Those who were disappointed by the small size of the two-seater Ferrari convertibles are thrilled with the two plus in the 2010 Ferrari California Convertible. Though the rear seating is neither spacious nor comfortable, it does add to the ability to use this vehicle as an everyday car as intended. Ferrari has expressed its hope that this vehicle will attract new buyers looking for a primary vehicle; however the pricetag and the long wait (about 16 months) make this expectation appear overly optimistic. For those who don't have a need to add extra seats, the convertible can be configured with a reasonably spacious bench for boxes and bags.
Housing a powerful 4.3-liter V-8 engine matched with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission, the Ferrari California Convertible delivers 453 horsepower for quick acceleration and impressive speeds of up to 192 miles per hour. This surprises some, as the California totes around substantial weight - 3,850 pounds at the curb. The car features a hard-top that is retractable, and embodies a number of firsts - the first Ferrari with a roof made of folding metal, the first Ferrari model with a V-8 front engine, the first Ferrari with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission, the first with multi-link rear suspension, and the first to feature direct injection. The balance afforded by placing the engine behind the front axle is split of 47% to the front and 53% to the rear. Brembo brakes come standard and feature innovative carbon-ceramic discs for maximum stopping power, even under adverse and unexpected conditions.
Buyers who want the smoothest possible ride will opt for the additional cost of magnetic fluid-filled shock absorbers. These are sensitive to road conditions and driver commands through a steering-wheel switch called a manettino ("little hand" in Italian). Depending on the situation, operators can select from one of five settings. The manettino impacts the level and performance of traction and stability control, suspension, and shifter systems, giving drivers the opportunity to gear the vehicle according to the current situation.
Safety features on the Ferrari California Convertible include standard dual front side-mounted airbags, four wheel anti-lock brakes, dusk sensing headlamps, traction and stability control, self-leveling headlights, and electronic brakeforce distribution. Child seat anchors, tire pressure monitoring, and an emergency interior truck release are also included. For additional cost, optional safety features include front parking sensors and a rear parking camera. The 2010 Ferrari California Convertible has not been rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.