New Ferrari revealed in patent images
Several official illustrations, which appeared online after being submitted for design registration, show the new Ferrari in detail.
It's evident that the car features many design cues found on current Ferraris, including the front and rear styling of the FF. The lights are the same as those seen on the current 458, F12 Berlinetta and FF, while the lower valance appears a hybrid of that found on the FF and F12.
Despite the illustration appearing to show a fixed-roof coupé, there are prominent cut lines in the roof that suggest that a production version could feature a folding metal hard top, like the California, or a removable or retractable roof panel. The images may also not be representative of the final production version, accounting for the lack of an obvious receptacle for the folding roof, or alternatively reflecting the fitment of a targa top.
The Ferrari California is currently the oldest model in the manufacturer's range, having being revealed in late 2008 and launched in early 2009, and features styling that's not in line with more recent models.
Previously the date for the replacement California had been the source of some debate, with Ferrari's mid-engined cars being on a five-year replacement cycle and its V12s on a seven-year cycle. Some had suggested a six-year cycle for the California convertible, however, pointing at a late 2014 reveal and early 2015 on-sale date.
A lightly disguised Ferrari California test mule was spotted earlier in the year, with obvious changes including a much higher bonnet line, a different front end and new lights. Sources suggested at the time that the car was testing a twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V8, which has recently made its way in to the Maserati Quattroporte.
Currently the rear-drive California is powered by a naturally aspirated V8 that produces 483bhp and 51.84kgm of torque. It's capable of 0-100kph in under 4.0sec and has a top speed of 312kph. The new twin-turbo Ferrari-designed and built 3.8-litre V8 puts out 523bhp and 72.3kgm.
The presence of notable bonnet louvres in the sketches of the new model potentially indicate that it too could receive a turbocharged powerplant; they would serve to reduce the high underbonnet temperatures that are typically associated with high-performance forced-induction engines.
Fitting a turbocharged engine would also help Ferrari meet increasingly demanding emissions and economy targets. An illustration of the chassis also suggests a flat undertray will be fitted, in order to reduce drag - which will again help improve performance and efficiency.
Recent patents for myriad hybrid technologies, including a rear-mounted hybrid system for a front-engined, rear-drive coupé, may indicate that the new California could also receive a hybrid powertrain. The California was notable for featuring many economy-related technologies when launched, and it was also the first production Ferrari with a stop/start system.
There has been some speculation that the images may be of a Ferrari FF coupé, or special one-off variant, but Ferrari already offer a high-performance front-engined coupé in the form of the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta. The new car also appears to feature the same central section as the California, but with a longer nose and different tail.