The engine sounds brilliant and provides sensational pace and flexibility. The California’s supple ride makes it a good long-distance cruiser.
It’s expensive, it doesn’t really work as a two-plus-two and it’s not as thrilling to drive as a Ferrari should be.
On the road
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
The California has a direct-injection 4.3-litre V8 in the nose, with a seven-speed double-clutch automated manual gearbox at the rear (there is a six-speed manual if you insist). Together they deliver all the performance you expect from a Ferrari with sensational driveability and smoothness.
Ride & Handling
Those who expect all Ferraris to deliver seat-of-the-pants thrills will be surprised by the California. It has Formula One hand-me-downs in the form of variable traction and stability controls and carbon ceramic brakes, but it all feels rather heavy and stodgy. The ride is supple, though, making the California a good cruiser.
The fully-automated gearshifts are smooth and the engine is inaudible when cruising, yet you get the full surround-sound bellow when you let rip. The folding hard-top means wind noise is negligible within UK speed limits and there's barely any bluster with the roof down. However, there’s rather a lot of road noise on coarse surfaces.