First seen at the 2008 Paris Motor Show, the Ferrari California's name is a throwback to the "California" moniker for the Ferrari 250 GT from the late 1950s. The Ferrari California is a grand touring sports car using a front mounted gasoline direct-injection 4.3 L V8 engine. The vehicle is a two-door, four-seat hard top convertible with a number of novel features. The California is the first Ferrari to offer direct petrol injection, multi-link rear suspension that lowers vibration and acoustic levels while absorbing impact, a 7-speed dual clutch transmission that eliminates the "acceleration gap," and a folding metal roof. The California is also the first Ferrari with a front engine to feature a V8. The California features a retractable hard top that can be opened or closed in under 14 seconds, and the F-1 Trac, an optimized traction control system with its top up, the California's drag coefficient is 0.32, giving it the status of the most aerodynamic Ferrari currently on the market. Speed is not an issue for the California, as it can accelerate from zero to 62 miles per hour in under four seconds, and can reach 193 miles per hour. With a dry weight of 3,593 pounds and a fuel tank capacity of 20.6 US gallons, the California is a sleek car designed for efficient travel.
Pininfarina designed the Ferrari with a classic sculpted chassis and a long bonnet. The passenger area is slightly heavier in the rear. The Ferrari sports a traditional grille to enhance the air intake of the thinner vents on the bonnet and side, which harkens back to the design of the 1957 California 250. The back-rest structure of the California is made of magnesium in order to reduce weight and maximize comfort, and the coupe's infotainment system features a 6.5-inch touch-screen display.
The Ferrari California offers a folding seat-back that directly connects the boot to the rear bench. The storage capacity of the California is expansive, since the folded hard-top takes up less than a third of the luggage compartment's available space. A Tyres Pressure and Temperature Monitoring System helps the California remain safe and easily manageable.
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