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Ferrari California to make Aussie debut just a week after its Paris world premiere

6 Oct 2008

FERRARI will stage somewhat of a coup at Thursday’s Australian International Motor Show (AIMS) opening by whipping the covers off its all-new California convertible exactly a week after it made its global premiere at the Paris motor show.

The California will make a speedy Australian debut in Sydney – and its first public appearance globally since being revealed in Paris last week – direct from being previewed by potential customers in Hollywood.

The California’s AIMS appearance has another Hollywood connection in that the car is the star of a new promotional film by the same name, which will be shown on the Ferrari stand throughout the show. It was shot in California and directed by Michael Mann, who also directed film classics including Miami Vice, Heat, Ali and Collateral.

34 center imageLeft: Ferrari California, Maserati GranTurismo S and Quattroporte S (bottom).

While full details have now been issued by Ferrari following its Paris debut, full specifications for the Australian and New Zealand market Ferrari California will be announced when deliveries start in mid-2009.

As Ferrari’s first V8 road car to be powered by a front/mid-mounted engine, the California packs a new 90-degree 4.3-litre V8 that employs direct-injection and meets Euro 5 emission standards yet delivers 338kW and 485Nm.

Mated to a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the 1735kg, 4563mm-long California is claimed to blast to 100km/h in less than four seconds and on to a claimed top speed of 310km/h. Official combined ECE fuel consumption and CO2 emissions figures are 13.1L/100km and 305.6g/km respectively.

Of course, the California’s headline party trick is its electrically retracting hard-top roof, which is made from aluminium panels, opens/closes in 14 seconds and still allows for a 240-litre boot when stowed (rising to 340 litres when erected).

Two seating configurations will be available: a two-seater with rear bench designed to accommodate two roller suitcases or two golf bags, or a 2+2 cabin with two rear seats and seatbelts. In both cases the rear backrest folds to store longer items.

“We were after a few pictures of our new supercar for local use with a Sydney skyline behind it and under and Australian sky,” said the general manager for Ferrari in Australia and New Zealand, Kevin Wall.

“So a few lucky people have had a truly exclusive preview of what will, without doubt, be the star of the Australian International Motor Show, which, after the Paris show, will be the next place anyone in the world will see the Ferrari California in public.” Meantime, Ferrari sister brand Maserati will not make a media presentation on AIMS opening day but will in fact unveil two fresh models for the first time: the facelifted Quattroporte revealed in June and the GranTurismo S direct from Paris.

First Australian deliveries of the fresh twin-variant Quattroporte sedan begin in early December, orders for which will commence at the show, while the GanTurismo is expected to be priced around $330,000 when first deliveries begin, also in December.

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