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    Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    From Autocar....

    Ferrari is set to give the green light to a new entry level model that will directly take on Aston Martin's V8 Vantage and should give a massive boost to the Italian company. Powered by a front-mounted 400bhp 4.2-litre V8 driving a rear-mounted transmission, the new model should sell for around Pounds85,000 in coupé form and could lift Ferrari sales from just under 5000 cars per year to as many as 8000.

    Rumoured to be called Project California, sources in Italy say Ferrari engineers are already working on the new car, which will also come in drophead form. It is the first tangible evidence of a new dawn for Ferrari after its recent split from Maserati.

    The California is believed to be based on Maserati's planned replacement for the Spider and Coupé models. Scooped by Autocar last year (21/28 December), development of these new cars was halted just before control of Maserati was handed over to Alfa Romeo in February.

    The proposed 'baby' Ferrari is the first concrete sign that Maranello is preparing to break free of its self-imposed production limits and take a risk on exploiting one of the most widely-recognised brands in the world.

    The California is based on conventional steel monocoque chassis, although it uses a transaxle transmission, located on the back axle. With the engine mounted well back in the nose, the combination gives a near-perfect front/rear weight distribution. This front-mid engine layout (though without the transaxle) is also employed by the California's closest potential rival, the Aston Martin V8 Vantage.

    Although engineers have been working on two wheelbases for the new Maseratis, it's expected that Ferrari will utilise the shorter chassis, which would have underpinned the Spider.

    Insiders expect the California to use a Ferrari-modified version of today's 400bhp 4.2-litre V8 Maserati engine (right), which would confirm the California's position below the F430 in the Ferrari line-up, with its 490bhp 4.3-litre V8. And in the UK the F430 coupé is priced at Pounds118,000, which means there's a gap in Ferrari's market for an Pounds85,000 coupé.

    However, there's little chance of the California simply being a worked-over version of the Mk2 Maserati coupé. Senior insiders told Autocar that cash-strapped Ferrari had not committed to tooling up the new Maserati designs, so Ferrari's designers will have to start from scratch on the styling, inside and out.

    After the controversial styling of the front-engined 612 Scaglietti, Ferrari bosses will surely be looking for a coupé that has the appeal of the new Aston Martin models as well as the legendary day-to-day usability of the Porsche 911.

    Meanwhile, with the replacements for the Maserati Coupé and Spyder put on hold, it's thought that Maserati may turn to new partner Alfa Romeo for help to replace its entry-level models. Alfa's sophisticated 'Premium' platform could provide the basis for a new coupé and cabriolet model.

    The new Alfa Romeo Brera could provide the bare bones of the new models. And according to the terms of the recent split between General Motors and Fiat, GM will supply Fiat Auto with a version of its Northstar V8 engine that can be transversely mounted. Insiders say this will be modified by Maserati engineers and hooked up to a full-time, rear-biased four-wheel-drive system.

    Maserati had been a millstone around Ferrari's neck since late 1999, and it was blamed for dragging it substantially into the red last year. Despite a respected three-model range, Maserati sold just 4600 cars last year, and although that was a massive increase over previous years, it is said to need to make 10,000 cars per year at its refurbished Modena factory to move into healthy profit.

    Ferrari bought Maserati from Fiat in late 1999. Fiat, in turn had bought the ailing brand in January 1990 from De Tomaso. Despite investing in a unique platform and sophisticated engineering, Maserati has been taking too long to show a return on Ferrari's investment.

    Autocar has been told that the marriage of the two supercar makers ultimately failed because Ferrari's components were too expensive to use in the cheaper Maseratis.

    Re: Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    As has been posted, once their IPO goes through, ferrari will have to act like all the other independent public car companies out there - pleasing shareholders first and customers second. I'm sure resurrecting the aborted Maser platform as the " California " is their way of showing the investment banks that they have a plan to grow the business, as stock valuation is based , as always , on FUTURE EXPECTED CONTINUED growth in revenues/profits . It's a strange slippery journey I'm not too thrilled to see them embarking on . They would have been better to stay " protected " with their current business plan , if not by near bankrupt FIAT, then by another large , profitable car company.

    Re: Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    Quote:
    MKW said:
    As has been posted, once their IPO goes through, ferrari will have to act like all the other independent public car companies out there - pleasing shareholders first and customers second. I'm sure resurrecting the aborted Maser platform as the " California " is their way of showing the investment banks that they have a plan to grow the business, as stock valuation is based , as always , on FUTURE EXPECTED CONTINUED growth in revenues/profits . It's a strange slippery journey I'm not too thrilled to see them embarking on . They would have been better to stay " protected " with their current business plan , if not by near bankrupt FIAT, then by another large , profitable car company.



    I agree. If they pursue this course, I certainly hope they clearly distinguish the models from a styling standpoint. If they take the direction of Porsche, I am out here as I am sure others will.

    I will find other pursuits to spend my money. Frankly it is becoming more difficult with each passing year to enjoy a sport car on streets and highways. If you track it, some noteable sport cars companies void your waranty. So what the hell do you do with a 3100 pd car that has 500hp?

    Re: Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    Quote:
    nberry said:
    I will find other pursuits to spend my money. Frankly it is becoming more difficult with each passing year to enjoy a sport car on streets and highways. If you track it, some noteable sport cars companies void your waranty. So what the hell do you do with a 3100 pd car that has 500hp?



    You know what, Nick?

    I think you're in the early stages of "interest burn-out".

    It's only a matter of time, now

    Re: Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    Anybody have an est. US MSRP? Using the current exchange rate, I get $163K.

    Re: Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    Quote:
    SoCal Alan said:
    Anybody have an est. US MSRP? Using the current exchange rate, I get $163K.



    Almost certainly won't be that high, that's 430 territory. My guess is $120k or so.

    Gary

    Re: Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    I would prefer to see a lower priced Ferrari.

    Make it a 2+2 mid engine, like the Dino 308 please!

    Re: Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    Nick,

    Or you could just enjoy the cars because they are fun to drive

    Re: Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    Quote:
    nberry said:
    Quote:
    MKW said:
    As has been posted, once their IPO goes through, ferrari will have to act like all the other independent public car companies out there - pleasing shareholders first and customers second. I'm sure resurrecting the aborted Maser platform as the " California " is their way of showing the investment banks that they have a plan to grow the business, as stock valuation is based , as always , on FUTURE EXPECTED CONTINUED growth in revenues/profits . It's a strange slippery journey I'm not too thrilled to see them embarking on . They would have been better to stay " protected " with their current business plan , if not by near bankrupt FIAT, then by another large , profitable car company.


    So what the hell do you do with a 3100 pd car that has 500hp?



    what 3100 lb 500 hp are you referring to?

    Re: Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    Quote:
    nberry said:
    I certainly hope they clearly distinguish the models from a styling standpoint. If they take the direction of Porsche, I am out here as I am sure others will.



    You, out of the Ferrari "club".....yeah right

    Re: Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    Quote:
    ben, lj said:
    Quote:
    nberry said:

    So what the hell do you do with a 3100 pd car that has 500hp?



    what 3100 lb 500 hp are you referring to?




    Maybe Nick is secretly reading the corvetteforum site ! Corvette C6 Z06 officially now rated 505 hp , 3130 lbs

    Re: Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    Quote:
    MKW said:
    Quote:
    ben, lj said:
    Quote:
    nberry said:

    ]



    Maybe Nick is secretly reading the corvetteforum site . Corvette C6 Z06 officially now rated 505 hp , 3130 lbs = 6.2 lbs/hp , like a 996 Turbo that came with 580 hp stock.





    what 3100 lb 500 hp are you referring to?



    Actually I was ball parking the Gallardo, 430, 997TT, GT2, Murci and so on.

    All public safety agencies believe speed kills and apparently the lack of enforcement has led to a rise in fatal accidents. A case in point is Montana the last bastion of unlimited speed limits on highways. That will change effective June 2005.

    Additionally, the rational for LOWER speed limits will be the gas crunch/cost.

    It all points to bad times ahead for sport car enthusiast who want to enjoy their car in conditions other than doing the speed limit (RAZ capice?). :grin

    Re: Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    Quote:
    nberry said:
    Additionally, the rational for LOWER speed limits will be the gas crunch/cost.

    It all points to bad times ahead for sport car enthusiast who want to enjoy their car in conditions other than doing the speed limit (RAZ capice?). :grin



    Uh...ok if you say so.

    I don't think lower speed limits are going to solve the energy crisis. Wouldn't you agree it's the gluttony of the SUV craze, including your own Cayenne, that's more at risk with rising gas prices than is the national speed limit?

    Re: Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    Quote:
    Jeff (in SF) said:
    Quote:
    nberry said:
    Additionally, the rational for LOWER speed limits will be the gas crunch/cost.

    It all points to bad times ahead for sport car enthusiast who want to enjoy their car in conditions other than doing the speed limit (RAZ capice?). :grin



    Uh...ok if you say so.

    I don't think lower speed limits are going to solve the energy crisis. Wouldn't you agree it's the gluttony of the SUV craze, including your own Cayenne, that's more at risk with rising gas prices than is the national speed limit?



    Maybe, but wasn't the energy crisis resulting from the Middle-East situation used as the "rationale" for introducing the USA's "double nickel" national speed limit back in the 70s?

    Aw shxt! I've just caught myself supporting one of Nick's arguments!

    Re: Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    Quote:
    nberry said:
    A case in point is Montana the last bastion of unlimited speed limits on highways. That will change effective June 2005.



    The unlimited speed limit law in Montana was changed to 75 MPH six years ago. What's happening in June 2005?

    Re: Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    Quote:
    nberry said:
    Quote:
    MKW said:
    Quote:
    ben, lj said:
    Quote:
    nberry said:

    ]



    Maybe Nick is secretly reading the corvetteforum site . Corvette C6 Z06 officially now rated 505 hp , 3130 lbs = 6.2 lbs/hp , like a 996 Turbo that came with 580 hp stock.





    what 3100 lb 500 hp are you referring to?



    Actually I was ball parking the Gallardo, 430, 997TT, GT2, Murci and so on.



    only the gallardo and GT2 are in the ballbark for both those weight and power figures.

    Re: Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    Quote:
    SoCal Alan said:
    Quote:
    nberry said:
    A case in point is Montana the last bastion of unlimited speed limits on highways. That will change effective June 2005.



    The unlimited speed limit law in Montana was changed to 75 MPH six years ago. What's happening in June 2005?



    Not in all areas. They had unlimited on certain type of highways and location. The US autobahn is now Kaput!

    Re: Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    Quote:
    fritz said:
    Quote:
    Jeff (in SF) said:
    Quote:
    nberry said:
    Additionally, the rational for LOWER speed limits will be the gas crunch/cost.

    It all points to bad times ahead for sport car enthusiast who want to enjoy their car in conditions other than doing the speed limit (RAZ capice?). :grin



    Uh...ok if you say so.

    I don't think lower speed limits are going to solve the energy crisis. Wouldn't you agree it's the gluttony of the SUV craze, including your own Cayenne, that's more at risk with rising gas prices than is the national speed limit?



    Maybe, but wasn't the energy crisis resulting from the Middle-East situation used as the "rationale" for introducing the USA's "double nickel" national speed limit back in the 70s?

    Aw shxt! I've just caught myself supporting one of Nick's arguments!



    Given how "large" most Americans are these days, should be fun watching some of these super-sized people try to fit back into higher MPG Accords/Camrys, etc once gas prices and interest rates reach a level where the typical SUV demographic needs to make tough choices.....

    Let's just hope the usually inane politicians don't target speed limits.....I suspect most of the buyers of $100K+ sportscars (that all seem to only manage about 13MPG max, no matter what speed) don't care what gas costs....

    Re: Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    Quote:
    nberry said:
    Quote:
    SoCal Alan said:
    Quote:
    nberry said:
    A case in point is Montana the last bastion of unlimited speed limits on highways. That will change effective June 2005.



    The unlimited speed limit law in Montana was changed to 75 MPH six years ago. What's happening in June 2005?



    Not in all areas. They had unlimited on certain type of highways and location. The US autobahn is now Kaput!


    Are you sure Nick? If that is true, I will have to take a trip over there Memorial Day weekend. Like to see if I can hit 150mph legally.

    Re: Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    Quote:
    vtrader said:
    Quote:
    nberry said:
    Quote:
    SoCal Alan said:
    Quote:
    nberry said:
    A case in point is Montana the last bastion of unlimited speed limits on highways. That will change effective June 2005.



    The unlimited speed limit law in Montana was changed to 75 MPH six years ago. What's happening in June 2005?



    Not in all areas. They had unlimited on certain type of highways and location. The US autobahn is now Kaput!


    Are you sure Nick? If that is true, I will have to take a trip over there Memorial Day weekend. Like to see if I can hit 150mph legally.



    I'm right behind you! Figuratively speaking, of course. Who wants to start the rally?

    Re: Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    Quote:
    nberry said:
    Quote:
    SoCal Alan said:
    The unlimited speed limit law in Montana was changed to 75 MPH six years ago. What's happening in June 2005?



    Not in all areas. They had unlimited on certain type of highways and location. The US autobahn is now Kaput!



    You need to prove up on this statement, Nick.

    AFAIK, SoCal Alan is quite correct. The "US autobahn" went away a long time ago.

    Re: Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    Quote:
    W8MM said:
    Quote:
    nberry said:
    Quote:
    SoCal Alan said:
    The unlimited speed limit law in Montana was changed to 75 MPH six years ago. What's happening in June 2005?



    Not in all areas. They had unlimited on certain type of highways and location. The US autobahn is now Kaput! [/quo

    You need to prove up on this statement, Nick.

    AFAIK, SoCal Alan is quite correct. The "US autobahn" went away a long time ago.



    Wrong. They went to "reasonable and prudent" limits depending on the higway and location. As of June or July they are getting speed limits.

    http://www.motorists.com/pressreleases/montana.html

    Re: Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    I have mixed feelings about Ferrari building the car, hopefully more info will be released soon. I am sure it will be beautiful though.

    Re: Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    Quote:
    nberry said:
    Quote:
    W8MM said:
    Quote:
    nberry said:
    Quote:
    SoCal Alan said:
    The unlimited speed limit law in Montana was changed to 75 MPH six years ago. What's happening in June 2005?



    Not in all areas. They had unlimited on certain type of highways and location. The US autobahn is now Kaput! [/quo

    You need to prove up on this statement, Nick.

    AFAIK, SoCal Alan is quite correct. The "US autobahn" went away a long time ago.



    Wrong. They went to "reasonable and prudent" limits depending on the higway and location. As of June or July they are getting speed limits.

    http://www.motorists.com/pressreleases/montana.html


    Nick,

    From what I read from the current statue, I think there is a speed limit in effect now.

    http://data.opi.state.mt.us/bills/mca/61/8/61-8-303.htm

    Re: Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    Quote:
    nberry said:
    Wrong. They went to "reasonable and prudent" limits depending on the higway and location. As of June or July they are getting speed limits.

    http://www.motorists.com/pressreleases/montana.html



    From the same article:

    "For the last 5 months of no daytime limits in Montana, the period after its Supreme Court had ruled that the Reasonable and Prudent law was unconstitutional, reported fatal accident rate declined to a record low. Fixed speed limits were reinstated on Memorial Day weekend 1999. Since then, fatal accidents have begun to rise again"

    Any rennteamers from Montana on this board?

    Re: Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    New pic

    Re: Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    Quote:
    shin said:
    New pic



    What a nice Elise.

    Re: Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    Quote:
    Crash said:
    Quote:
    shin said:
    New pic



    What a nice Elise.


    If only this new Ferrari would weigh close to an Elise (or even up to 2,500#), then I might order one...

    Re: Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    Quote:
    Grant said:
    What a nice Elise.


    If only this new Ferrari would weigh close to an Elise (or even up to 2,500#), then I might order one...



    .... and if it were the price of an Elise, I'd know what my wife was getting for Christmas!

    Re: Ferrari California - lower priced Ferrari

    wait, what is in that picture. Is that a random photoshop made by ferrrari or by some random person. It looks really nice there whatever it is.

     
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