2012 Ferrari California Facelift – Enough to improve it?

While theres no such thing as a bad Ferrari these days, its fair to say the California hasnt attracted the universal praise aimed at cars like 458, 599 and FF. What better to get those jaws dropping then than by making it lighter, handle better and adding more power?

Exterior

Little has changed on the outside, which is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on how much you like the Californias styling. Its never been the prettiest of modern Ferraris and lacks presence in the metal, but a range of new colour schemes – both two-tone and classically-inspired, certainly liven up the shape.

In particular, the blue and silver combination in the photos works a treat, and wed like to see one in the gorgeous red and black seen on the 458 too.

Ferrari haven’t confirmed this in the press release, but there appears to be a new stainless stell grille, rather than the previous black one.

Interior

Little has changed in here, but it didnt really need to. Just sitting behind that yellow badge is enough for some, and the Californias interior has always been a cossetting, inviting environment. Its a 2+2 so youve got space for occasional passengers, and of course the cars party trick is the metal folding roof, providing instant access to the sun, whether you live in California or Croydon. Though thinking about it, you might get more use out of it in California.

Ferrari California Facelift

Engine

Heres where much of the work has gone – Ferrari has increased the V8 powerplants output to 490 horsepower – up by 30bhp, with 505 newton-meters of torque at 5,000rpm. New exhaust manifolds and engine mapping have done the trick there, and itll still sound as glorious as ever too. Drivers now have access to a wider torque band, and itll reach 62mph in only 3.8 seconds.

Worth knowing

A new optional package has become available to help transform the Californias handling. Known as the Handling Speciale package, it uses Magnetorheological dampers controlled by a faster ECU, stiffer springs, and a 10-percent quicker steering ratio.

Ferrari claims its still as comfortable as ever, but the subtext is that it now handles more like a Ferrari should. Thats helped further by a 30kg weight reduction.

Price:Prices havent yet been confirmed

Available from:nor has its on-sale date, though the car will be revealed at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in early March.

Conclusion

Whether youre a fan of the Californias looks and ethos or not, the reduced weight, increased power and optional handling package will certainly add to the driving appeal, and the folding roof means its still the most useable Ferrari.

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