Teaser for Ferrari's California replacementEnlarge Photo
Recently, Ferrari confirmed that the new car is referred to internally as the 149M Project, suggesting that it will be an upgrade of the existing California rather than an all-new car. The chassis code for the current California is 149 and Ferrari uses the M marker for its ‘modified’ cars. A previous example is the 550 Maranello, which spawned the 575M Maranello.
This means we can expect most of the California’s goodies to remain, such as the retractable hard-top roof and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. One change, however, is expected to be the adoption of a turbocharged engine, Ferrari’s first in a production car since the legendary F40 of the 1980s. The new engine will be a V-8, most likely based on the twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter unit found in the Maserati Quattroporte (Ferrari is actually the manufacturer of the Maserati's engine).
In the Quattroporte, the engine is tuned to deliver 523 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. Considering the latest version of the California produces 483 horsepower and 372 pound-feet of torque, the adoption of the turbocharged engine should boost performance considerably. Look for a 0-60 mph time of around 3.0 seconds and a top speed approaching 200 mph.
One other key change in the car will be a much improved interface compared to the one in the California, which was actually based on a Chrysler system. Ferrari has enlisted the help of tech giant Apple to develop new interface features for its cars, so expect some advances in this department.
Stay tuned for the full reveal tomorrow, and look forward to our live photos of the car following its international debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show on March 4.