But this one is the first from the brand that can transform via a slick-folding metal roof into an open-air cruiser. Note that there are two very tight, very upright rear seats. Boot space shrinks from 340L to 240L with the roof down.
It's the first Ferrari that we could envisage being used as a daily driver. That's thanks to the designer interior, and the inclusion of the mod cons and ergonomics we expect from more run-of-the-mill cars.
The buttons at the end of the piece of aluminium (in order from left to right) prime the transmission and safety equipment for maximum thrust starts, engage reverse, and toggle between automatic and manual gear selection.
The LCD to the left can be used to display nav instructions or various other information. The Euro-friendly speedometer readings means that, along with the baying V8 engine, it's difficult to maintain a legal speed.
The California features a fast-changing dual-clutch transmission. To operate the gears in manual mode there are paddles behind the steering wheel (you can just see the downshift paddle behind the steering wheel's left spoke). In the translucent panel inset into the carbon fibre portion of the steering wheel, red indicators light up as you approach the engine's red line.
The F1-Trac switch (bottom left) sets the car up for different driving modes and conditions. In Comfort mode the throttle response is very noticeably dulled and electric safety nannies cut in at the first sign of danger. Sport makes the throttle as fast and as engaging as you'd expect from a Ferrari, and allows the car to drift about. CST Off basically sets the car up for a track day, with all electronic watchdogs switched off except for ABS.
Sitting under the bonnet is a 4.3-litre V8 pumping out 338kW of power and 485Nm of torque. It produces an addictive bark and roar with the roof down; it's considerably more muted when the roof is between you and the sky.
The California is set-up in the mould of a grand tourer. The suspension is surprisingly supple, with Melbourne's tram tracks producing barely a ripple. The rear end is easily provoked into sliding with aggressive use of the gas pedal. The California is capable of amazing pace through corners with only a slight amount of body roll, but it's obvious after driving the F430 that in the continuum between absolute pace and comfort, it errs towards everyday liveability.