The California is a smorgasbord of firsts for Ferrari: it is the marque’s first model with a front mid mounted 8 cylinder engine, the first with a folding hard top and the first ‘2+almost2’ convertible.
“A raft of firsts”, commented Andrea Pininfarina just a few days before his untimely death, “making this a unique model, not a replacement for another, and an addition to the Ferrari range.”

During the car’s presentation at Paris, Luca di Montezemolo expressed a similar concept: “A Ferrari for a different kind of Ferrari owner”: so different and, most significantly, so numerous in fact that even before its presentation, they had already snapped up all of the production quotas for 2009 and 2010.

A product of the time-honoured relationship with Pininfarina, which penned the exterior, the California heralds a new era for Ferrari, with its own in-house design centre headed by Donato Coco. While the centre is still under construction, from the very near future it will play an increasingly decisive role in the development of the formal language that sets Ferraris apart from all others.
“This is a small creative centre which is destined to grow”, notes Coco: “It is a crucial tool for our future.” And while it may be a tool for the future, it has already made its mark on the California.

The article continues in Auto & Design no. 173

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