How to buy a classic motorcycle in SA?

'There are a few things you need to consider,’ writes bike guru Dries Van der Walt.

Top family cars in SA

Wheels24's Janine Van der Post has gone from a 'SpeedQueen' to a supermom. Check out her list of top family cars.

Last manual shift Ferrari ever?

2010-03-23 07:22

California soon available with a proper real six-speed manual featuring double-cone synchros with multiple pawl asymmetric geometry and an oil bath fork and lever system. Obviously it has three-pedals too…

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Ferrari
Model California
Engine 4.3l V8
Power 338 @ 7750r/min
Torque 485Nm @ 5 000r/min
Transmission Six-speed manual
Zero To Hundred 4.2 sec
Top Speed 310km/h
If you think dual pedal performance cars are for people who can’t drive, you’ll be heartened to know Ferrari’s California is now (finally) available with a six-speed manual.

A leaked specification document pertaining to the new California variant found its way into public circulation recently. 

Don’t get too excited though. Ferrari has only released the tri-pedal transmission a full year since the California was launched (with a standard seven-speed dual-clutch transmission) and it’s both slower and heavier on fuel.

Obviously the consumption penalty is hardly going to trouble most California owners -  13.2l/100km for the DCT versus the six-speeder’s 14.8l/100km. In terms of benchmark acceleration though, the compromise is quite pronounced.

Ferrari claims even the most skilled driver (on a secure traction surface) will struggle to best 4.2 seconds with the new tri-pedal California. The DCT equipped car, by comparison, manages to dip under the magic four second barrier when measured against the benchmark 0-100km/h acceleration test.

What's the point then?

Maranello’s six-speed manual California is expected to go on sale in Europe this month, rolling out to other world markets shortly thereafter.

With the California’s billing as the ‘housewife’s’ Ferrari, one wonders how strong the appeal of a potentially stall-prone six-speed manual transmission will be? Especially since it’s slower and trickier to drive.

Then again, purists will be heartened by its introduction, which sees true heel-and-toe driving skill return to the Ferrari range – albeit in very limited form.

The Ferrari California six-speed manual will undoubtedly – unfortunately? – be the last tri-pedal prancing horse road car ever.

So, despite the dip in performance and economy it could be destined for classic status...

Inside Wheels24

Opel Astra 1.4T Enjoy auto – understated and smart new hatch

When it comes to the mid-size hatchback choice, there are a few default choices, a few bland ones… and some often overlooked cars. The Opel Astra hatch is an example of the latter, writes David Swanepoel. - Sponsored

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.