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Ferrari California PDF Print E-mail

The Paris Motor Show, which began on October 2, invariablythrows up new models from the French manufacturers, PSA Citro?n and Renault;the Germans and the Italians rarely break out new offerings at this verytraditional expo.? This year, though,Ferrari used Paris to unveil its exciting new metal-top convertible, theCalifornia.

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Michael Schumacher, the seven-time Formula 1 world champion,has been involved in the development of the latest Prancing Horse road carsince its inception and has worked with Ferrari?s team of engineers,technicians and test-drivers on honing the car in general, but morespecifically on optimizing its performance parameters.
?I have to say that, as with the 430 Scuderia, participating in the projectsince the very beginning has been really fascinating and great fun,? commentedSchumacher at the end of a test session at the Fiorano test track. ?Althoughthe cars are very different, they both offer absolutely unique driving pleasurebecause of the inherently sporty character of all of the cars that come out ofMaranello. The 430 Scuderia is, of course, a more extreme model with a focus onabsolute cutting-edge performance. However, although the Ferrari California isvery much a grand tourer in terms of its usability and high level of interiorcomfort, it is still surprisingly sporty and fun to drive under any kind ofconditions.?

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The Ferrari California joins Ferrari?s legendary eight cylinder family andwhile offering the kind of performance expected of a Ferrari, the California isa little more versatile in terms of its interior finish, as well as featuring anew transmission system. This is the first V8 in the history of Ferrariroad-cars to be mid-front mounted.
Schumacher earlier this year addressed a Ferrari dealer convention in Maranelloand explained the differences between the 430 and the California models.

?They were designed to meet different requirements: the 430Scuderia is aimed at drivers who want the very essence of a Ferrari and willget it out on the track as often as they can. The Ferrari California, on theother hand, is designed for everyday use and for weekends away whilst stillguaranteeing all of the emotional impact that only an authentic Ferrari candeliver,? said Schumacher.

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The new transmission system offers seven speeds and adual-clutch system, guaranteeing no power losses and instant gear shifts.? The sophisticated transmission is mated tothe California?s 4.3 liter V8 engine with direct fuel injection and aflat-plane racing crankshaft.? The V8unit produces a healthy 460 bhp (338 kW) at 7,500 rpm with a smooth torquecurve that peaks at 485 Nm.

The California?s signature feature is of course itsretractable hard top. It is made from aluminum panels and has a cast aluminumweight-bearing structure which has reduced its overall weight and the movingmasses involved. The entire opening and closing cycle is completed in just 14seconds and thanks to the original stowage system, the California?s trunk spaceremains extremely generous regardless of whether it is up or down.

From the shape of the hood and headlights to the sweep ofthe rear wings and vents behind the front wheels this car obviously draws onthe heritage of the original 250 GT California of the1960s. At the same time,it is blended with modern Ferrari design elements drawn from the current F430and 599.

Ferrari believes that the newCalifornia will be a complete success, particularly in its namesake state onthe west coast of America.? Earlier thisyear, a stunning 1961 Ferrari California Spyder which once belonged toactor James Coburn was sold at auction in Maranello for an astonishing $11million; an all-time record for this model. This 12-cylinder model was alsostyled by Pininfarina and was an evolution of the 250 GT Tour de France

Thanks to Michael Schumacher?s contribution to thedevelopment of the latest Ferrari California, it has resulted in a car thatdelivers extraordinary performance, and which can cover the benchmark 0-100km/h sprint in under four seconds and reaches a maximum of 310 km/h.

 
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© 2018 Jeff Heselwood. All rights reserved.
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