Arab Today, arab today ferrari california lighter harder faster
Last Updated : GMT 08:59:42
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Ferrari California: Lighter, harder, faster

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Ferrari California: Lighter, harder, faster

California - Arabstoday

They say you\'re never more than a metre away from a rat in London. So, I\'ve flown to Maranello where, far more pleasantly, you\'re surrounded by Ferraris. I fling open the balcony doors at the Maranello Palace Hotel and my quaint room is filled by the raucous soundtrack of V8 and V12 Fezzas thundering up and down the secluded roads. It\'s an incredible noise, which rises to a crescendo right outside my quarters. My ears are twitching with delight. Upon peering to my right, my eyes almost pop out of my head. The view is not of the luscious hills. It\'s much better. It\'s the imposing sight of the home of the Prancing Horse. The famous old factory is just a stone\'s throw away, making this hotel the perfect stay for a Ferrarista. But, if you\'re not a lover of the brand, worry not, for Ferrari has been catering to a whole new audience since the 2008 debut of the California. It was the first Fezza with a mid-front mounted V8, dual clutch tranny and a retractable hard-top. Now, the sheer beauty of this GT has never been in question. Its performance, however, has. Some felt it to be a bit softly sprung. Others thought it a tad overweight. There\'s certainly no getting away from the fact it\'s the slowest Ferrari in the stable. Not that hitting 0-100kph in four seconds is slow. In the three or so years it\'s been around, over 8,000 units have found happy homes worldwide — 70 per cent to new customers to the brand. It\'s been a massive success. But Ferrari doesn\'t measure progress by sales figures. No. How good a car is, is denoted by weight reduction and an increase in horsepower, and this California has benefited from both. The fire in its belly has been stoked by 30bhp, it\'s lost 30kg and it has gained the Handling Speciale pack. So, is it a vastly different animal? I\'m about to find out. Article continues below I flick the up-shift paddle to engage first and I\'m on my way. Five minutes later, I\'ve decided that I\'m going to move here and marry this 490bhp beauty. The sound of that 4.3-litre naturally aspirated V8 is making me tingle with pleasure. A tiny dab of the loud pedal and the glorious note emanating from the exhausts leaves me with a very silly grin. I look like a teenage girl who just met Usher. This revised version is already leaving a lasting impression. I\'m out on the hills here where the roads do not only resemble asphalt spaghetti but when I look over my shoulder I see a drop of at least 1,000 feet. Driving here isn\'t like playing on the Playstation; there\'s no reset button if you crash and burn... But the sun\'s out and I\'ve got the roof down, so all\'s well with the world and my Ferrari. Nothing I\'ve driven in recent memory has received so much attention. There seem to be more old folk here than young but they know a nice car when they see it and the California is getting lots of wobbly thumbs up. It has been around for a while but hasn\'t aged a day. That the exterior has been left untouched, barring an optional silver paint for the grille, bonnet scoop and side vents, speaks volumes about its timeless looks. But time catches up in other ways. We become older and inevitably slower. Ferraris, on the other hand, become faster. Under its curvaceous body, all manner of work has gone into giving this car a second lease of life. Its aluminium spaceframe has received major attention and is 60 per cent new. Twelve different types of aluminium alloys have been used when previously there were eight. It\'s helped to reduce the California\'s weight by a whopping 30kg but it has the same torsional stiffness as before. During a visit to the Scaglietti plant, I\'m told that in future, Ferrari will be using new construction techniques such as riveting and bonding instead of traditional techniques such as welding and this, the boffins say, will help reduce weight further still. There are two areas in particular that have received serious work. The previous California\'s steel engine cradle acted a bit like a boat anchor so it\'s been ditched in place of one built from aluminium castings. Six kilograms saved right there, while three have been shaved off the rocker panels. It now tips the scales at 1,735kg and as a result, sprints off the line two-tenths of a second faster than before, reaching 100kph in 3.8 seconds. That\'s blisteringly quick. Its 47:53 front:rear weight distribution doesn\'t seem affected at all when you drop the top and unlike most convertibles, there is little scuttle and shake to be detected. It\'s been lovingly crafted. But I do wish that the A-pillar was less tree-like in width, but most of the strength of the body and chassis relies on it so you just have to get used to it obstructing your view a little. That 8,000rpm-hitting V8 has gained a one-way reed valve in the crank which lets blow-by gas and oil escape and reduces pumping losses. There\'s also a new exhaust manifold that reduces back pressure, new pistons and ECU tweak. Next, and perhaps most pertinently, is the Handling Speciale pack. Tick this option on the spec sheet and you get a new steering rack, which is nine per cent quicker, taking 2.3 turns lock to lock compared to the standard rack\'s 2.5, 15 per cent stiffer front and 11 per cent stiffer rear springs and revised magnetorheological SCM dampers. The Manettino on the steering allows you to select between Comfort, Sport or CST modes. I\'m told if I set mine to the latter then subsequently wreck the car, I\'d have to buy it… So, with my tail between my legs, I leave it in Sport which is where most would usually want it. This quickens transmission shifts, stiffens the steering and sharpens the throttle response. Having had a quick blast around the plant in a model without the handling pack, I can absolutely feel the difference. The steering impresses me the most and brings the California to life, but I\'m sure the springs are a lot stiffer than the numbers suggest. There is far less body roll than before, it feels taut and its reflexes have been sharpened no end. It\'s nowhere near as firm as the 458 but it\'s been transformed into a much sportier and far better handling ride. With the Manettino in Comfort and tranny in auto, things settle down to the point where you\'d forget you\'re in a Ferrari. This defies the point of having one so back it goes in Sport and a quick couple of flicks of the paddle shifter later, it becomes a different car again. The extra power adds plenty of urgency throughout the rev range and much of that is down to its tremendous dual-clutch automatic. The previously available six-speed manual is no longer with us because just two were sold. And I don\'t mean two per cent. Not that you\'d miss a row-your-own because this F1 tranny is sublime. Verdict This is the car we should have been presented with back in 2008. It\'s been tweaked in all the right places making it a genuinely quick supercar with much improved handling. It\'s now far more involving to drive and a properly polished performer. Its Brembos inspire plenty of confidence meaning braking late becomes the norm even on the twistiest of tracks. I gave them a serious workout yet they never suffered any fade. The interior is top-class too; the beige, hand-fitted leather and chrome details look and feel top-notch, apart for the tacky sat-nav. But, it doesn\'t detract from what is a great car. The test drive is over all too soon and I head back to the fabled gates of Ferrari HQ. I park, fold the roof, kill the engine and listen as the California begins to tick itself cool. It would be wasted on limp-wristed girls or boys looking for something to just coast in. It\'s been tweaked to drive hard but still oozes enough class for when you want to take it easy. It was a brilliant show off and that hasn\'t changed. But now, it\'s backing up those sultry looks with phenomenal power and rock-steady handling. It\'s the Ferrari I\'d most like to have. It\'s as able on the track as it is off it and you can run one on a daily basis without a hitch, if you gloss over the tiny back seats. Three 911\'s, an Aventador and a Veyron fly by on the Shaikh Zayed Road the day I return to the UAE. I\'m inches away from every supercar under the sun and I don\'t have to worry about nasty rodents either. But I\'m back at my desk and I\'ve rejoined the rat race. It is going to bea while before I allow the memory of Italy and all of its Ferraris to fade from my mind...

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today ferrari california lighter harder faster Arab Today, arab today ferrari california lighter harder faster


Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Hats, scarves add beauty to women

GMT 19:10 2017 Friday ,17 February

Hats, scarves add beauty to women
Arab Today, arab today Tourist guide reveals methods of tourist attractions

GMT 17:46 2017 Saturday ,18 February

Tourist guide reveals methods of tourist attractions
Arab Today, arab today To release new antiques collection

GMT 20:33 2017 Friday ,17 February

To release new antiques collection
Arab Today, arab today Optimism on the front line

GMT 07:24 2017 Monday ,20 February

Optimism on the front line
Arab Today, arab today Murder of 2 reporters in Dominican Republic

GMT 22:45 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Murder of 2 reporters in Dominican Republic

GMT 11:39 2015 Monday ,08 June

New Opel Astra fit for fun

GMT 07:47 2015 Saturday ,18 April

2016 ELR advances with more power, technology

GMT 05:30 2015 Saturday ,04 April

GMC Introduces 2016 Terrain

GMT 12:59 2015 Tuesday ,31 March

Porsche announces special edition Panamera

GMT 08:32 2015 Wednesday ,04 March

McLaren unleashes the 675LT

GMT 12:10 2015 Sunday ,22 February

Mercedes debuts limited edition Mille Miglia SL
View News in Arabic - Auto: قيد الاختبار
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Kidogo provides childcare for underserved

GMT 20:24 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Kidogo provides childcare for underserved
Arab Today, arab today Tragic fluctuations of Bakhtiari's life revealed

GMT 06:50 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Tragic fluctuations of Bakhtiari's life revealed
Arab Today, arab today London to tax old cars

GMT 14:06 2017 Friday ,17 February

London to tax old cars
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today Competes Sweden and Germans by S90

GMT 22:36 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Competes Sweden and Germans by S90
Arab Today, arab today Porsche reveals new 2018 Panamera

GMT 17:31 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Porsche reveals new 2018 Panamera
Arab Today, arab today Egypt to hold first session of Arab film festival

GMT 21:11 2017 Saturday ,18 February

Egypt to hold first session of Arab film festival
Arab Today, arab today Teach monkeys to recognize themselves in mirror

GMT 20:41 2017 Wednesday ,15 February

Teach monkeys to recognize themselves in mirror

GMT 07:30 2017 Saturday ,18 February

Actress Nadeen Al Rassi views art as her entity

GMT 06:40 2017 Friday ,10 February

MP calls for removing text from Islamic story

GMT 13:16 2017 Tuesday ,14 February

First fashion model with Down syndrome

GMT 10:26 2017 Tuesday ,14 February

Emergency UN meeting in Harare

GMT 14:04 2017 Tuesday ,14 February

"Lagom" new Swedish concept in interior design

GMT 12:07 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Bite-mimicking malaria vaccine

GMT 09:03 2017 Thursday ,16 February

Tour guide praises women’s beaches

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 21:42 2017 Sunday ,12 February

Rania al-Ghazali designs candles of bubbles
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday