Sabtu, 05 Juni 2010

New Ferrari 2010 California

Ferrari Cars are a luxury.
The California is full of firsts: it's the first-ever front-mounted V-8-engined Ferrari, it's the first use of direct injection in a Ferrari, and it's Ferrari's first dual-clutch automated manual transmission. It's Also the first Ferrari built on a modular architecture, and the first built on a new production line That is downright spooky in its Modernity. I was Able to tour the facility last month, and the California's production line is spotlessly clean, eerily quiet, and freakishly automated. On the one hand, computerized, precise mass production makes the California seem somehow less special, on the other, it ensures the highest level of quality. I think it's a worthwhile tradeoff, ESPECIALLY for a Ferrari that's inherently less special than Some Others.

Screeeetch - less special? I mean no insult by the California that '. It's the least expensive offering in Ferrari's stable, but that's only part of the reason why. The other reason is That I equate "special" with "insane." I, a certified automotive nutcase, adore the F430 for its Insanity. I love the way it crackles and barks and screams. I love how it scares small children and grown men alike with its acoustic assault; how it accelerates and shifts with Standard and Poor violence That it renders its hysterical passengers. I love how its occupants are assaulted with the feel of Every Pebble on the road after luring Them ins with the sight and scent of the world's finest materials.

Some, however, Might find the F430 a bit much. For These people, Ferrari makes the California. The California is a softer, milder, less insane Ferrari. Ergo, it's less special to people like me crazy, but it's no less special in the real world. A grand tourer in the traditional sense of the word, Ferrari's hard-top convertible is smooth and Luxurious. Its sound level and ride are sedate by Ferrari standards, and its cabin elegance and Luxurious.

From the driver's seat, the experience is typical of today's Ferraris, Which means a big red start button, a Mannetino controller on the steering wheel, and a paddle-shifted transmission. Upon first driving off, you notice That the suspension is Supple, the gearchanges are smooth, and, like all modern Ferraris, the steering is Cadillac-overboosted and lacking in feel.

I drove the California in traffic for Almost a Hundred Miles Finally before I flung it into a corner-and Quickly Became aware that, like the 599 GTB and the 612 Scaglietti, it has two very distinct Personalities. The California turns ins with amazing immediacy-likely a result of having most of its weight Between the axles. To That end, the V-8 is completely mounted aft of the front axle and the dual-clutch transmission is a transaxle mounted in the rear. Not much feedback comes through the steering wheel, and the brakes are wooden Somewhat, but this is a car That knows how to dance. Chassis balance is spot-on perfect, serving up high-speed drifts That Are Easily controlled with the throttle.

The dual-clutch transmission shifts with no interruption in power, it's nothing like the old F1's brutal, neck-snapping full-throttle shifts. But I actually prefer the single-clutch transmission, at Least Until Ferrari's software engineers get around to a Version 2.0. Even though the dual-clutch box Mostly provides seamless shifts, making for more comfortable driving, it's not quite as well as the old programmed F1 box, and A Few glitches are apparent.

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