2010 Ferrari California Performance

$192,000 - $192,000

2010 Ferrari California Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2010 Ferrari California was new.


Performance: 9.1

Test drivers are pleased with the Ferrari California’s combination of supreme sports performance and everyday drivability. It makes an excellent sporty grand tourer.

  • "Compared to previous Ferraris I've been in, the California launches and shifts with little drama. But to call it subdued would be to call a 6-ft. 6-in. NBA player 'average.'" -- Road and Track

Acceleration and Power

The 2010 Ferrari California is praised for its powerful V8 engine and smooth-shifting seven-speed transmission.

The California is equipped with a 4.3-liter V8 engine that produces 453 horsepower at 7,750 rpm and 358 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm. It’s mated to an F1 dual clutch seven-gear transmission with both manual and automatic modes. Ferrari reports that the California has a top speed of 193 mph and can blast from 0 to 62 mph in less than four seconds.

According to the EPA, the California nets a city/highway fuel economy of 13/19 mpg.

  • "The engine comes alive with the sweetest rasp that only grows more vivacious under way. Feathering the throttle hints at how much power lies under the command of your right foot, and summoning up even just half demonstrates vividly and instantly that the California has earned its Prancing Horse as much as any that have come before." -- Autoblog
  • "The California lacks the gut-tugging thrust of a Corvette because it doesn't make that kind of torque. Still, it gets out of the blocks in a hurry, and there's an effective launch-control system for real haste. What really makes this powertrain compelling, though, is the new transmission. Up or down, a touch of the paddles provides race-quick shifts, and there's the bonus of very smooth operation in full automatic mode." -- Car and Driver
  • "The Getrag-supplied dual-clutch seven-speed transmission, located just behind the rear axle to optimize packaging and weight distribution, is a thing of remarkable mechanical finesse. In automatic mode, it shifts smoothly and unobtrusively. Switched into manual mode, it keeps the engine on an express schedule to the redline and the driver amused by hearty, if not quite breakneck, acceleration." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The key to this performance is the way the dual-clutch transmission allows you to access that power instantly, with simply a pull on the steering-column paddle (left for up, right for down). It really is an engineering masterpiece." -- Popular Mechanics

Handling and Braking

Test drivers report that the Ferrari California isn't as sporty as its high-performance siblings, but it is exhilarating to drive nonetheless. Plus it’s more comfortable for daily driving than many of its competitors. For a sportier ride at a comparable price, check out the 2010 Audi R8.

  • This layout, on a 105.1-inch wheelbase, yields a 47/53-percent front-to-rear weight distribution, contributing to excellent balance, and handling that's both exhilarating and benign. " -- Car and Driver
  • "Push on into the hills and the California shows itself to be a very fast and expertly tuned car with prodigious mile-munching abilities. The turn in to corners is not as lightning fast as the F430, but the steering is light and direct. And the chassis is well balanced with the capability of hanging its tail out in lurid, oversteering power slides should you be brave enough to try it. At very high speeds the California is stable and predictable, and the standard ceramic-rotor disc brakes are supremely powerful." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "After showing its more playful side, the California is happy to oblige more relaxed cruising, dismissing highway miles with authority. Our minds soon wandered to epic cross-continental journeys, leaving us with little doubt that the California would be a rewarding choice for such an adventure." -- Autoblog
  • "Even at warp speed, the California has a surefooted feel, although the three-piece retractable hardtop has some slight wind-noise issues. The steering is nicely weighted, with a smooth linear action. When the car's settings are switched from comfort to sport via a steering wheel-mounted switch, steering effort increases and the suspension is firmed." -- Road and Track
  • "Even though the California has the same ceramic brakes as do most Ferraris, the system's setup is completely different. Ferrari specifically tuned this brake system to be much more user friendly. Other Ferraris equipped with the ceramics have a tendency to be very aggressive, grabbing hard on initial brake application." -- Motor Trend

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