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The Mercury Cars Guide : July 4th 2009
20— Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, July 4, 2009 latest modelthat uses thenameof the most important electoral state in the US to best effect. The Ferrari California rolling off production lines this year comes from a distinguished line of fore- bears, including the recently auc- tioned 1960s model formerly owned by actor James Coburn, which sold for $11 million. Calling Coburn’s old car attractive is like calling Angelina Jolie homely —the badge has adorned some of the most beautiful machinery ever to turn a wheel on a road, but the latest incarnation doesn’t necessarily have the same optical appeal. Stunning? Yes. Muscular? Cer- tainly. Imposing? No question. But the looks are . . . well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder with $472,000 — plus on-road costs — to spend. The first folding metal hard-top from Ferrari also has the first front- mid-mounted engine, a V8 of 90 degrees and 4.3 litres in capacity. The direct-injection variable-valve timing alloy powerplant generates 338kW at 7750rpm, with peak torque of 485Nm having already arrived 2750rpm earlier. The convertible sports a folding metal hard-top (part of its all-weather design appeal aimed at US custom- ers) that drops into the boot in 14 seconds. In the same amount of time, a sprint to 100km/h has been achieved and the car has returned to a standstill with more than a few seconds to spare — 100km/h is reached in four seconds, and it has a claimed 310km/h top speed. Not bad for a car the Italian marque slots into the ‘‘cruiser’’ side of its range alongside the 612 Scag- lietti, leaving the F430 and 599 GTB Fiorano models as the sports cars of the range. The California will be offered only with thenewseven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which has a full auto- matic mode as well as launch con- trol, but the company says it is an everyday supercarandshould be less intimidating to drive than someof its forebears. Ferrari Australia general manager Kevin Wall says there have been about 200 orders placed and believes its friendlier nature will see it bought by existing Ferrari owners as a car easier to drive every day.He also said that 50 per cent of orders were from customers new to the breed, coming from Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. The California’s safety features list includes an automatic roll-bar behind the backrests of the rear seats, which pops up in less than 190 milliseconds. There are also dual front and side airbags for the front seats. It also has electrically adjustable heated leather seats, tyre pressure and temperature monitoring system, a good-quality touch-screen, and an iPod-friendly and hard-drive- equipped satnav/sound system. The test car, dressed in black paintwork, was optioned up with the HIT THE ROAD: The new Ferrari California reaches 100km/h in four seconds. small torque Ferrari California Price:From$472,000. Engine: 4.3-litre 32-valve V8. Transmission: Seven-speed double-clutch automated manual, rear-wheel drive. Power:338kWat 7750rpm, 485Nmat5000rpm. With theV8emitting asoundtrack worthy ofaracecar, the California hits the right note, with striking looks—but it’s not as pretty as its predecessors Performance:0-100km/hunder4 seconds,0-400m12.2 seconds, 0-1000m22.1 seconds, top speed 310km/h(governed). Emissions:305g/km. Brakes: Four-wheel ventilatedand cross-drilled carbon-ceramic discs, with anti-lockandstability control systems. In its class: Mercedes-BenzSL600,from $404,413. Aston MartinDBSVolante, $527,100. Lamborghini Gallardo, from $515,000. Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet, from $386,800. Magneride Dual Mode Shock Ab- sorber system for an extra $7500 and its wheels had been upgraded to 20-inch diamond-finish Sport wheels, which add an extra $8000 to the bottom line. The California, made entirely of either extruded or cast aluminium, sits on a double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension. It is more of an assault on the senses than its GT cruiser pidgeon- hole suggests—Ferrari is putting it in the same sales column as the 612 Scaglietti, with the 430 and 599 models boasting more hard-core sports credentials. With the V8 emitting a soundtrack worthy of a racecar, the California hits the right note, with striking looks — but it’s not as pretty as its predecessors. Gear changes are lightning-quick, smooth and accompanied by a whip- crack bark from the engine, which also crackles delightfully on over-run. The bite correlates directly to the bark, with full-throttle acceleration dispatching straights in short order, bringing corners on that show off the car’s 53 per cent rear, 47 per cent front weight distribution. The California might weigh 1735kg, but it drives like a much lighter machine. Ride quality from the optional suspension is good, though the differ- entiation between Comfort and Sport mode—dialled up using the ‘‘manet- tino’’ wheel-mounted switch that changes steering, braking and throt- tle settings as well — was not massive. With the fully automatic roof down, wind buffeting was minimal. The black-over-tan cabin is a little snug for headroom, but the leather- clad seats are comfortable and firm in support. Most of the switchgear DRIVE AWAY A NEAR NEW NISSAN TODAY! 08 NISSAN Tiidas Choice of colours,auto & manual • Manual/automatic • Air conditioning • Cruise control (auto only) MANUAL $15, • ABS brakes • Dual airbags 490 • Balance of new car warranty DRIVE AWAY AUTOMATIC $16, †To approved business clients only, with a $2,500 deposit over five years with a 30% residual payment. Interest rate 10.50%. 490 DRIVE AWAY $8.00 per day† Manual from www.djmotors.com.au firstname.lastname@example.org Easy finance available with DJ Financial Services Hobart 1a Brisbane Street,Hobart Phone: 6213 3300 Warren Amos 0417 544 829 Luke Mitchell 0408 545 146 Glenorchy 275 Main Road,Glenorchy Phone: 6213 3315 Brian Anning 0418 531 853 Chris Wakefield 0400 635 446 Allan Gebel 0428 729 659 feels solid, though one window switch became dislodged, but never repeated the offence once properly put back in place. There isalittle lessheadroomthan would be ideal, but there is room enough for two tallish adults in the front and bags in the little back seats. Four smaller occupants could make do for a short trip, but the back pews aren’t treated to acres of space. Ferrari has about 200 orders for the car, which will probably trans- late to an 18-month turnaround. If you’re planning to win the lottery, it would be well worth the wait. California dream comes true D STUART MARTIN AVID Lee Roth wished all the girls came from there, and Big Arnie rules the roost, but it is Ferrari’s
June 27th 2009
July 11th 2009