The Ferrari California will be the protagonist of an important technical and stylistic update. The revised model known by the code F149M will be presented on February 12 in anticipation of its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month.
The current generation has the internal indicative F149, which means that the premiere announced by Ferrari can be only a facelift of the California Cabriolet and not a completely new model. The letter M is another indication of this, its official significance is more than explicit: Modifiers. Over the Prancing Horse's history only a few models have received this additional symbol and in all cases, it was exclusively variants undergoing improvements: the 575M, 512M and 456M.
The Ferrari California F149M will start the transition from a traditional aspirated engine to a turbocharged engine. Under the hood a direct injection V8 will be grafted, borrowed from the new models Maserati Ghibli and Quattroporte. The displacement of 3.8 liters will be retained, but the maximum power will increase to at least 560 hp, compared with 530 hp today. Plans for an entry-level V6 were abandoned.
On the aesthetic level, it announces major changes. The new Ferrari California will be completely redesigned. The source of inspiration will be the new F12 Berlinetta model that will give the aggressive front side to the new California model, with full-LED headlights, strongly elongated, as well as having a dynamic silhouette, much more elegant than the current Ferrari.
The interior is completely new, and it will benefit from the latest multimedia systems present on FF or F12 Berlinetta.
The order lists will be opened in March at the Geneva Auto Show, and the first customers will receive their cars a year later. Ferrari will limit the annual rhythm of the new California model at 500 units per year, in an attempt to increase the aura of exclusivity of the model.
It is expected that this model will be complemented by a F1-inspired KERS unit. This unit will provide an extra additional 100 horsepower when needed.
The Ferrari KERS recaptures braking energy and uses it to charge a lithium-ion (provided by Samsung). This type of battery powers two electric motors, one for helping the performance of the engine and the other to power auxiliary functions. The hybrid system will further reduce CO2 emissions by 40 percent compared to a vehicle without this system.
To further boost performance, The Ferrari's engineers concentrated on weight reduction to well below its mass below 4123 kg, as it does today, the California model.
The first estimates seem to indicate that the new model will accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 60 mph), in less than 3.5 seconds. The top speed will be around 321 km/h (200 mph), thus transforming this new car into something almost as quick as the more expensive 458 Italia. In fact, the model is reasonably close to matching the performance levels displayed by the F12 Berlinetta.
Photo credit: autocar.co.uk