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    Re: Test drove the California today

     Funny, I just received a call from my dealer indicated they had a slot for me to order a California. The call came from someone other than my regular salesperson. I told her I had already advised the dealership I was not interest in the California. Apparently, she did not know who I was.

    I told her I was waiting for a call on the 458 and she told me to get the 458 I needed to do business with Ferrari now and buy the California (I predicted this would happen over a year ago). I then asked her if all my prior dealings with Ferrari counted for anything. She put me on hold, came back on the line and had an entirely new message for me.

    She apologized for her failure to recognize my long term relationship with the dealership and told me they would get back to me in a month or so to give me an update as to where I stand for the 458.

    I relay this incident to make a point. Once the initial buyer interest in the California has subsided and the 458 introduced, the California will encounter some difficulty selling. 

    Finally I agree the California is an excellent GT car. I drove it for almost an hour ALONE and retuned it almost out of gas. I have a pretty good idea what the car can do.


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    Re: Test drove the California today

    nberry:

     Funny, I just received a call from my dealer indicated they had a slot for me to order a California. The call came from someone other than my regular salesperson. I told her I had already advised the dealership I was not interest in the California. Apparently, she did not know who I was.

    I told her I was waiting for a call on the 458 and she told me to get the 458 I needed to do business with Ferrari now and buy the California (I predicted this would happen over a year ago). I then asked her if all my prior dealings with Ferrari counted for anything. She put me on hold, came back on the line and had an entirely new message for me.

    She apologized for her failure to recognize my long term relationship with the dealership and told me they would get back to me in a month or so to give me an update as to where I stand for the 458.

     It sounds like you are dealing with real professionals there, Nick.  Smiley


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    fritz


    Re: Test drove the California today

    nberry:

     .....

    Finally I agree the California is an excellent GT car. I drove it for almost an hour ALONE and retuned it almost out of gas. I have a pretty good idea what the car can do.

     

    Come on Nick...... 'fess up. You took the test drive simply to play the game with your dealer, drove to Starbucks, sat drinking a coffee and reading a paper for 40 minutes then drove right back to the dealer's lot. You are therefore aware that the specially softened US market version comes with a cup holder and that constitutes your idea of what the car can do - support a small beverage from your favourite coffee chain store Smiley Smiley


    Re: Test drove the California today

     Iian, though the Starbucks impulse was strong, I resisted and really gave the car a spirited drive. No doubt because of my limited driving skills, I did not extract the full capability of the car but it was enough for me to decide I did not want to own one.

    The car is better suited for those that like the GTish Bentley, AM and the MB cars. I just like a sportier car. If I had to choose between the California or Porsche Turbo convertible, I would choose the Turbo.

    Fritz, in my business I have learned to anticipate the unexpected. In the back of my mind, I suspected and anticipated there would be some arm twisting to sell the CAlifornia. FWIW, my dealer has always been above board with me and provided me with excellent service. 


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    Re: Test drove the California today

    I'd like to make one observation if I might.  There are plenty of people out there who are buying the California because they actually want the car.  Take me for example, I'm not buying the California to get on the list for the 458.  I'm buying the Cali because I like it, plain and simple.  I suspect there are many others current anf future California owners who feel the exact same way...


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    2009 Porsche Turbo Cab - Cargraphic exhaust, HRE P40's charcoal

     


    Re: Test drove the California today

    Test drove the California few weeks ago.  Agree with everyone that it is a great GT car for daily use, but it lack the excitement that I'm looking for.

    I came from the old school 6 speed manual group.  The F1 shifting is indeed very fast but I found it uninvolving.  I guess I'm not ready to move up to a Ferrari then.  I only drove it for 5 minutes with paddle shifting, the rest of the time just put it in automatic.

     


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    Tim

    2010 997.2 GT3RS, January build;  2008 Cayenne Turbo;  2006 911 Club Coupe #13;  2006 BMW 530xi


    Re: Test drove the California today

    Shawminator:

    I'd like to make one observation if I might.  There are plenty of people out there who are buying the California because they actually want the car.  Take me for example, I'm not buying the California to get on the list for the 458.  I'm buying the Cali because I like it, plain and simple.  I suspect there are many others current anf future California owners who feel the exact same way...

     I am curious. You have a Turbo cab and buying a California? Are you keeping the Cab? What is your opinion of the two cars?

    FWIW, I am well aware that many are buying the California and have no intention of buying the 458. That is the marketing niche that Ferrari sought in building the California.Smiley


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    Re: Test drove the California today

    Nick, could you elaborate why you do not seem to like GT type cars yet claim you only use a fraction of the potential of a car like the 430...

    Just curious


    Re: Test drove the California today

    It has been my standing rule on this chat site to never discuss my driving skills. I feel it is of little value (everyone is a great driving in their own mindSmiley) and therefore avoid doing so by claiming mediocrity when it comes to driving.

    That said, I have had enough experience on and off track with a multitude of high performance cars to know what stimulates me and what does not. The California is an excellent GT car but it does not feel like a Ferrari to me. I buy a Ferrari because of its edginess and rawness. I love the go cart aspect  which on public streets gives me a rush like no other car does.

    The California is a competent comfortable convertible with a Maserati front and a bulbous rear end. In my mind there are several cars on the market many of which a lot cheaper that deliver the same driving experience. There I said it.Smiley


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    Re: Test drove the California today

    Did you ever try the Lotus Elise or the Lambos?


    Re: Test drove the California today

     Drove both. Lotus fun but lacks elegance. Lambo was good but had horrible depreciation. Also, I thought the styling was a bit over the top.


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    Re: Test drove the California today

    nberry:

    The California is a competent comfortable convertible with a Maserati front and a bulbous rear end. In my mind there are several cars on the market many of which a lot cheaper that deliver the same driving experience. There I said it.Smiley


    Did you drove Maserati Grantursimo S for example? IMHO this car feels like Exxon tanker in comparison with California.

    Did you drove Audi R8 4.2 FSI? NO? It feels faster on the road but, actually it is NOT. California is as fast on the track as R8 4.2 FSI and faster in straight line/normal road driving.

    California is expensive? Of course, it is Ferrari. BUT, IMHO it is by far the best car in its class.


    Re: Test drove the California today

     Kreso, what do you consider in its class?


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    Re: Test drove the California today

    nberry:

     Kreso, what do you consider in its class?


    Aston Martin DB9/DBS

    Mercedes SL63 AMG

    Porsche 997.2 Turbo PDK Cabrio

    etc.

     

    As much as I like/love 997.2 Turbo PDK Coupe I do not like the way Cabrio version looks. California is car that forced me to changed my original opinion. After third-long session with California I got complete point about this model. Ferrari got it right-fast, reliable, nice looking, sporty enough, usable as daily driver and with right amount of Ferrari myth...


    Re: Test drove the California today

    KresoF1:

    As much as I like/love 997.2 Turbo PDK Coupe I do not like the way Cabrio version looks. California is car that forced me to changed my original opinion. After third-long session with California I got complete point about this model. Ferrari got it right-fast, reliable, nice looking, sporty enough, usable as daily driver and with right amount of Ferrari myth...

     

    That's the point I made earlier Kreso Smiley Too many people are writing off this model based upon too short a time behind the wheel IMHO. I genuinely believe that it is slowly going to gain a reputation as something of a performance "sleeper" in Ferrari's range. It's a remarkably accomplished car.

    I also understand where Nick is coming from on the 430 but to be honest that car is also very easy for almost anyone to drive quickly thanks to the technological wonder that is the E-diff.


    Re: Test drove the California today

     It appears that my less than an hour drive with the car may not be enough. Those that had driven the car several times seem to like it a lot. Nevertheless, from the above list I would choose the AM and Porsche over the CA.

    The AM is a beautiful car and had a nice sounding exhaust. Though looks are subjective, park the AM alongside the CA and the CA would disappear. The Ca looks much more feminine and has a soft resemblance to the Maserati.

    The Porsche looks are not my favorite as everyone knows. However, the Turbo does have an aggressive posture with the grunt to match its appearance. What it lacks is a decent exhaust which probably can be remedied with a sport exhaust system. It is also much cheaper.

     


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    Re: Test drove the California today

    Turn the CTS off though and risk spinning out of each and every corner...


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    FERRARI RULES!!!

    Re: Test drove the California today

    nberry:

     

    Though looks are subjective, park the AM alongside the CA and the CA would disappear. The Ca looks much more feminine and has a soft resemblance to the Maserati.


     

    Got to disagree with you there Nick. Perhaps the Cali's you've seen thus far have been fitted with the standard 19" wheel which lacks any sort of design wow factor and ruins the car IMHO. Look at it again on the 19" pentastar option or the 20" wheels I've got and it's transformed. It certainly does not disappear beside an AM thus equipped. If anything it makes the AM look feminine.

    I also get to see mine parked daily beside the Maserati GranTurismo and it looks a lot more aggressive and has a more sports car like stance. Stand behind a Cali at the three quarter viewpoint and look down the tightly sculpted flanks that make the arches look like they're struggling to contain the 20" wheels. It's a design that is going to improve with age as all the best ones do IMHO Smiley


    Re: Test drove the California today

    FWIW, Ferrari executives are on record stating a target market for the California are women. Read what you will into that statement regarding the car.Smiley


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    Re: Test drove the California today

    KresoF1:
    nberry:

     Kreso, what do you consider in its class?


    Aston Martin DB9/DBS

    Mercedes SL63 AMG

    Porsche 997.2 Turbo PDK Cabrio

    etc.

     

    As much as I like/love 997.2 Turbo PDK Coupe I do not like the way Cabrio version looks. California is car that forced me to changed my original opinion. After third-long session with California I got complete point about this model. Ferrari got it right-fast, reliable, nice looking, sporty enough, usable as daily driver and with right amount of Ferrari myth...

    Couldn't agree more.

    However the DB9 is old news now, and the volante is not stiff enough. DBS is more the real competition, but no DSG/PDK is becoming a real problem IMHO. The rear seats are useless, so for cheaper the Vantage makes sense.

     

    Mercedes? Not the same aura in the US, just another Mercedes.

     

    Porsche? Best bang for the buck. Style very common, nice if you want a somewhat stealth car or daily driver (US again).

     

    The Ferrari design is breakthrough, and the DSG and folding roof makes it modern marvel.


    Re: Test drove the California today

    nberry:

    FWIW, Ferrari executives are on record stating a target market for the California are women. Read what you will into that statement regarding the car.Smiley

    The front is a tad feminine, but the rear and flank are not.


    Re: Test drove the California today

     i drove the cali and loved it.. perfect daily driver...


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    2010 Ferrari 458 Italia (April)

    2009 nissan GTR

    2007 BMW M5


    Re: Test drove the California today

    nberry:

    FWIW, Ferrari executives are on record stating a target market for the California are women. Read what you will into that statement regarding the car.Smiley

     

    Not quite right there Nick Smiley At the world premiere event for the Cali, Luca di Montezemelo said that ONE of the objectives of the California was to attract  more women to the brand but it's key role was to provide owners with a real world, daily usable car. That's a lot different to the slant you are attempting to portray Smiley


    Re: Test drove the California today

    Nick, in answer to your question, I'm still not sure if I'll keep my Turbo Cab or if I will sell it when my Cali comes in.  From a pure performance standpoint, the Turbo as you well know, is just awesome.  It is perhaps one of the best performing, bang for thw buck rides out there.  It has really only 2 major drawbacks IMHO 1.) anemic exhaust note and 2.) lack of exclusivity. 

    Regarding point 1, even with an aftermarket exhaust, it's still no match for a normally aspirated engine.  Regarding exclusivity, Porsches simply aren't as rarefied of an animal they once used to be.  With the introduction of the Cayman, Cayenne, etc., Porsches are pretty commonplace sightings these days.  Having come from an Aston Martin previously, I miss the special feeling of being in a car that is less ubiquitous.  I still love my Turbo, don't get me wrong, but the Cali rounds out the value prop for me in a more comprehensive and satisfying way.  I'm really looking at the California as a car that takes the best of an Aston GT crusier and a Porsche Turbo sports car and combines them together...


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    2009 Porsche Turbo Cab - Cargraphic exhaust, HRE P40's charcoal

     


    Re: Test drove the California today

    I fully appreciate the issues you pin point with Porsche and the Turbo in particular. It was what drove me to Ferrari. I received the very first 996 Turbo Cab in San Diego. But at the same time I had the 360 Spider. I had the Porsche dealer sell the Turbo.

    I believe I have been unfair regarding the California. One reason is I did not want the car to be built because it was a chapter out of the  Porsche page book. Exploit the brand.Smiley


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    Re: Test drove the California today

    nberry:

    I believe I have been unfair regarding the California. One reason is I did not want the car to be built because it was a chapter out of the  Porsche page book. Exploit the brand.Smiley

     

    You've got to keep this "exploit the brand" notion in perspective Nick. Porsche manufacture 100,000 + cars a year. Even with the California as the 4th model line Ferrari are still producing under 9,000 a year. That's a huge difference. You just happen to live in a very affluent area where there is a higher concentration of owners. Most of the angst on the net  regarding this brand dilution nonsense is coming from US posters on various forums and usually ones based in California or Florida which have much higher levels of ownership.

    The number of people who can afford these cars has risen exponentially over the last ten years so I find it amusing when I read existing owners bemoaning the sudden jump in prices for the new models and then in their next rant criticising the growing, more expensive, model range which is allowing more people to drive the cars thus making them less "exclusive" Smiley

    They should realise that in the majority of the rest of the world it's not a typical situation to roll into a Starbucks lot and be surrounded by dozens of Ferraris Smiley Smiley


    Re: Test drove the California today

     What about the SLS, instead of an SL63, against the California ? The SLS should match the pricing. That would make an interesting comparison.


    Re: Test drove the California today

    shin:

     What about the SLS, instead of an SL63, against the California ? The SLS should match the pricing. That would make an interesting comparison.


    Indeed... Just, SLS is aimed at different costumers. Gulwing doors are not practical IMHO at all. Interior is claustrophobic in SLS since it is using small windows(windshield is smaller then on most sporscars and side doors windows are the smallest overall).

    SLS is more something like image maker/technical achievement for Mercedes AMG then real offer for costumer that is interested in California. IMO at least...


    Re: Test drove the California today

    Kreso, the convertible version of the SLS will not have Gull wing doors. However, it will have a soft top. Its performance will be on par with the coupe. Also, if I remember correctly, its wind shield is larger than the coupe.

    Iian, anytime a car manufacturer doubles its production it is exploiting and reducing brand exclusivity. Furthermore, it is virtually certain that the Ca was designed for the success women who are not becoming an important component in upper end car sales. The car is soft, easy to drive, well appointed but yet provides does the sound of a Ferrari. At my dealership, a women has the responsibility of selling the CA. It is what it is.Smiley

    FWIW, Luca has talked out of the both sides of his mouth regarding the rumored less expensive Ferrari. Recall he emphatically denied such a car existed.Smiley


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    Re: Test drove the California today

    Nick,

    A 430 spider is hardly challenging to drive unless you switch out all of the electronic aids

    As I've said before your local market is not typical of the rest of the world. At the three Ferrari dealerships I know and have used the Cali is sold by the same sales teams that have always been there. There are no Cali "specialists" and certainly no women employed to sell the car to other women. That would be regarded as somewhat patronising here by potential female customers.

    Perhaps your view has been clouded by your preconception that it's a ladies car

     


     
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