Crown

Board: Ferrari Language: English Region: Worldwide Share/Save/Bookmark Close

Forum - Thread


    CAR magazine - first drive of the California

    CAR Online - Ferrari California

    Ferrari California: real-time CAR review blog

    By Chris Chilton

    First drive

    15 October 2008 14:03

    "Bit of a CAR Online experiment here. We're driving the new Ferrari California today and attempting what, as far as we're aware, is the first real-time review of the Cali on the internet. Road test editor Chris Chilton is pinging his thoughts electronically from the launch in Sicily to CAR HQ where we're updating this blog minute by minute with his first drive review of the new Ferrari California drop-top. Traditionalists fear not: we will be publishing his full, regular road test report at the end of the day. So tune in to read CAR's review of the new V8 from Maranello, updated with words and photos throughout the day."

    Re: CAR magazine - first drive of the California

    9.00am: The first miles of our road test

    We negotiate the first few miles around the Sicilian roads. First impressions are very positive. My nagging doubts that this could prove to be a roly-poly SL in chubby tifosi spec are instantly dismissed. The engine feels alive, edgy, downright loud when provoked. There's no muzzle on this Ferrari.

    10.00am: Sensory overload

    "My mind is awash with sensations, my brain rapidly assimilating reams of data streaming from my fingertips, ears, stomach and arse. They've done it! The California is a true Ferrari. The twin-clutch box is brilliant - one of the absolute best of its type. Changes are quick, seamless and - if you're pushing on - violently quick. Very impressive."

    Re: CAR magazine - first drive of the California

    12.24pm: Can the California live with the SL as an everyday car?
    We've just driven through the umpteenth fishing village on our Sicilian adventure. If we keep up this pace, we're going to circumnavigate the island several times over before the day is out. What impresses is the California's ability to waft. You know, in a Jag style. The gearbox turns from violent harbinger of screaming new velocities to a smooth, slurrer of gearchanges. It's smooth and doesn't jump straight to seventh in true eco style. And the ride quality is impressing. I'm beginning to wonder what the California can't do!

    12.01pm: Ferrari California: the heart and soul is the V8
    The twin-clutch box is damn smooth too. Like the road round here - which are also blissfully quiet. Unlike Maranello's latest V8. Direct injection hasn't muted this engine one jot: the noise is great, especially when we find a tunnel and floor it. You can't rev quite as high as in a 430 (the redline is some 500rpm lower), but the noise is addictively blood-curdling. We repeat the tunnel experiment just to make sure...

    11.55am: Ferrari's first twin-clutch box impresses
    I'm deeply impressed by this transmission. It's brilliant. There's no difference in the economy and emissions of the manual and twin-clutch California; unlike Porsche's 911 PDK box, seventh isn't an overdrive - it mirrors the sixth ratio in the manual. So the ratios are stacked as close as those Sicilian sardines we saw earlier at the port. It helps to make the Cali fly when you stab the throttle.

    Indeed. 310km/h is in seventh gear!

    Re: CAR magazine - first drive of the California



    4.16pm: Bugger, we've pranged the Ferrari!

    Whoops, we've just scraped the front bumper while doing a three-point turn for photography. Gutted! In our defence, the California is very wide on these narrow roads and you can't easily see the nose. Just wondering how to break this one to the Ferrari PRs...

    Re: CAR magazine - first drive of the California

    4.23pm: One last blast

    Don't worry, it's only superficial damage. Time for one last proper drive of the Ferrari California before we have to hand the keys back. I haven't yet mentioned the new, simplified mannettino. The steering wheel control has just three, not four settings: Comfort, Sport and CST off (basically the same as Sport, but with stability control disengaged for sideways action). It's brilliantly simple and works well, tweaking the transmission's abruptness and damper settings (although I should stress the Cali rides really virtually anywhere on our Sicilian test route). And this is one very stiff structure - it's remarkably free of shake and shudder.


    5.01pm: The handling verdict

    Right, we've dispatched some rollercoaster roads around the coastline and can deliver the final verdict on how the California handles. In a nutshell, this is brilliantly judged. Yes, it's softer than a 430 Scuderia but then it's meant to be. There's not quite the front-end grip, the fluency that marks out Ferrari's smallest sports car, but the California is remarkably adept at stringing together a sequence of cross-country roads. It's not perfect, mind. The brakes are slightly weird, with a longer pedal travel and lack of initial bite - presumably so as not to scare SL newcomers. And that steering is quick and responsive, but it can't compete with the telepathic helm of, say, a Porsche Cayman. But make no mistake, the California is every inch a junior Ferrari in the driving department.

    Re: CAR magazine - first drive of the California

    Quote:
    ISUK said:

    5.01pm: The handling verdict

    Right, we've dispatched some rollercoaster roads around the coastline and can deliver the final verdict on how the California handles. In a nutshell, this is brilliantly judged. Yes, it's softer than a 430 Scuderia but then it's meant to be. There's not quite the front-end grip, the fluency that marks out Ferrari's smallest sports car, but the California is remarkably adept at stringing together a sequence of cross-country roads. It's not perfect, mind. The brakes are slightly weird, with a longer pedal travel and lack of initial bite - presumably so as not to scare SL newcomers. And that steering is quick and responsive, but it can't compete with the telepathic helm of, say, a Porsche Cayman. But make no mistake, the California is every inch a junior Ferrari in the driving department.



    That does not sound well

    Re: CAR magazine - first drive of the California

    Quote:
    MKSGR said:
    Quote:
    ISUK said:

    5.01pm: The handling verdict

    Right, we've dispatched some rollercoaster roads around the coastline and can deliver the final verdict on how the California handles. In a nutshell, this is brilliantly judged. Yes, it's softer than a 430 Scuderia but then it's meant to be. There's not quite the front-end grip, the fluency that marks out Ferrari's smallest sports car, but the California is remarkably adept at stringing together a sequence of cross-country roads. It's not perfect, mind. The brakes are slightly weird, with a longer pedal travel and lack of initial bite - presumably so as not to scare SL newcomers. And that steering is quick and responsive, but it can't compete with the telepathic helm of, say, a Porsche Cayman. But make no mistake, the California is every inch a junior Ferrari in the driving department.



    That does not sound well



    But it's how it has to be for their new California customers.

    Re: CAR magazine - first drive of the California

    Quote:
    Rossi said:
    Quote:
    MKSGR said:
    Quote:
    ISUK said:

    5.01pm: The handling verdict

    Right, we've dispatched some rollercoaster roads around the coastline and can deliver the final verdict on how the California handles. In a nutshell, this is brilliantly judged. Yes, it's softer than a 430 Scuderia but then it's meant to be. There's not quite the front-end grip, the fluency that marks out Ferrari's smallest sports car, but the California is remarkably adept at stringing together a sequence of cross-country roads. It's not perfect, mind. The brakes are slightly weird, with a longer pedal travel and lack of initial bite - presumably so as not to scare SL newcomers. And that steering is quick and responsive, but it can't compete with the telepathic helm of, say, a Porsche Cayman. But make no mistake, the California is every inch a junior Ferrari in the driving department.



    That does not sound well



    But it's how it has to be for their new California customers.



    That's probably true

    Re: CAR magazine - first drive of the California

    WTF, junior Ferrari????

    Porsche redux.

    Re: CAR magazine - first drive of the California

    Except Porsche always had a 'junior' model... 912, 914, 924, Boxster, etc. (i'm talking from a price POV, not trying to degrade any of them)

    Re: CAR magazine - first drive of the California

    Relax Nick, it's just a turn of phrase. They've referred to the 430 as the junior Ferrari in the past. The final entry is pretty encouraging -

    5.45pm: The Ferrari California verdict

    What a day! What a car! The California is by no means perfect - it's pricey and we can quibble over the finer points of the handling, brakes and rear packaging - but it's hard not to be impressed by the California. Especially when we were so sceptical before. It's everything that a slightly softer Ferrari should be and brilliantly judged to tempt buyers out of top-rung Merc SLs and the like. The folding metal roof (Ferrari's first) is well executed, the boot space is truly astonishing and the interior a roomy, comfy place to be. That the California also manages to pack the mother of all V8s, with fuel-miser direct-injection present and correct, and hit the bullseye first time with the superlative new transmission is quite a feat. Don't believe the doubters who say this Ferrari is too soft. It's not. It's nigh-on perfect for its target market. That leaves this road tester deeply impressed.

    Re: CAR magazine - first drive of the California

    Quote:
    ISUK said:It's everything that a slightly softer Ferrari should be and brilliantly judged to tempt buyers out of top-rung Merc SLs and the like.



    Ferrari making an SL type sportcar... its a sad day

    Re: CAR magazine - first drive of the California

    Quote:
    nberry said:
    WTF, junior Ferrari????

    Porsche redux.



    That was what I was referring to. I said it before and I will say it again. I have no doubt this car will sell but in doing so Ferrari has tarnished its iconic and storied brand. I also suspect there will be other models to be introduced in the future i.e. a sedan.

    Re: CAR magazine - first drive of the California

    Quote:
    ISUK said:
    5.01pm: The handling verdict
    And that steering is quick and responsive, but it can't compete with the telepathic helm of, say, a Porsche Cayman.




    What does a humble Porsche Cayman have to do with this new Ferrari jewel

    Re: CAR magazine - first drive of the California

    CAR is implying that as a drivers car, the Cali cannot compete with the much cheaper Cayman (they LOVE porsche at that mag...) And a great mag it is.

    Re: CAR magazine - first drive of the California

    I'd think Chris Chilton was trying to say just how good the steering was for this class of car but qualify that comment by saying it wasn't as good as a Cayman which they rate as one of the best benchmarks. Bit of an odd comparison as the Cayman is a) much lighter, b) mid engined, c) has a shorter wheelbase, d) doesn't have the weight of a folding hardtop to contend with in affecting it's balance etc etc. I'd put it down to the fact that he was writing the blog on the hoof whilst testing the car and made a throwaway remark.

    The California is a GT car not a sports car. It cannot be fairly compared to the 430, which is a pure sports car, as many are trying to do. Before condemning it out of hand I'd suggest people wait to see and drive it if they get the chance before making up their minds. I've already heard quite a few people change their negative opinions on the styling after seeing the car at Paris.

    The overall review by Car suggests that the California does have a sharper and focussed dynamic edge to it when driven hard and the comments on the DCT box bode well as it may end up replacing the F1 system in the future in sports car models like the F142.

     
    Edit

    Forum

    Board Subject Last post Rating Views Replies
    Porsche Sticky The moment I've been waiting for... 5/18/22 6:36 PM
    Pilot
     
     
     
     
     
    619270 1306
    Porsche Sticky OFFICIAL: New Porsche 911 Turbo S (2020) 8/6/22 1:00 AM
    W8MM
    254955 1183
    Porsche Sticky SUN'S LAST RUN TO WILSON, WY - 991 C2S CAB LIFE, END OF AN ERA (Part II) 8/16/22 4:20 PM
    Enmanuel
    146061 1122
    Porsche Sticky Welcome to Rennteam: Cars and Coffee... (photos) 8/16/22 4:21 PM
    Enmanuel
    140937 410
    Porsche Sticky Porsche Taycan Turbo S - Short Review 8/10/22 8:51 PM
    WhoopsyM
    122086 538
    Porsche Sticky OFFICIAL: Cayman GT4 RS (2021) 1/15/22 10:41 PM
    watt
    59385 1
    Porsche Cayman GT4 10/5/21 7:04 PM
    Topspeed
    548778 3587
    Porsche OFFICIAL: 911 GT2 RS (2017) 9/28/21 3:25 AM
    WhoopsyM
    457871 3507
    McLaren McLaren on a winning streak 2/1/22 10:14 PM
    SSO.
    454601 3954
    Porsche OFFICIAL: 991.2 GT3 RS (2018) 11/17/21 5:18 PM
    Rossi
    420241 3256
    Porsche OFFICIAL: 911 R (2016) 2/1/22 9:49 AM
    RCA
    408995 2655
    Porsche 992 GT3 8/14/22 1:48 AM
    Wonderbar
    394202 3695
    Porsche OFFICIAL: The new Porsche 992 – a design icon and high-tech sports car 9/29/21 1:59 AM
    watt
    319022 1587
    Porsche Welcome to the new Taycan Forum! 7/30/22 11:46 AM
    Wonderbar
    168076 1446
    Porsche Donor vehicle for Singer Vehicle Design 2/10/22 9:08 PM
    Topspeed
    165954 772
    AMG AMG GT R 3/13/22 8:52 PM
    spudgun
    139083 834
    Lambo Aventador and SV 5/20/22 5:24 PM
    Topspeed
    135657 710
    Others Tesla 2 the new thread 8/11/22 11:47 PM
    WhoopsyM
    125684 1767
    Porsche GT4RS 8/16/22 10:58 PM
    nberry
    118929 1062
    Motor Sp. [2021] Formula 1 4/19/22 10:08 PM
    Leawood911
    102791 1590
    Others Bugatti Chiron 4/12/22 9:24 PM
    blueflame
    100892 520
    Ferrari Ferrari 812 Superfast 6/12/22 5:09 PM
    watt
    98323 535
    BMW M BMW M2 Rumors 2/28/22 7:42 PM
    Topspeed
    87412 409
    Porsche Red Nipples 991.2 GT3 Touring on tour 8/11/22 3:03 PM
    Enmanuel
    81646 489
    Lambo Urus (SUV) 6/7/22 1:20 PM
    Topspeed
    81425 593
    Porsche Dave and Gnil @ Nürburgring Nordschleife 7/4/22 10:42 PM
    DaveGordon
    80203 722
    Others Corvette C8 7/18/22 12:40 PM
    WhoopsyM
    77834 443
    Motor Sp. [2022] Formula 1 8/16/22 7:13 PM
    WhoopsyM
    58581 1204
    Others Toyota Yaris GR 4/13/22 8:33 PM
    Grant
    51209 640
    Lambo Huracán EVO STO 7/21/22 8:37 AM
    RCA
    50863 335
    202 items found, displaying 1 to 30.