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Rent Ferrari California in Europe
The Ferrari California might just be the firm's most radical model. It’s the first Ferrari road car to have a front-mounted V8 engine, the first to have a dual-clutch gearbox and, although not the first to have a removable
hard-top, is the first to follow the current trend of having a fully retractable one that electrically folds into its boot. Because it has so many Ferrari firsts, the Ferrari California has no direct antecedent, but this is not
the first time Ferrari has used the California name. It first appeared on the 250GT California in 1957, a Scaglietti-designed take on the V12 250GT for the American market. As such, the California opens up a new market to the
brand. It’s a softer, more approachable Ferrari for those who like the idea but perhaps not the sharply honed execution of a normal Modenese car (and for those that do,there's always the option of the Handling Speciale pack,
which brings stiffer springs, a more direct steering rack and more aggressive damper settings).
With a relatively soft set-up, sticky tyres and a particularly impressive launch control system, the California gets off the line with almost zero wheel slip. In gear, though, the California never feels quite as fast as the
headline numbers suggest. It is also worth remembering the weight of options when specifying your California. Ferrari supplied two cars for our review, one with few options weighing 1785kg, and one that was more lavishly
specified and weighed 1905kg. Still, the California remains a fast road car and, perhaps more important for the target market, one that is easy to drive. Ferrari’s first application of a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox is
entirely successful. In automatic, the shifts are well timed and, with the possible exception of slow downchanges from cold, are as smooth as a conventional torque converter’s. There’s plenty of control in manual mode, too.
Technically this is a 2+2, although as with most +2 seating types, the rears are strictly for small children or very short hops only. A luggage shelf can be specified instead but, either way, two flaps fold down to allow
longer loads to creep through from the boot (the release catches are inside the boot, to aid security). The front seats and the cabin layout are otherwise pretty standard Ferrari stuff, save for an electronic handbrake and a
swooping central beam featuring the roof and gearbox controls. But the dials, major controls and layout will be familiar to current Ferrari owners. Materials quality is generally good, as is the ergonomic layout. The driving
position is beyond serious criticism too; some of the optional seat surfacing is questionable, but there’s plenty of adjustment, the footwell is roomy, there’s no discernible offset and the steering wheel adjusts widely.
- Engine: 4.3 L V8- Max Power: 454 bhp @ 7750rpm- Max Torque: 485 Nm @ 5000 rpm- Seating Capacity: 4- Transmission: Automatic- Boot Space: 240 liters- Fuel Tank Capacity: 78 liters- Fuel Type: Petrol
- Body Type: Convertible
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