Steve Cropley
28 September 2010

What is it?

Proof that Ferrari is a company that, though trading in supercars, is striving to improve its environmental credentials. Ferrari has had a policy to make meaningful CO2 cuts since 2007, and it has been publicly experimenting with hybrids for even longer than that.

However, the first showroom fruit of this policy is a new stop-start version of the company’s most accessible model, the front-engined, 453bhp V8 California. The car, being built in right-hand drive form from this month, gets a stop-start system together with a coordinated package of efficiency-building measures that together cut emissions from 299g/km to 270g/km, with a commensurate drop of around 10 per cent in fuel consumption. (Ferrari is still working out the official figures.)

The package is known as HELE (for High Efficiency Low Emissions) – a name that, it is promised – will be offered on other production Ferraris in future, although perhaps not the Enzo-level specials. As well as stop-start, you get an intelligent engine fan, fuel pump and air-con compressors, which all operate on light load or when the car is decelerating. Additionally, the transmission is now adaptive and shifts up early when the driver isn’t hurrying, which saves fuel.

Engineers say the major fuel saving is in town (about 17 per cent) whereas motorway driving nets a fuel saving of about only one per cent. Initially, HELE costs £820, but it is likely to become standard on the California within a few months.

What’s it like?

On the road, the car is little different from a ‘normal’ California, except that the reluctance of the ancillaries to consume torque on acceleration puts extra shove (around 15 lb ft) at the disposal of the driver.

The engine starts promptly and smoothly after it has cut out at intersections; as soon as you realise the system is dependable and smooth, you stop thinking about it. In Drive on light throttle openings, you’re dimly aware that upchanges occur at very low revs, but torque goes so far down the scale, and the gearbox responds so crisply, that it’s never a problem. Greener it may be, but the California’s stop-start tech drains nothing of its usability or supercar aura.

Should I buy one?

If you were in the market for a California, then yes. Ferrari might not build economy cars, but this welcome shot of extra efficiency helps defend the whole breed from criticism – and it works.

 

Ferrari California stop-start

Price: £144,145; Top speed: 193mph; 0-62mph: 3.9sec; Economy: TBC; CO2: 270g/km; Kerb weight: 1735kg; Engine: V8, 4297cc, petrol; Power: 453bhp at 7750rpm; Torque: 357lb ft at 5000rpm; Gearbox: 7spd dual-clutch

 

Join the debate

Comments
24

Re: Ferrari California stop-start

4 years 9 hours ago

Starts up normally? By that do you mean normal .... or Ferrari 'whaaap, whaap ..... waaaaaaaaaaaah .... brum brum' normal??

Re: Ferrari California stop-start

4 years 9 hours ago

Its nice that a Ferrari owner can save a bit of fuel. However as someone who wont ever own a Ferrari, i have to say one of the nicest things about them is how they sound, be it ticking over or being given a bit of stick, so its a shame the rest of us will be denighed that. They do sound fantastic. Its not as if it sounds like a 4 cylinder diesel when its ticking over is it?

Re: Ferrari California stop-start

4 years 9 hours ago

Good for Ferrari

I have been enjoying my Ferrari red sports car in perfect autumn weather for the past 2 days and both time have been caught in situations where a stop start feature would have been welcome

http://www.flickr.com/photos/d70w7/4928889231/

C2100

Re: Ferrari California stop-start

4 years 8 hours ago

Everyones entitled to their opinion so I will put mine out there.....I don't like Ferrari's, I've never really been that keen on them (Maserati followed by Lambo are the most desirable Italian cars for me!) and hence a stop-start system that might add a few mpg on does absolutely nothing to enhance my desire to want one.

Sorry guys, I just have a (probably irrational) dislike for them as they have the wrong image for me and don't even get me started on the arrogance of the F1 team - I know this is a side issue from their production cars but it still grates me nontheless.

Anyhow enough said from me! :-)

Re: Ferrari California stop-start

4 years 8 hours ago

Ferrari thinks apparently that 10 to 15% of Ferrari buyers will specify this in their order. To be honest I really doubt it! First of all when you spend over £170,000 for a car you don't care that much about saving a little bit of fuel. Secondly one of the pleasures of a Ferrari (at least IMO) is the noise it makes so having it shut down at every traffic light takes a lot out of the fun Last but not least who is ever going to spend close to £1,000 for a stop-start system on their car??????

Re: Ferrari California stop-start

4 years 8 hours ago

deppi wrote:
Ferrari thinks apparently that 10 to 15% of Ferrari buyers will specify this in their order. To be honest I really doubt it!
I guess you'd know more than Ferrari's sales and marketing sector, wouldn't you?

Re: Ferrari California stop-start

4 years 8 hours ago

Unfortunately misguided legislation has caused the adoption of this device by Ferrari - it has been forced upon them and other low-volume manufacturers where, in the great scheme of things, it will make not one iota of difference to the climate, atmosphere, my and your lungs etc.

Re: Ferrari California stop-start

4 years 8 hours ago

The Special One wrote:
I guess you'd know more than Ferrari's sales and marketing sector, wouldn't you?

Are you really Mourinho in disguise?!! Petulant to the last lol!

And for the record, it's just the guys opinion and I think he's right too. It wont be on a potential Ferrari buyers priority list and as with everyone else on here, I suspect the owners would like to have their Ferrari ticking over at the lights, not silent!

As for Ferraris S&M Director - I shouldn't think he can say with his hand on his heart that it will be a 10-15% take up. It's a prediction, not fact. The fact they don't apparently even know how many miles per gallon is saved says enough about the lack of conviction in all this.

Re: Ferrari California stop-start

4 years 7 hours ago

What a useless feature to stick in a supercar!, firstly, if you can afford one then fuelling it isnt an issue?, secondly,you'll hardly drive it every day and even then not for a great distance often,and finally,wouldn't hybrid tech be a better addition, feature,i mean, extra, instant torque, more out right power (BHP),a bit faster, and fuel consumption would be better, stop/start!, what a waste of money, that grand or so would buy a nice bottle of monopole, darrrrling's!

Peter Cavellini.

Re: Ferrari California stop-start

4 years 6 hours ago

Addy Go Fast wrote:
Are you really Mourinho in disguise?!!
Who's Mourinho?

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