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 |  Mar 07 2012, 6:35 AM


Alongside the scene stealing F12 Berlinetta, Ferrari also chose the Geneva Motor Show as the venue for the unveiling of its updated front mid-engined California, which is lighter, more powerful and faster than its predecessor.

Still powered by a 4.3-liter V8, tuning tricks and a less restrictive exhaust boost power by an extra 30 ponies, from 460 to a total of 490 horses. Torque stands at a meaty 372 lb-ft of torque. Thanks to shaving some 66 lbs of mass, due to a revised lightweight alloy chassis, performance is improved, with a projected 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) time of 3.8 seconds.

Although the idea of tracking a convertible may seem a bit odd to some, Ferrari has added a “Handling Speciale” option to the new California, which adds stiffer springs and faster reacting magneto rheological shock absorbers, thanks to a specially calibrated ECU that tailors damping to match the individual driver and road conditions. Quicker ratio steering is also part of the package and combined with the car’s F1-Trac traction control system, will help result in a highly capable corner carver, topless coachwork or not.

At present, Ferrari has only confirmed European sales, though given the appeal of a car like this and the name, US availability seems a given, though exactly when that will happen is still to be determined.

As one expects of such a machine, a variety of options, including paint colors, upholstery patterns and even two-toning are available to help make your California stand apart from the  herd.

GALLERY: Ferrari California Handling Speciale


GALLERY: Ferrari California Handling Speciale