New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Supercharged Ferrari California

2010-03-19 06:49
Let’s not be coy, despite being billed as entry-level Maranello motoring, Ferrari’s California has too many firsts for the company's peculiarly traditional customer base to tolerate.

Fundamentally there are diffuse configuration issues with the California.

It’s the first front-engined Ferrari with a V8 configuration and drives a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Then there’s the folding metal roof (instead of a canvas top). These are all design feature which go very much against the grain of Ferrari road car design heritage.

Novitec adds 21-inch wheels up front with 22-inch alloys trailing at the rear.

The German solution

It does look rather fetching though. So, if you find the California’s styling appealing and would like to inject it with even more dynamic urgency German tuner Novitec Rosso will keenly oblige.

Wolfgang Hagedorn’s Stetten based tuning concern is renowned for adding forced induction to Maranello’s finest in an attempt to build the most incomparable Italian performance cars anywhere.

Novitec Rosso released a tuning upgrade for the California late last year - yet it lacked forced induction. Obviously that would simply not do...

The company’s latest California conversion cues familiar themes - lots of carbon-fibre and a significant boost in engine output.

Novitec’s technicians have added a supercharger and new exhaust plumbing to the 4.3l direct-injection V8 engine, boosting power from 338- to 445kW. Peak rotational force balloons from 485- to 603Nm.

Performance gains courtesy of these increases in engine output trim the 0-100km/h benchmark sprint to a touch less than four seconds (3.8 sec to be precise). At the long end of the drivetrain’s endurance there’s the promise of a 325km/h maximum speed potential to be explored.

Custom machined intake manifold and larger injectors ensure optimal fuel/air mixture and flow proprieties. Water-to-air intercooler keeps air induction density optimal.

Subtle chassis tweaks

Beyond the engine upgrade Novitec Rosso’s skills are applied to the California’s surfacing too. A carbon-fibre front lip spoiler and aft diffuser ensures airflow dynamics don’t destabilise the car at speed.

Adaptive dampers enact a median 35mm ride height reduction - which shores up stability characteristics even further.

Novitec’s suspension experts have enabled 40mm of hydraulically powered adjustability with regards to ride height manipulation too – which ensures speed bumps and underground garage ramps are cleared without any abrasive damage to the carbon-fibre lip spoiler.

So, if you’re tired of trailing Gallardo LP560-4 Spyders you should probably give Wolfgang Hagedorn a call - he seems to have the keys to some authentic California dreaming.



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