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2012 Ferrari California

$101,453 — $133,181 USED
Convertible
4 Seats
16 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 1 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

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

The Bad

  • Fuel economy

What to Know

about the 2012 Ferrari California
  • 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

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

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 suspensi...

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

What drivers are saying

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2012 Ferrari California currently has 2 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2012 Ferrari California has not been tested.

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Ferrari

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    24 months / unlimited distance

  • Powertrain

    24 months / unlimited distance

  • Free Scheduled 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

Latest 2012 California Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The California received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker