THE AUTOMOBILES that are Ferraris are creatures with a dichotomy of character. On the one hand, being direct descendants of and cousins to Formula One race cars, they are by nature spirited performers, offering plenty of power on tap. On the flip side, being luxury road cars, they must be comfortable for traversing long distances. The current Ferrari that most embodies this dual nature is the California convertible. The California is a Gran Turismo automobile containing several firsts for the Ferrari marque: a folding hardtop, a front-mounted V8, 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, and multilink rear suspension.
Ferrari’s exclusive distributor for the Philippines, Autostrada Motore Inc., recently launched the latest edition of the convertible at its showroom in Bonifacio Global City. Called the California 30, the GT now boasts of 30 additional horsepower and 30 kilograms less. You and your passenger won’t even have to go on a diet-Ferrari has already done it for you.
The 30 kg of weight savings has been accomplished without sacrificing the car’s rigidity. The California’s aluminum structure, manufactured by the Scaglietti Centre of Excellence, underwent precision surgery to excise the required weight. Cutting-edge aluminum fabrication techniques were used to maintain the body’s rigidity, particularly important in an open-top car.
Under the hood, the car’s 4.3-liter V8 has been modified to produce an additional 30 hp, bumping up output to 490 hp. With the additional power and weight savings, the California 30 is capable of 0-100 kph in a scorching 3.8 seconds.
According to Autostrada president Wellington Soong, “The Ferrari California is very agile and easy to drive hard. The Ferrari bloodline ensures exceptional performance, as well as the California distinction of comfort and practicality in a Grand Tourer.”
Indeed, the California is built as a 2+2, with vestigial rear seats that are more suitable for your luggage than your progeny. Ferrari would be happy to supply the optional matching leather luggage set.
Other technological enhancements to the California include an available automatic start/stop system, dubbed the High Emotion Low Emissions package. Even Ferrari is not immune to the need to be more fuel efficient and environment-friendly.
Another option is the Handling Speciale package, which reduces body roll and gives prompter response to driver inputs. The car’s magnetorheological dampers, a form of active suspension, have been modified for quicker response. Suspension springs are also stiffer while reportedly maintaining comfort, and the steering has been quickened by 10 percent.