Ferrari California Stop&Start review

Ferrari California drop top supercar gets green technology: CO2 emissions down, torque up

Evo rating
Price
from £144,690
  • Greener, at no cost to the driving experience
  • Prius drivers will still hate you

HELE. Not one of the greats as far as Ferrari acronyms go, is it? That it stands for High Emotion Low Emission adds not a dash of romance. Still, the introduction of Maranello’s eco initiative, which is making its debut on the California, is nothing to fret over.

Initial concerns over noise and speed of restart for the new Stop&Start system are unfounded: the burst of V8 bark emitted by the California upon pressing the starter button is muted for stop/start activity, where start-up times drop from 700 milliseconds to 230. The result is basically seamless.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

Further chipping away at CO2 (down from 299g/km to 270, which, yes, makes naff-all difference to how much tax you’ll pay) are advanced control of the cooling fans, which now use brushless motors, honing of the fuel pump and gearbox operation, and a more efficient air-con compressor.

All that saved energy provides an extra 18lb ft to bolster the existing 358lb ft (power and quoted performance are unchanged), and while the California is still not Ferrari’s sharpest car, its qualities remain intact: the flat-plane-crank V8 is effortlessly dramatic, the folding hard-top excellent, and there’s no shortage of long-legged cruising ability.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The key point is that the addition of the Stop&Start system (an £820 option from November, and standard from 2011) and the other HELE technology that comes with it isn’t to the detriment of the driving experience. And that’s really quite important, because it’s likely to be rolled out across the Ferrari range before you can say Gran Turismo Omologato.

Specifications

EngineV18, 4287cc
Max power453bhp @ 7750rpm
Max torque376lb ft @ 5000rpm
0-603.9sec (claimed)
Top speed193mph (claimed)
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/bmw/m4/22869/new-2020-bmw-m4-throws-off-more-disguise-ahead-of-reveal
BMW M4

New 2020 BMW M4 throws off more disguise ahead of reveal

BMW’s next M4 coupe promises much, but will it deliver? Here’s everything we know so far
7 Aug 2020
Visit/bugatti/21646/new-bugatti-divo-deliveries-begin-ps44m-hypercar-hits-the-road
Bugatti

New Bugatti Divo deliveries begin - £4.4m hypercar hits the road

The very first examples of Bugatti’s Divo hypercar have rolled out of its Molsheim HQ gates
7 Aug 2020
Visit/best-cars/15315/best-cars-to-buy-for-ps20000-evo-garage
Best cars

Best cars to buy for £20,000 – evo garage

The evo team pick their favourite used performance cars
4 Aug 2020
Visit/ferrari/202965/ferrari-f40-vs-288-gto-turbocharged-icons-go-head-to-head
Ferrari

Ferrari F40 vs 288 GTO - turbocharged icons go head-to-head

Today's turbocharged Ferraris deliver a smooth hit; the 288 GTO and F40 thrilled with a much wilder ride 
5 Aug 2020