Ferrari's new darling baby, the California, has stunned media audiences at the Paris Motor Show. Although previously shown to a select few, this is the first official reveal.

In California they say women are as fast as the cars, and that on the beaches they drop their tops as quickly as this Ferrari California. At 14 seconds from up to down it may be really hard to beat, by the summer ladies that is. It’s a hardtop made of aluminium to keep the weight down. And when it’s down there is very little to quieten-down that V8 which sings a chorus that only 460 horses can sing through those four pipes at the back. Those concave/ convex lines that change direction as quickly as the California on a long stretch of freeway, on their way from the front to the elevated rear, LED lights protruding just slightly from where the spoiler meets boot.

Ferrari, having gone massively GT with 612 Scaglietti, have provided another avenue for this type of vehicle by offering California customers a choice of either bench-style sitting behind the two front seats or seating for one or two passengers. It’s for those times when 460 horses demand to be shared with an appreciative audience. That 4.3-litre V8 and its 485Nm hurl the California from 0 – 100km/h in “under 4 seconds”, running out of punch at 310km/h. The Ferrari California turns in 13.1 litres/100 km (ECE combined) and emits 305.6 g\km in harmful carbons.

Various suspension settings are possible depending on the driver’s whim at the time, but the California was conceived primarily as a track star, and will therefore always gravitate towards that origin no matter what setting. For example, the new 7-speed double-clutch gearbox is a big factor when it comes to fuel efficiency, yet it is quick on the change and can be enacted using F1-style steering-wheel paddle shifters. This is a very well-equipped Ferrari, featuring comforts like iPod jack, sat nav, 6.5-inch touch screen and a USB port. Nice to have, but can’t really compare to the chorus of 460 mares through that tunnel.

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