A lighter and more powerful Ferrari California Convertible is set to debut during the Geneva Motor Show on March 6. The 2012 model will be about 66 pounds lighter and will deliver an additional 30 hp. Both the exterior and interior will also be improved. That 30 horsepower increase means Ferrari’s front-engined rear-wheel drive GT with the folding hardtop roof now produces 490hp. Torque also rises 15lb ft to 372lb ft, while the California’s weight loss is achieved through the increasingly advanced use of aluminium in its construction. The revised California will make the sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 3.85 seconds; down from 4.0 seconds.
Along with the upgrades, Ferrari is also offering a new Handling Speciale package that packs magnetorheological dampers (similar to those initially developed for the 599 GTB Fiorano) that can more rapidly adjust the suspension on the fly, coupled with a quicker steering ratio and stiffer springs. Ferrari claims that this improves the body control during hard driving, without entirely sacrificing the ride comfort. A new steering box offers a 10% faster steering ratio, too, sharpening the handling still further.
Despite its increased focus on performance, the California still promises to offer comprehensive long-legged grand touring ability thanks to impressive levels of equipment and a 78-litre fuel tank. In fact, in conjunction with Ferrari’s HELE (High Emotion Low Emissions) – featuring start-stop technology and a multitude of electrical components that draw less power from the engine, therefore improving efficiency – the Italian manufacturer claims a theoretical 32.9mpg on an extra-urban run.
Along with the mechanical upgrades, the new California will get a wider range of colour choices, including two-tone finishes and three-layer paint technology.
Ferrari says production of the 2012 California Convertible has already begun, though pricing will likely be revealed only during the Geneva show.