The 2012 Ferrari California is a rare breed for the prancing horse. While the Italian automaker usually reserves its V-8s for rear-mounted duty, the California is a front-engine, rear-drive platform powered by a V-8. Did we mention it was a convertible with a hardtop retractable roof? And that it's a Ferrari?
A 4.3-liter V-8 engine is good for 460 horsepower and 357 lb-ft of torque while paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual gearbox. Comfort and practicality received more attention this time around as the California gets some minor refinements to the interior. Be aware when the hardtop is removed it awkwardly folds behind you and is something Ferrari has struggled to overcome.
The 2012 Ferrari California is a flashy car that looks ground cruising the freeway or trouncing around town. While it's not the lightest Ferrari made the California is well distributed weight-wise making handling a joy. Oh, did we mention it's a Ferrari?
Body style: Convertible
Engine: 4.3-liter V-8
Transmission: seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual
No major changes or enhancements are reported for the 2012 Ferrari California.
The 2012 Ferrari California's hardtop retractable roof is standard along with 19-inch wheels and xenon headlights. Other exterior options are incredibly extensive including a diamond-finish wheel set in 19- or 20-inch sizes wrapped in run-flat tires. A rearview camera, adjustable suspension, front parking sensors, and adaptive headlights are also available.
The 2012 Ferrari California's interior tries to justify the substantial price tag and while it falls just short, there's an abundance of high quality materials standing by. Leather runs rampant over a contemporary design with detailed accents. The steering wheel has a button on it responsible for controlling traction and suspension settings. The infotainment system has a touchscreen interface that can hold music and play songs off your iPod. The rear seat is so small it's just about nonexistent. Trunk space checks in with 12 cubic feet, or 8.5 cubic feet with the top down.
Performance & Handling
A 4.3-liter V-8 engine rated at 460 horsepower and 357 pound-feet of torque while mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual gearbox, the only one available. The manufacturer claims the 2012 Ferrari California can go from 0-60 mph in just under four seconds. Fuel economy has the hurt put on from the California's engine checking in with 13 mpg in city driving and 19 mpg on the highway.
Standard safety features on the Ferrari California include anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, and a roll bar that deploys automatically.
EPA Fuel Economy
13 mpg city/19 mpg highway
- Open air Ferrari motoring
- Sonorous V-8 engine
- Admiring stares from onlookers
You Won't Like
- The somewhat fiddly top
- More of a cruiser than a racer
A great everyday ride, and it's a Ferrari
If You Like This Vehicle
- Lamborghini Gallardo
- Bentley Continental Flying Spur
- Audi R8
- Aston Martin DB9
- Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG