Turbocharged California Test Mule??? - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 38 Old 11-16-2011, 04:23 AM Thread Starter
 
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Turbocharged California Test Mule???

Ferrari has worked hard over the past several years at differentiating its products from each other. Where its lineup once consisted principally of mid-engined supercars of different sizes, today's range includes as well a front-engined GT, an all-wheel-drive shooting brake and a 2+2 hardtop cabriolet. The latter is known as the California, and while it certainly serves a purpose in Maranello's catalog, it's hardly the most heart-pumping Prancing Horse on offer.

That's where these spy shots come in. Following reports that Ferrari was preparing to update the cabrio with a combination of increased engine output and reduced weight, we've now got the spy shots to prove it.

This test mule seen driving Ferrari's private Fiorano test track and the vicinity, aside from sporting a rather garish red and black color paint and wrap job, has its hood all carved up like a pumpkin. There's a pair of NACA ducts on the nose, some strange bulbous protrusion on the passenger side, and the whole hood doesn't seem to want to close. The question is, what's that modified hood hiding?

According to our paparazzi on the scene, the prototype had a distinctive turbo wail. If that's the case, this would be the first time Ferrari's used forced induction on a road car since the F40. Whether the upgrades will feature on a straightforward update for the California or breed a more hard-core version along the lines of the 430 Scuderia or 599 GTO remains to be seen, but Ferrari obviously has something up its sleeve for its most sedate model.


[Source : Autoblog]
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post #2 of 38 Old 11-16-2011, 08:36 AM
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This would be pretty cool. As nice as the California is I think many consider it to be a chick car.... no offense. A few styling details and a turbo engine could go a long way towards changing that perception.

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post #3 of 38 Old 11-16-2011, 08:55 AM
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This would be pretty cool. As nice as the California is I think many consider it to be a chick car.... no offense. A few styling details and a turbo engine could go a long way towards changing that perception.


With all the pressure being put on the auto makers for environmental and oil supply reasons I fully expect Ferrari to change their focus away from large displacement 12's to smaller displacement 8's or 6's with turbocharging.

In this case the California may simply be a convienent test mule for a turbo motor that is being developed for who knows what? That would explain the ugly hood.

I was once in a dark corner of the factory when someone pulled back a tarp exposing what was literally a pile of experimental motors that never made it into production. They build them, dyno test them, then bolt them into some handy chassis in which they will fit and see how they perform on the road. Sometimes the cars get pretty hacked up in the process.
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post #4 of 38 Old 11-16-2011, 09:07 AM
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I am hoping it's the testing of the 458 Evo - if there is such a thing

Agree that 12 cylinders are going to go away soon.

Mercedes is the leader on this front - AMG has been producing massive hp for quite some time.

Ford's new GT beast has 630 hp coming from 8 cylinders.

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post #5 of 38 Old 11-16-2011, 09:22 AM
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I am hoping it's the testing of the 458 Evo - if there is such a thing


That would make sense, or even a supercar project.

Don't forget the test mule for the Enzo motor.
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post #6 of 38 Old 11-16-2011, 10:25 AM
 
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hybrid (gas/electric) test car?
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post #7 of 38 Old 11-16-2011, 11:22 AM
 
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Agree that 12 cylinders are going to go away soon.
There is no way, Ferrari has always had twelves and they always will. Getting rid of them will, in my mind, throw away what Enzo built the company on.
Just my .02.

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post #8 of 38 Old 11-16-2011, 11:25 AM
 
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That would make sense, or even a supercar project.

Don't forget the test mule for the Enzo motor.
Most likely

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post #9 of 38 Old 11-16-2011, 02:38 PM
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There is no way, Ferrari has always had twelves and they always will. Getting rid of them will, in my mind, throw away what Enzo built the company on.
Just my .02.
They have no choice

I was surprised the Aventador stuck with 10 cylinders after the LP670 SV came out.

Sorry but don't shoot the messenger

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post #10 of 38 Old 11-16-2011, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
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That would make sense, or even a supercar project.

Don't forget the test mule for the Enzo motor.
You are probably correct - the new Enzo is going to make a footprint for models to follow.

Especially with what Porsche has on the horizon.

Chas - who knows but they have to start that process.

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post #11 of 38 Old 11-16-2011, 03:09 PM
 
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They have no choice

I was surprised the Aventador stuck with 10 cylinders after the LP670 SV came out.

Sorry but don't shoot the messenger
They should be able to keep up with emissions laws but if they can't I think we'll see something like what happened with the BBs. They'll make them but not export them here.

What I'd like to see is a light and efficient Dino, that would rock!

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post #12 of 38 Old 11-16-2011, 04:08 PM
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They should be able to keep up with emissions laws but if they can't I think we'll see something like what happened with the BBs. They'll make them but not export them here.

What I'd like to see is a light and efficient Dino, that would rock!

Emission laws are not really the problem. CAFE is. There is pressure world wide to get better mileage. In some ways worse in Europe than even here and a turbo motor can get very good mileage.


A small segment has been screaming for a light nimble car more like Lotus for years but two facts go against that. The people that walk into a dealer and write big checks more often want all the bells and whistles, more interior room and more comfort. The 308 grew into the big, heavy and far more complex 430 because real live, new car buying check writers asked for it. The other aspect is that car I just described gives them a substantially higher gross profit per unit. Gizmos are huge profit items.
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post #13 of 38 Old 11-16-2011, 04:23 PM
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Agree that 12 cylinders are going to go away soon.

.

I would be one very unhappy ferraristi if this becomes true

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post #14 of 38 Old 11-16-2011, 04:49 PM
 
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Emission laws are not really the problem. CAFE is. There is pressure world wide to get better mileage. In some ways worse in Europe than even here and a turbo motor can get very good mileage.


A small segment has been screaming for a light nimble car more like Lotus for years but two facts go against that. The people that walk into a dealer and write big checks more often want all the bells and whistles, more interior room and more comfort. The 308 grew into the big, heavy and far more complex 430 because real live, new car buying check writers asked for it. The other aspect is that car I just described gives them a substantially higher gross profit per unit. Gizmos are huge profit items.
Solution: Offer it as a separate brand (like it was originally) with a base price of say 70-80k and keep it as like a entry to the Cavallino. Instead of updating the future gens with extra power, give it facelifts and improve the chassis. Keep the performance one or two gens behind that of the bigger models say having it perform like a 360.

Hey, one can dream!

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post #15 of 38 Old 11-16-2011, 06:50 PM
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Thought you guys may be interested - 94 hp with a flip of the button

Ferrari has to enter this arena.

http://jalopnik.com/5860267/jaguar-c...the-new-silver

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post #16 of 38 Old 11-16-2011, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by champagne612 View Post
I am hoping it's the testing of the 458 Evo - if there is such a thing

Agree that 12 cylinders are going to go away soon.
.
Definitely will be a 458 Scud/EVO

Ferrari is committed to 12 cylinders long term.

California with turbos not likely.
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post #17 of 38 Old 11-17-2011, 04:48 AM
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Definitely will be a 458 Scud/EVO

Ferrari is committed to 12 cylinders long term.

California with turbos not likely.
Smaller and special auto makers will get a break - but in 2016 it's over.

Even if they make some mini 12 that will be very difficult to comply in the US.

US plan is to save 180 billion barrels a year - and it's not up for discussion with projections of 58 million cars on the road.

IMO - you are seeing the last runs of the V12 as we know it.

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post #18 of 38 Old 11-17-2011, 01:24 PM
 
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Smaller and special auto makers will get a break - but in 2016 it's over.

Even if they make some mini 12 that will be very difficult to comply in the US.

US plan is to save 180 billion barrels a year - and it's not up for discussion with projections of 58 million cars on the road.

IMO - you are seeing the last runs of the V12 as we know it.
If thats true, unfortunately, we're seeing the end of Ferrari as we know it. Could they even keep the 8s with laws like that?

What if they were to use some form of the HY-KERS system, would that give enough of a mpg boost to keep them around?

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post #19 of 38 Old 11-17-2011, 01:35 PM
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If thats true, unfortunately, we're seeing the end of Ferrari as we know it. Could they even keep the 8s with laws like that?

We felt exactly the same way in 1974. We saw it happen. We went from 175 MPH Daytona's to 190 HP 308's. Even Corvettes were lucky to be over 200HP. I remember talking to Highway Patrolmen who complained their cars would not make 100MPH. The demand just got them off their butts to use technology that was already around that they had been choosing not to use. The end result was that we got cars that were faster than our wildest dreams.

As long as there are roads and a demand for fast cars someone will continue to build them.

Last edited by Brian; 11-17-2011 at 01:52 PM.
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post #20 of 38 Old 11-17-2011, 02:25 PM
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turbo here, KERS there, couple of magic wands...ya' we'll continue to have more HP than needed

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