Ferrari Cali rolls into SA
In this global economic mess, the time has come to tighten our belts, we've been cautioned. Indeed. However, the six lucky locals who've just taken delivery of their Ferrari Californias may feel a little differently...
An eye-tearing 338 kW at 7 750 r/min and 485 Nm at 5 000 r/min is not something to scoff at. And with a sub-4 second sprint time from standing to 100 km/h, the California is not only powerful but quick too. Top speed is around 310 km/h.
Using a 4.3-litre V8 with direct injection, this motor is mated with a new seven-speed dual clutch transmission with F1-style shift paddles (and twin wet clutches) to replicate the shifting style of a manual with the convenience of an auto'. However, a six-speed manual gearbox is also available.
In something of this class, fuel consumption is a miserly 13 l/100 km and CO2 emissions are at 305.6 g/km, although the manufacturer assures this is one of the greenest cars in its class.
Stopping power is the unenviable task of carbon ceramic discs with a 390 mm diameter and six-pots at the front and 360 mm discs with four-caliper pistons at the rear. Standard wheel sizes are 19-inch, although 20-inch rollers are an option, too.
Along with stellar performance data, California is also the first sports car from the Italian manufacturer to be fitted with a folding hardtop roof. It opens and closes in 14 seconds. Overall weight has been kept down considerably with the use of aluminium for the chassis and body.
Aerodynamics were also key in keeping performance and fuel economy targets in check, and drag is said to be down by 10% compared with other Ferrari models.
Weight distribution is also outstanding, with 47% on the front and 53% on the rear axle. However, this may be influenced by the two configurations available to customers. Owners are able to choose between a two-seater or a 2+2 version.
Other cool features include the F1-style traction control that allows for faster exits and increased stability and a new launch control system.
Cabin features are worthy of a supercar too, and California comes with a full-grain leather interior, a new seat structure using a magnesium, electric controls for the driver's seat, engine start button on the steering wheel, a new instrument panel and two-zone climate control.
Other standard equipment includes a new infotelematic system with a GPS navigation system, DVD reader, touch screen, voice commands and Bluetooth.
As for safety features, front and side airbags, bi-xenon headlights and LED tail lamps are all standard.
Local pricing for the all-new model starts at under R3 million and while six new owners have already taken delivery, a further 32 are on "confirmed order".