Ferrari has worked hard over the past several years at differentiating its products from each other. Where its lineup once consisted principally of mid-engined supercars of different sizes, today's range includes as well a front-engined GT, an all-wheel-drive shooting brake and a 2+2 hardtop cabriolet. The latter is known as the California, and while it certainly serves a purpose in Maranello's catalog, it's hardly the most heart-pumping Prancing Horse on offer.

That's where these spy shots come in. Following reports that Ferrari was preparing to update the cabrio with a combination of increased engine output and reduced weight, we've now got the spy shots to prove it.

This test mule seen driving Ferrari's private Fiorano test track and the vicinity, aside from sporting a rather garish red and black color paint and wrap job, has its hood all carved up like a pumpkin. There's a pair of NACA ducts on the nose, some strange bulbous protrusion on the passenger side, and the whole hood doesn't seem to want to close. The question is, what's that modified hood hiding?

According to our paparazzi on the scene, the prototype had a distinctive turbo wail. If that's the case, this would be the first time Ferrari's used forced induction on a road car since the F40. Whether the upgrades will feature on a straightforward update for the California or breed a more hard-core version along the lines of the 430 Scuderia or 599 GTO remains to be seen, but Ferrari obviously has something up its sleeve for its most sedate model.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      Elmo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Please don't tell me Ferrari is going to add NACA ducts to the front of this overweight, Ferrari-skinned Maserati. That's like putting the Mach 1's shaker hood scoop on a Taurus. It just doesn't fit being that the California has no history connection to the original 250 GTO.
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Elmo
        You know what, after thinking about it for a while, I don't think this really has anything to do with the California other than the car shown. I believe this is a drivetrain mule for the suspected twin turbo V8 that's going to be used in the Enzo successor.
          Dimitroff
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          The Enzo successor is expected to be MR layout. If they are going to test its engine they are going to test the whole drivetrain, meaning the mule is going to be MR too like this one that they used for Enzo's drivetrain: http://integrityexports.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/7/files/2011/01/Ferrari-Enzo-development-mule-with-F1-engine.jpg
      Shiftright
      • 3 Years Ago
      They should forget about more HP and just get J Lo to leave its sister brand Fiat behind and hock these instead. Perfect demographic
      buckhorn
      • 3 Years Ago
      They heard the Mustang GT500 has 650hp.
      Krishan Mistry
      • 3 Years Ago
      Lighter, more powerful California, and an already light and powerful 458 losing its roof. That could be a major overlap. Better be safe and bring on a 600+hp
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      jimbo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why not? Ferarri spends a few thousand dollars in developing small and subtle differences on a car with modest sales to then sell it at a ridiculous premium to boost its desirability in the short run....until the next, slightly different edition rolls around. Lamborghini does it with the Gallardo,an aging, but gracefully so with the mild tweaks, so the formula works.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Where's the cheese?
      • 3 Years Ago
      A turboed Ferrari? If it follows the F40 recipe, I already like it.