Now that Ferrari has a new projected volume leader in its California folding hardtop, Maranello's magicians can now concentrate on developing a F430 successor, which is likely to carry the F450 designation. And while the Prancing Horse's latest-and-greatest is expected to make the scene in Frankfurt this September, test mules are still running around without production bodywork.
That voyeuristic disappointment aside, NextAutos' shooters have captured a new snow-bound prototype which clearly shows that development is moving forward. Caught cold-weather testing in Sweden, this F430-based mule reveals that the coupe's promised 4.5-liter V8 engine will likely require better breathing (check out those huge air intakes), along with a bigger contact patch to get the power down (note the fatter rear tires). The F450 is also widely expected to inherit the California's stonking dual-clutch unit, a system that we consider to be a finalist in the candidate for the world's best gearbox. The system's lightening-fast changes are expected to marshal additional horsepower from the V8 engine – perhaps even more than the 510 ponies currently on offer in the F430 Scuderia.

[Source: NextAutos]

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