V8 turbo power for Maranello’s California replacement, which is due to be unveiled on 12 February – ahead of its Geneva motor show debut
26 December 2013

The replacement for the Ferrari California is expected to be revealed in full on 12 February, ahead of its public debut at the Geneva motor show in March.

An online flyer for the new car, which is understood to be official, confirms the date of the premiere of Ferrari's "149M project".

The current generation of California has the official internal code of F149; the additional M mentioned in the teaser is thought to mean Modificado.

Previously, Ferrari has used the M designation on models that have been upgraded or heavily revised. For example, the Ferrari 360 had the internal denomination of F136. The model that succeeded it, the F430, bore the identifier F136M.

Consequently it's likely the model set to be unveiled is a dramatically revised version of the current California. It's understood that the biggest change for the new California will be the ushering in of turbocharging to mainstream Ferraris.

The latest iteration of Ferrari's convertible model is set to be powered by a 552bhp version of a new Ferrari-designed and built twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 engine, first used in the Maserati Quattroporte and Ghibli models.

An official name for the new model has yet to be announced, but Ferrari has registered no new trademarks and several sources suggest that it will retain the name 'California'.

Test mules indicate that there is still work to be done on the California replacement, but Autocar understands Ferrari dealers are already taking pre-orders for the model with deliveries scheduled for May, just two months after its debut at the Geneva show.

The styling of the coupé-convertible is understood to have been heavily influenced by the F12, particularly at the front, and the shape of the headlights are said to reflect those found on newer Ferraris, including both the F12 and Ferrari FF.

At the rear of the car, the height has been reduced slightly, although this visual effect is apparently heightened on the production car by some clever lines. The retractable hard-top roof remains.

For the interior, the cabin is also said to have had an overhaul. A new-look dashboard and a completely new multimedia system are among the upgrades.

The 552bhp, direct-injection turbo V8 is adapted from its 523bhp form in the Quattroporte. Our spy photographer reported a louder exhaust note than that of the naturally aspirated V8 found in the current California.

A V6 engine option was understood to be under consideration at one stage, but plans for this have now been dropped. 

Ferrari wants to reduce output of the California replacement by around 500 units per year as part of its plans to limit production to improve exclusivity but without harming profits. 

Once order books officially open at Geneva, customers are likely to have to wait more than a year for delivery, with initial production preserved for pre-orders.

The price of the California replacement is understood to be approximately the same as the £152,154 of the current model.

Read more Geneva motor show news.

Our Verdict

The Ferrari California is the company's boldest model for decades, but is it worthy of the name?

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Comments
8

TBC

26 December 2013
It will be interesting to see if the 458's replacement remains NA.

26 December 2013
Turbo at Ferrari. Sad days... The beginning of the end...

26 December 2013
Is this supposed to be an all-new model or just an upgrade of the California in the way 348 became F355, 360 became F430, 550 became 575 etc? If it's the former, the car looks remarkably similar to the California.

26 December 2013
Why does anyone feel that it is necessary to pixel out the registration plate?

TBC

26 December 2013
Oh dear, so the beginning of the end began in 1982 when Ferrari introduced it's first turbocharged road car......................

27 December 2013
The F40 was probably the greatest ever supercars and that had a N/A engine...no it didnt it had a turbocharged engine....End of Ferrari my backside

4 February 2014
Heres hoping they have really sorted out the looks. The current version is the most (shall we say) challenging looking Ferrari I've ever seen. I thought the look would be a grower but unfortunatly not for me. There are a couple owners near where I live so see the current version regularly and although they sound nice when they give it the beans, it still looks wrong.... Fingers crossed they sort the look out and my fellow constituents have a pre-order in : )

4 February 2014
Mark, "modificado" is Spanish, not Italian. Unless Ferrari was sold to Seat secretly.

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