The History of the Ferrari California

December 27th, 2018 by

Blue Ferrari California T
Introduced as an entry-level Ferrari in 2008, the Ferrari California bore an abundance of new features and design innovations. Built as a modern successor to the Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder of the 50s and the Ferrari 365 California of the 60s, the Ferrari California represented a fourth model range for the automaker: the front-engine, eight cylinder grand touring sports car.

Crafting the California

Launched at the October 2008 Paris Motor Show, the Ferrari California represented a radical new design that incorporated a number of new concepts showcased for the first time in a production model:

  • The first front-mounted V8 in a Ferrari
  • The first Ferrari with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission
  • The first Ferrari hard-top convertible featuring a folding metal roof
  • The first Ferrari to feature a multi-link rear suspension
  • The first Ferrari engine with direct fuel injection

Initial 4.3L V8 engines produced 453 hp and 358 lb-ft of torque, and its excellent handling is due in large part to its weight distribution: the front-mounted engine allowed for a 47% front / 53% rear distribution of weight. The original California features a top speed of 193 mph and 0-62 mph in under four seconds.

Available as either a 2+2 or simply a 2+, doing away with the rear seats in favor of a storage bench. Approximately 10,000 Ferrari California models were produced between 2008 and 2014, when the Ferrari California T made its debut.

Birth of the Ferrari California T

The Ferrari California T did not debut at an auto show; it made its arrival online on February 12, 2014 nearly a month before it could be seen in person at the Geneva Motor Show. The “T” is representative of the twin-turbocharged engine delivering upwards of 553 hp and 557 lb-ft of torque, but the powertrain is simply one upgrade to the California. Its variable boost management system was engineered precisely to reduce turbocharger lag and deliver improved performance.

Other updates for the California T included:

  • Revised chassis and body features
  • New sheet metal
  • New interior design and features
  • Innate Apple CarPlay functionality

The well-reviewed California T has since given way to the Ferrari Portofino.

Discover Yours at Ferrari Lake Forest

Whether you’re searching for a specific Ferrari California in our Ferrari Approved pre-owned selection, a new California T, or the California’s successor, the Portofino, Ferrari Lake Forest can help. Contact us to learn more about the modern California or to let us know you’re keeping an eye out for a particular classic California model.

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