360kW Ferrari California for Geneva 2012

360kW Ferrari California for Geneva 2012

A revised version of the Ferrari California is set to debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, boasting an extra 22kW from its 4.3-litre V8 and a 30kg reduction in weight. An optional new Handling Speciale package promises sharper dynamics, too.

That 22kW increase means Ferrari’s front-engined rear-wheel drive GT with the folding hardtop roof now produces 330kW. Torque also rises 20Nm to 504Nm, while the California’s weight loss is achieved through the increasingly advanced use of aluminium in its construction.

Performance off the line is only marginally improved, with the California’s 0-100km/h time cut by a tenth of a second to 3.8 seconds, but the reduced kerb weight will surely improve the California’s already impressive agility.

However, in order to aid its quest to deliver “a more dynamic, yet not overly extreme, driving experience” the Prancing Horse has also developed an optional Handling Speciale package for the California.

This includes stiffer springs and Magnetorheological shock absorbers; filled with a magnetic fluid these are controlled by a new Ferrari ECU that’s now 50% quicker than before, and use an electromagnet to alter the damping force.

Ferrari claims that this improves the body control during hard driving, without entirely sacrificing the ride comfort. A new steering box offers a 10% faster steering ratio, too, sharpening the handling still further.

Despite its increased focus on performance, the California still promises to offer comprehensive long-legged grand touring ability thanks to impressive levels of equipment and a 78-litre fuel tank.

In fact, in conjunction with Ferrari’s HELE (High Emotion Low Emissions) – featuring start-stop technology and a multitude of electrical components that draw less power from the engine, therefore improving efficiency – the Italian manufacturer claims a theoretical 8.6 l/100km on an extra-urban run.

Alongside the engineering revisions, Ferrari is also offering a more extensive choice of colours – including two-tone paint finishes – on the California, as well as its continuing seven-year maintenance package. On a 330kW supercar, that’s pretty impressive.

Ferrari is yet to release any pricing information for the updated California, but expect more details at the car’s debut at Geneva 2012 in March.


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