2012 Ferrari California

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$192,000

starting MSRP

2012 Ferrari California

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • Gorgeous styling
  • Quick hardtop operation
  • Performance potential
  • Hardtop takes up little trunk space

The bad:

  • Fuel economy

1 trim

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2012 Ferrari California trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Ferrari's first retractable-hardtop convertible
  • Front mid-engine layout
  • 4.3-liter V-8
  • Automated manual transmission or conventional manual
  • Seats up to four

2012 Ferrari California review: Our expert's take

Vehicle Overview

Ferrari’s smallest car, the California, gets its name from the original 250 California Spyder of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” fame. It’s the carmaker’s first retractable hardtop, and like the now-discontinued 612 Scaglietti, Ferrari bills it as a grand tourer — with driver-friendly features like Bluetooth connectivity, iPod compatibility, a backup camera and a navigation system.

Still, the 4.3-liter V-8 and Formula One-derived stability system suggest that, should they wish, owners could fling the California around a racetrack. Competitors include convertible versions of the Aston Martin DB9 and Lamborghini Gallardo.

The California’s grille sits low on the bumper, with a small hood scoop above it. In back, single LED taillights sit above four exhaust pipes — two stacked vertically on each side. Shoppers can personalize their California with a multitude of colors, materials and accessories.

Ferrari says the aluminum hardtop deploys in just 14 seconds — quicker than most folding hardtops — and it takes up just 3.5 cubic feet of the trunk’s 12-cubic-foot capacity. Nineteen-inch alloy wheels are standard, with 20s optional. Behind them, Brembo-brand carbon-ceramic brakes measure a massive 15.4 inches up front and 14.2 inches in back.

The California’s steering wheel includes push-button start and a toggle switch that sets transmission response, stability system intervention and the optional adaptive suspension to one of three settings: Comfort, Sport and Stability/Traction Off.

Typical of Ferrari engines — naturally aspirated, with sky-high horsepower per liter — the California’s 4.3-liter V-8 makes 453 hp at a howling 7,750 rpm and 357 pounds-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm. The engine sits just behind the front axle and drives the rear wheels through a seven-speed automated manual transmission with steering-wheel paddles or a conventional six-speed manual. Ferrari says the California will hit 60 mph in less than 4 seconds and sail through the quarter-mile in 12.2 seconds.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort
  • Interior design
  • Performance
  • Value for the money
  • Exterior styling
  • Reliability

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Ferrari
New car program benefits
Bumper-to-bumper
24 months/unlimited distance
Corrosion
24 months/unlimited distance
Powertrain
24 months/unlimited distance
Maintenance
84 months/unlimited distance
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Registered within the past 14 years
Basic warranty terms
12 months
Powertrain
N/A
Dealer certification required
101-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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