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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Design: California Italian Style - Ferrari California Set to Debut

Design Critique by Noah Mallin

Pininfarina, Ferrari's favored design house, has allowed images of the new production California hardtop to trickle out. I've withheld judgement for a few weeks but having seen a fair number of images I can officially pronounce it as "so-so." Of course seeing it in the sheetmetal will be the final test. It is pretty cool to see the power hardtop go up and down in a matter of seconds like Optimus Prime's toupee however.

This is not to say the car is ugly, just that with Ferrari and Pininfarina the bar is set awfully high. The overall design is nice and some of the details are very well handled but the roofline is a bit too Mercedes for my taste. There is also the question of the convoluted rear haunches and the character line that sweeps from the side vents up into the rear fender. Sinuous indeed, but I'm not sure that it works to tie the design together.

The stacked quad exhausts at the rear are pretty cool but the overall design looks a bit busy, especially with that odd gray panel breaking up the surfaces in the middle. The front is more successful though I'm not sure I like the placement of the headlights so far forward in their nacelles.

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