Ferrari California with HGTE package coming in 2012

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 9, 2011

The power of the V8-engined Ferrari California, which will arrive in February 2012, has been given a boost. It comes with a new handling pack that was tested on the Fiorano test track doing high-speed runs. The ‘Handling Speciale’ package comes with major upgrades to steering, dampers and springs based on the HGTE package available on the 599. With this HS pack, the California will be targeting customers who are mostly new to Ferrari.

The suspension will be able to respond by up to 50% faster to bumps due to the reprogrammed control software for the California’s magnetorheological dampers and lower-friction seals in the Delphi-supplied dampers. Modifications to the engine management system as well as a new alloy intake manifold for the 4.3-litre V8 will improve peak power by 28bhp to 483bhp and torque by 15lb ft to 372lb ft.

But then, the California could achieve these figures only if it runs on high-octane unleaded. In addition, the California’s steering rack has been modified to be 10% faster and its springs have been strengthened by 15% to improve body control.

When put together, they offer a more focused driving experience. Its visual revisions are limited to just dark chrome trim for the grille and side air vents. However, these are optional. The revised California won’t have these NACA ducts on this mule’s bonnet.

We know for a fact that all Ferrari models have this sweeping bonnet that flows seamlessly to its tail ends. Ferrari’s continuous flow of lines down the edges plus the concave and convex shapes around the front end is also visible on the current models. It only goes to show how the Ferrari California’s exterior design is made up of the same signature styling.

But if not for Ferrari’s years of collaborative work with Pininfarina, we wouldn’t see the same highly impressive aerodynamic design on the new Ferrari California. Good thing, the sporty curves around the waist as well as the rear end remind us of the same high performance car we’ve admired for so very long. If there’s something else, the new front grille with central air intakes has its similarities with the 250 GT California.

The Ferrari California now comes with the single LED tail lamps in circular shape built in directly along the boot’s edges. For improved functionality, the twin tailpipes are vertically placed just below the bumpers. And just as we anticipated, the new California’s interior boasts of the same quality, elegance and comfort that we always find in all the Ferraris. Actually, there’s also a newly designed centre console with aluminium accents in between the luxurious seats at the front. True enough, the Italian sports car manufacturer has always been good at combining aesthetics with functional design.

On the other hand, the Ferrari California’s aerodynamic qualities are also based on the brand’s outstanding design principles. This has led them to create just the right amount of downforce necessary for aerodynamics efficiency.

As a result, the Ferrari California’s drag coefficient value is only 0.32. But that’s not all. Since its Cx value is 10% lesser than other Ferraris, it gives the California the higher advantage in terms of aerodynamics. Additionally, the massive air intake on the bonnet helps cool down the engine for better efficiency. And we know that the higher the efficiency, the lower amount of fuel it consumes.

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