You may not realize it, but the front-engined Ferrari California is the oldest model in the Italian automaker’s lineup. First debuted in 2008, it has seen both the mid engine offering be replaced as well as Ferrari’s V12 cars. So, California is due for a makeover – and these patent drawings might shed some light on its replacement.
Ferrari is in a system where they replace the mid-engined cars every five years (think F430 to 458) and the V12 front engined cars every seven years (the FF replaced the 612 and the F12berlinetta replaced the 599 GTB). But since the California was an all-new segment for the brand, no precedent had been established for its model year cycle.
These patent drawings, acquired by the UK’s Autocar, reveal a vehicle that, at first glance, looks to be a California replacement. Upon closer examination, things are a little more different. For starters, there is no way the California will run a naturally aspirated V8 as the standard powertrain. There are too many fuel economy and carbon restrictions to achieve that. The added set of vents on the hood suggest that this vehicle may be turbocharged, and further conjecture suggests that the vehicle might also run turbo 3.8-liter V8. It is also suggested that it might be a hybrid powertrain as well.
From a styling perspective, the headlights and fascias bring this vehicle in tune with the current lineup of Ferrari vehicles. The drawings reveal a pair of prominent cut lines in the roof, suggesting a retractable top, but the rear ¾ shows no sign of an area where the top would fold into. This suggests that the top would be either a removable panel, or more likely, some complex targa setup.
Early estimates have the California replacement debuting in late 2014, and going on sale in early 2015. So, we will have to wait a while before seeing how these patent drawings take shape.