2015 Ferrari California replacement spy shots
The California did just receive updates for 2013, which helps address some of these issues, but the car that will replace it is expected to rewrite the rulebook on just how good an entry-level Ferrari can be.
We have some new spy shots of a test mule for the Ferrari California’s replacement, which is expected to go on sale in 2014, but as a 2015 model.
Ferrari engineers are using the current California to hide the new car’s mechanicals, but several key features give away its identity. Most notably, the test mule is wearing the tapered headlights that we’ve seen all other Ferrari models adopt. These are designed in such a way that they aid airflow to other parts of the car, so their application even at this early stage of development is crucial.
The intakes and exhaust tips are also different, suggesting the car’s new powertrain has been fitted. Interestingly, it appears the stacked exhaust tip design of the current California will be scratched in favor of a more conventional horizontal arrangement. The replacement for the Enzo supercar, the rumored F70, also looks to have this design.
The big news is that the new car will feature a twin-turbocharged V-8, possibly displacing less than 4.0 liters. This new engine, which is being developed by Ferrari for use in the California replacement as well as several other Fiat Group models, should develop more than 500 horsepower, surpassing the California's current 490-horsepower rating.
It is expected to be a thoroughly modern unit, complete with an F1-inspired KERS that's tipped to deliver an additional 100 horsepower when needed. Ferrari’s KERS recaptures energy under braking and uses this to charge a lithium-ion battery (supplied by Samsung). This battery then powers two electric motors, one to aid engine performance and the other to power ancillary features.
There won’t be an electric-only mode, though Ferrari is adamant its hybrid system will still reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 40 percent compared to a vehicle without the system. The F70 flagship will be Ferrari's first hybrid when it debuts early next year.
2015 Ferrari California replacement spy shotsEnlarge Photo
Some initial performance estimates are a 0-60 mph time of less than 3.5 seconds and a top speed of around 200 mph, making this new car almost as quick as the more expensive 458 Italia and even coming close to matching the performance of the F12 Berlinetta.
In terms of styling, expect some retro cues and a much prettier shape overall. Leading the design work is Flavio Manzoni, the head of Ferrari’s in-house design studio Centro Stile and the man in charge of designing the F70. Italian design house Pininfarina will also play a role in shaping the design, however.
The Ferrari California, despite its entry-level positioning, is an important model for the Italian company. More than 8,000 examples have been sold since its launch, with 70 percent of these going to customers new to the brand. Getting the design right for its replacement is crucial.