What a day! What a car! The California is by no means perfect – it's pricey and we can quibble over the finer points of the handling, brakes and rear packaging – but it's hard not to be impressed by the California. Especially when we were so sceptical before. It's everything that a slightly softer Ferrari should be and brilliantly judged to tempt buyers out of top-rung Merc SLs and the like. The folding metal roof (Ferrari's first) is well executed, the boot space is truly astonishing and the interior a roomy, comfy place to be.

That the California also manages to pack the mother of all V8s, with fuel-miser direct-injection present and correct, and hit the bullseye first time with the superlative new transmission is quite a feat. Don't believe the doubters who say this Ferrari is too soft. It's not. It's nigh-on perfect for its target market. That leaves this road tester deeply impressed.
By Chris Chilton



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