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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
With how far turbocharger technology has improved over the recent years, automakers have been turning to that method of forced induction in order to make their vehicles more powerful and more fuel efficient.
A small group of Ferrari 458 models, as well as convertible California models have been issued a recall notice by the Italian exotic automaker due to an issue with the engine crankshaft. In total, 206 cars did not receive a properly finished crankshaft, which could result in excessive vibration and eventually damage to the engine.
Owners are being contacted and will be asked to visit their Ferrari dealer in order for the necessary recall work to be done.
A police-escorted high-speed highway run involving 30 supercars is causing a stir after public outcry over what amounts to excused law-breaking and reckless behavior.
10. Chevrolet Corvette: 86.9%
Last month we reported the top 10 cars with the highest percentage of female owners, and now we have a less-than-surprising list of top 10 cars with the highest percentage of male buyers. The list is courtesy InsideLine with the data provided by Polk and reflects total purchases made last year in 2011.
Coming in at number 10 with 86.9 percent of its owners being male is the Chevrolet Corvette. Arguably the most iconic sports car in American history, it’s no surprise that the vast majority of them are owned and driven by men. In fact, there are few surprises on this list considering most of the vehicles are dream cars of teenage boys, or those suffering a mid-life crisis.
Ferrari has managed to shave 66lbs off of its newest generation of the California by using advanced aluminum construction techniques, which according to the company, maintains all of the structural rigidity and performance as the old way of doing things.
The refresh will also see the California get new exhaust manifolds and engine mapping, giving the GDI V8 which delivers 490 hp with maximum torque of 505 Nm(372 lb. ft) at 5,000 rpm 30 added horses. This more power, less weight design will propel the California from 0-62 MPH in a cool 3. 8 seconds.
While the added power will come standard in all California’s, Ferrari is also offering a “Handling Speciale” package for the consumer who wants their supercar tailored for the track. The package includes magnetorheological dampers with an even faster ECU which constantly varies the shock absorber settings to fit the needs of the driver. Stiffer springs will accompany the new dampers to deliver a more responsive handling feel, while a new steering box provides a 10 per cent quicker steering ratio.
The new technical features will be accompanied by new paint options on the car, with two-tone finishes, three-layer paint technology and modern revivals of classic color schemes all available to make it easier to customize the California.
The availability of the vehicle will depend on where you are the world, with only sales in Europe confirmed right now.
GALLERY: Ferrari California HS
AutoGuide’s spy photographers caught an updated version of the Ferrari California testing near Ferrari’s home base of Maranello, Italy and our photographers noted that an unusual whistling sound – possibly that of a turbocharger, was heard emanating from the engine bay.
Ferrari hasn’t done a turbo V8 since the psychotic F40 of the 1980′s, and given the California’s reputation as a bit of a hairdresser’s car, the addition of some extra juice might not hurt. The mysterious hump in the car’s hood may also point to some kind of forced induction system. Given that the California has been out for a few years now, it seems like the timing is right for an aesthetic refresh and a power boost as well.
GALLERY: Ferrari California Refresh
Ferrari is preparing to add more testosterone to its “chick” car, the California, for the 2012 model year. The mid-cycle update will see 30-hp added to the 4.3-liter V8 for a new total output of 483-hp, while torque will increase as well to 373 lb-ft. (That extra output may only be available with higher octane fuel, however).
But that’s not all. Boosting overall performance is a weight reduction by as much as 66 lbs, thanks to lighter wheels and new aluminum parts for some of the chassis.
In addition, Ferrari will offer a Handling Speciale package with new magnetic ride shock absorbers that can react up to 50 percent faster, with adjustments every 5 ms and total change from soft to full hard in just 8 ms.
Look for other minor upgrades like a larger hard drive and an optional silver front grille.
GALLERY: Ferrari California
Ferrari‘s been making a big push to promote the winter driveability of their cars, even going as far as to set up a winter driving school in Colorado featuring their new, AWD Ferrari FF.
Now Ferrari has released a video of their rear-drive California tearing up the slopes in St. Moritz, Switzlerland. It’s actually a pretty uninspiring video as far as hooning and speed go, but seeing any Ferrari driving on a snowy course is a novelty.
Hit the jump to see the video
Ferrari lifted the covers off the new 458 Spider featuring an aluminum retractable roof that opens and closes in 14 seconeds.
The Ferrari 458 Spider is powered by the same 4.5 liter V8 engine as the 458 Italia, which means 562 hp at 9000 rpm. Top speed is rated at 198.8 mph with a 0-62 mph time of under 3.4 seconds.
Helping produce those figures is the hard top. The aluminum roof – a first for a mid-engined car – fits just in front of the engine compartment without aerodynamics or performance taking a hit. The roof takes about 14 seconds to open or close.
GALLERY: Ferrari 458 Spider
Just one more reason why the iPhone is awesome – it doubles as a Ferrari. There’s a new app in town that turns your iPhone into a virtual Ferrari, complete with all the sounds and sights that come along with driving one.
The official Ferrari app gives you the opportunity to “drive” your dream Ferrari. You get the rev of their engines, all which were registered directly at the Fiorano track. You can clock your speed on the exact reproduction of the Ferrari California, F430, F430 Spider, 430 Scuderia, 599 GTB Fiorano and 612 Scaglietti speedometers. And to make this interactive experience amazing, just tilt your phone to speed up and slow down, and switch gears using on-screen controls.
There’s a lot of sound engineering brilliance used to ensure that the Ferrari app gives users an “I’m in the driver’s seat” experience, including loop sounds recorded at constant RPM, bi-cubic sample interpolation and RPM Parameter Scaling. You don’t have to know what those things mean – all you have to do is download the app and take it out for a test drive to get blown way by the attention to sound detail the smart folks at Ferrari have put into it to give fans an virtual ride they’ll never forget.
You can download the app for $1.99 at the iTunes store and we’d love to hear your thoughts on the Ferrari app.
Ferrari‘s complimentary service plan, already available in some world markets, will also be offered in the United States, on vehicles like the FF, 458 Italia and California.
“We are currently working out the terms and details to adapt this plan to the U.S. market, which is the largest one for Ferrari,” said Enzo Francesconi, the man responsible for after-sales matters for Ferrari North America. Ferrari’s plan covers one scheduled visit per year, some parts, fluids and labor, but does not cover high-wear items like brake pads. On the other hand, the program is transferable, so used buyers will be able to use what’s left of the program.
Ferrari’s older models are notorious for outrageous service costs, with many requiring hours of labor to remove the engine even for simple tasks. Newer models have been designed for easier servicing, but an oil change can still cost around $500. Another interesting factor is that Ferraris in the snow belt states tend to rarely ever require a 3000 mile comprehensive service, but often get an annual tune-up at their owners request. With the free maintenance program valued at around $15,000, it’s a nice touch for prospective owners, albeit an inconsequential amount if you’re in the Ferrari demographic.
[Source: Car and Driver]
Quick, name the European car company that’s made the most progress in reducing their emissions. Peugeot? Smart? Even Dacia? If you had bet on Ferrari, the poster child for irresponsible motoring, you’d have won big.
Among luxury and supercar makers, Ferrari has made the most strides in reducing their CO2 emissions, according to recently-released figures. Their average emissions in 2010 across their model lineup was 326 grams per kilometer, a 46 g/km reduction from the previous year. This 12 percent reduction was better than the efforts from Aston Martin, Bentley, and Lamborghini, who could only manage paltry 0.6%, 1.9% and 1.5% reductions respectively. Lotus managed a reduction of 3.2%, coming in second.
The one car that Ferrari can bestow this success to is the California. At 46% of Ferrari’s sales last year, its CO2 emissions are at 301 g/km. As manufacturer emissions are calculated from the sales figures of individual cars, the California’s success helped boost Ferrari’s eco-cred above the rest.
Anbd to be fair, Ferrari is a company whose products aren’t already known for their frugality. The figures did pertain to high-end carmakers; don’t expect Ferrari to build their version of an Aston Martin Cygnet yet. But by 2015, the EU will start fining carmakers for missing their emissions targets: at five euros per car that misses their goals, fines could run into the millions. Even for a low-production company like Ferrari—and we know how they love their “exclusive” production figures—it could be bad for business.
Ferrari‘s F430 and now F458 Italia has become synonymous with the Italian manufacturer’s moniker; while models such as the California go on living their lives less popular in the public light. Sporting a front-engine 4.3L V8 with 454-hp, many critiqued the California as a girl’s Ferrari, rather than a man’s Ferrari. But the folks over at ADV.1 Wheels don’t think the California is a ‘chick’s car’ and set out to prove it.
Teaming up with Wheels Boutique, the Florida-based wheel manufacturer took a classy silver California and outfitted it with some suspension modifications and a set of their brilliant wheels, making the California a manly exotic supercar. Not many words are needed to express just how beautiful this project is, but it’s worth mentioning how simple and subtle modifications can go a long way in completing the look of a car. Even one as exotic as Ferrari’s California.
GALLERY: ADV.1 Wheels Ferrari California
[Source: ADV.1 ]
Novitec Rosso has taken Ferrari‘s front-engine California and outfitted it with a supercharged powerplant that brings performance to 606-hp (from 460-hp) and 444 ft-lbs of torque (from 357 ft-lbs) out of the 4.3L V8. The supercharged powerplant will be available from Novitec Rosso for the special Race 606 model and any standard California.
Along with the supercharger is a water-to-air intercooler, a new intake manifold and larger fuel injectors to ensure the 4.3L V8 stays adequately fuel-fed with the additional boost. Novitec then outfits the California with their stainless-steel exhaust system sporting four black-coated tips.
Horsepower wasn’t all that Novitec was after with the Race 606 California, as they took Ferrari’s famed exotic to the wind tunnel in order to develop some efficient and attractive aerodynamic pieces to complement the package. With essential pieces made from lightweight carbon fiber, the aerodynamic package includes front and rear spoilers, rear diffuser, rocker panel blades, side air outlets on the front fenders, mirrors covers, rear molding, hood center piece, radiator grille, and the outer skin on the folding hardtop and taillight surrounds.
For wheels, Novitec has outfitted the California with their three-piece NF3 wheels featuring a matte carbon fiber coating. The setup used on the Race 606 is a staggered set of 21×9 and 22×11.5 matched with Pirelli P-Zero rubber. Lowering the vehicle 1.37-inch is Novitec’s lowering kit which also allows the front end of the vehicle to be raised 1.57-inch to help navigate speed bumps.
Lastly interior upgrades can be specific through Novitec to further customize your California or Race 606 model.
Official press release available after the break.
GALLERY: Novitec Rosso Ferrari California Race 606
Got your hands on the beautiful and exotic Ferrari California? Finding it a little too mundane for your tastes now? Have no fear because Anderson Germany has released a styling and performance package for every avid California owner out there.
We’re really digging the demo car that they built showing off a fancy white and black theme. Plenty of carbon fiber is scattered throughout the exterior and can be seen on the hood, front lip, side skirts, rear diffuser and rear bumper. The wheels feature a classy split-five spoke design in a 21-inch and 22-inch variety with a carbon fiber center. Lowering can be adjusted between 1.37-inch (35mm) lower to 1.57-inch (40mm) higher.
As for performance, Anderson Germany goes above and beyond Ferrari’s R&D to eke out another 55-hp taking the stock 453-hp to 508-hp. The 4.3L V8 produces more power thanks to Anderson Germany’s ECU retune and a valve-controlled stainless steel exhaust system. The exhaust offers three different modes conveniently controlled by a remote.
And if you’re still not content with the extra power and carbon, interior modifications are plentiful with carbon fiber trim throughout.
GALLERY: Anderson Germany Ferrari California
Official press release available after the break.
Ferrari announced its financial results today, and the company has wasted no time in gloating that sales in the USA are up 10% while Chinese sales are up 20%, a number that is “likely to rise further still in the coming months”.
Ferrari credits the California, 458 Italia and 599 GTO with some of their sucess, but surely the real credit goes to their Ferrari boutiques which sell branded merchandise, a license to print money venture that comprises the bulk of their profits. Merchandise sales are up 40% this year, proving that while the wealthy still have money for cars, there is always a demand for upper-middle class folks to associate themselves with upscale brands.
Who doesn’t love seeing a Ferrari all bent out of shape Jeremy Clarkson style: burning rubber, drifting sideways and showing off plenty of opposite lock? The answer: no one! That’s why we thought we’d bring you two minutes and three seconds of fun courtesy Ferrari test driver Marc Gene.
At a recent Ferrari event at the Yas Marina Formula One circuit in Abu Dhabi, Gene took some of the invited guests out for a wild ride. Thankfully Ferrari video taped the whole thing and posted it on their website.
The car being used is a California, and its nice to see that the more subtle or Ferrari’s sports cars is still a wild horse at heart.
See the video after the jump:
TV Star Patrick Dempsey, a well known amateur sports car racer, helped raise $60,000 for the Seattle Children’s Hospital and the Dempsey Center for Cancer, Hope & Healing at an event at a Seattle race track Tuesday.
In exchange for a $1000 donation, patrons were treated to laps in one of four Ferraris, donated by Ferrari of Seattle and Ferrari North America. The cars were piloted by Grand-Am Series drivers Patrick Dempsey, Joe Foster, James Gue and Don Kitch Jr. Also in attendance was Garth Stein, a former Spec Miata racer and author of the best-selling novel The Art of Racing in the Rain.
Dempsey, along with Team Seattle, a group of racers who support the Seattle Children’s Hospital, have helped raise $435,000 for the hospital in 2010. Their overall goal is $500,000 this year.
[Source: Team Seattle]
You may not be able to afford to get him the real thing this Father’s Day, but the next best thing is within your grasp – and your budget. Hot Wheels and Matchbox have the perfect present for the die-cast car collector in your life – say hello to the Speed Machines car collection.
Appealing to your husband’s inner child (but don’t expect him to share them or play nice with any of your kids), these 1:64 scale cars come in an assortment of luxury vehicle minis, such as the Ferrari 599XX, Aston Martin V8 Vantage, Audi TTS, Corvette C6.R, Ferrari California, Porsche 914, Ford Shelby GR-1 and Jaguar XJ220. These ones cost a little bit more than their average counterparts, but they do come with much more accurate paint and detailing, as well as better wheels.
These Speed Machines should hit stores in mid-May – just in time for Father’s Day. Fun to play with, great to display and good on gas. Dad couldn’t ask for much more than that… except for another tacky tie and cool macaroni art placemat.
Noted automobile collector James Glickenhaus the first to take delivery
While Alfa Romeo seems to have put its U.S. expansion on hold, the company has decided to deliver on its promise to bring the stunning 8C Competizione to the U.S., delivering the first of 84 vehicles destined for the States to renowned auto collector James Glickenhaus.
Glickenhaus recently made headlines when he unveiled a one-off Ferrari Enzo-based Pininfarina P4/5. After purchasing the final Ferrari Enzo, Glickenhaus had it delivered to the Italian design Studio (responsible for many past Ferrari designs) and had them re-create the Enzo, taking inspiration from the 1967 Ferrari 330 P4.
The 8C was delivered to Glickenhaus at Miller Motorcars in Greenwich, CT, after which the excited new owner promptly took it out for a spin.
Limited to just 500 units the 8C Competizione is based on the same platform as the Ferrari California and Maserati GranTurismo and is powered by a 4.7-liter V-8 that makes 444hp at 7000 rpm and 354 ft-lbs of torque at 4750 rpm.
A convertible, or Spider, version of the 8C Competizione is already in production.
Official release after the jump:
Hard-top convertible a user-friendly exotic thanks to double-clutch tranny, torque and creature comforts
Unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, the Ferrari California is designed to appeal to a broader market. This is due, mostly, to the fact that is has been designed to be better suited to regular use. It is still an exotic, however, and the proof is in the engine, a high-revving 4.3L V8 that makes 460hp at 7750 rpm and 358-ft-lbs of torque at 5000 rpm. It’s the same engine found in the F430 but with direct injection and tuned for slightly less hp and slightly more torque.
The California also has tons of creature comforts including a stunning interior and a 6.5-inch display screen. All the interior amenities, combined with the retractable hardtop (which takes just 14 seconds to open or close) make for a hefty curb weight of 3,825 lbs. Still, the California can hit 60 mph in four seconds and race on to a top speed of 196 mph. This is all achieved through a new (and more user-friendly) seven-speed double clutch gearbox.
Official release after the jump: