paddle shifters on its steering column. A launch control button is prominent on the console. The car also gets new cabin tech, featuring an iPod connector, Bluetooth cell phone integration, and hard-drive-based navigation.