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Geneva show: Ferrari finesses California

More Prancing Horse power: First deliveries of Ferrari’s upgraded 2012 California arrive here late this year.

Prancing Horse brand announces lighter, quicker and more powerful 2012 California

16 Feb 2012

FERRARI has revealed a lighter, more powerful and therefore quicker iteration of its entry-level California coupe-convertible, first deliveries of which will commence in Australia by the end of this year.

The 2012 California, which will also be available with an optional new ‘Handling Speciale’ package, brings an upgraded version of its direct-injection 4.3-litre GDI V8 that now delivers some 365kW (up 27kW from 338kW) and no less than 505Nm of torque – up 20Nm from 485Nm.

Combined with a 30kg weight cut, which should reduce the top-end convertible’s kerb weight to a still-hefty 1705kg, the California now sprints to 100km/h in 3.8 seconds - two tenths of a second sooner than before with the same seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission.

Naturally, those figures – the result of new exhaust manifolds and revised engine mapping – fall short of the 425kW/540Nm outputs offered by the larger and newer 4.5-litre V8 in the 458 Italia coupe, which is also lighter (1485kg), quicker (0-100km/h in 3.4 seconds) and more expensive (from $526,950).

Subtle 2012 styling revisions for the four-seat California (which currently costs from $459,650) comprise a new chromed grille treatment and a fresh range of retro-inspired two-tone paint colour schemes.

Ferrari says the weight savings, which come “without impinging in any way on its structural rigidity and performance”, were achieved by innovative new aluminium fabrication methods and construction technologies.

The California’s new ‘special handling’ package pack – local pricing for which will also be revealed closer to the car’s Australian release – will include stiffer springs, a 10 per cent faster steering and a new magneto-rheological damping control system that Ferrari says improves response time by up to 50 per cent.

Production of the 2012 California, which will make its world debut at the Geneva motor show on March 6, has already commenced at Maranello ahead of first deliveries in Europe.

Like the all-new FF grand touring coupe, first deliveries of which arrived here earlier this month, the revised California will come with the same seven-year free scheduled servicing offer applicable to all new Ferraris sold in Australia since October 24.

Ferrari sold no fewer than 134 coupes in Australia last year – up 6.3 per cent on the 126 Prancing Horses snapped up here last year.

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