Ferrari developing hotter California?

Posted on 15 November, 2011

Ferrari California spy shot

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.