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2014 Cali30 Handling Speciale (6 month review)

Discussion in 'California/Portofino/Roma' started by Fireman1291, Jun 24, 2019.

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  1. Fireman1291

    Fireman1291 Formula Junior

    Oct 30, 2017
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    Adam
    #1 Fireman1291, Jun 24, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
    Well, it's been 6 months since I bought my first Ferrari and I wanted to leave a review here so that it may help others that are looking to make the same model purchase down the road.

    I bought my car at Ferrari Palm Beach on New Years Eve and drove it straight home to Tampa. My face hurt from smiling. It had 4,600 miles on it and it's currently sitting at 8500 miles. It was bone stock save for windshield and window tint. Other that that it was stock, down to the aged tires. More on that...

    I remember my first couple attempts at launch control were, not smooth to say the least. I didn't know you're supposed to disable traction control for starters and the hard and aged tires would bounce all over the road. Once I bought new wheels/tires and turned off TSC, whew...slingshot mode engage!

    Over the next few months I modified the car to make it my own and learned some pointers along the way. I'll just list them below with no attention to order...

    1. Never let a PPF shop apply PPF to your headlights, as removing the film later will de-laminate the UV coating. Only use a shop after you ask around for the best in town. If it costs more, there's a reason why.
    2. Always use a sunshade to save your leather dash
    3. Sticky buttons can me remedied with rubbing alcohol, a Terry cloth towel, and time...lots of it
    4. Never trust your parking sensors to alert you to concrete parking curbs
    5. If you see small abrasions on your roof line that rub off like grease, have the roof spacing tabs in your trunk replaced by a Ferrari tech, they dry out and rot away
    6. Never use "auto" mode, it's gay.
    7. Put heat in your brakes before you trust them while coming in hot in a turn
    8. If you lower your car, make a mental note of bridges with bad expansion gap bumps and don't hit them at 100+
    9. If you scrape an aero panel under the car, don't worry, they are cheap and protect the car. The sounds they make when doing so will make you throw up a little
    10. People will love and hate you, it's a divided perception of the brand. Get used to attention, good and bad. Stay humble and positive while dealing in these situations.
    11. Unplugging the red taped vacuum line (then plugging it with a golf tee) on the passenger side of the engine compartment will keep your exhaust valves open
    12. Handling Speciale package is worlds better than a base Cali30
    13. You change the radio clock through the menu on the left of the steering wheel and not on the radio itself. 14. Don't be afraid to work on your car, it's a modern Ferrari and comes apart like any other brand...but if you break something, you're ****ed lol.
    15. Paint Correction and Ceramic Coating should be a first priority when taking delivery of your Ferrari. The paint leaves the factory like crap and swirls in paint on a car like that deserve a nut punch...or two.
    16. Metallic black is worlds easier to maintain than gloss black
    17. Drive it hard, it's a Ferrari
    18. Put smiles to miles and enjoy the damn thing, you'll never look back and regret driving it
    19. Don't be afraid to modify it, concours guys are stuck up *******s. Mod it, drive it, love it.
    20. Buy the spec that moves your soul and beats your heart, if you have to spend a tad more, ****ing do it.
    21. The US tail light situation sucks and people don't know when I'm braking. I'll do the re-wire conversion soon.

    Thats it for tips. Back to the car. I've done a lot of mods to bring the car up to the level I wanted when I first laid eyes on her. The list is as follows...

    PAINT - FULL CORRECTION & CERAMIC PRO 9H

    EXHAUST - FERRARI FACTORY SPORT SYSTEM


    INTAKE - BMC F1 FILTERS

    SPRINGS - NOVITEC SPORT SET TO 1.5” DROP

    WHEELS - ADV1 AD05 M.V2 (TWO PIECE)

    TIRES - NITTO NT555 G2
    (REAR 315/30R/20 - FRONT 255/25R/20)


    MISC – FERRARI DRIVER & PASSENGER SIDE DEAD PEDALS, FERRARI CARBON FIBER FRONT SPLITTER, TRICOLORE BADGE, BESPOKE ALCANTARA FLOORMATS, FERRARI SCUDERIA TITANIUM OIL CAP, FERRARI SCUDERIA VALVE STEM CAPS, RED SEATBELT CONVERSION.

    It handles great thanks to wider tires, lowering springs, and faster ECU/steering ratio of the HS package. It came together to make a great handling car that begs to be thrashed in the turns. The sport exhaust (Tubi) sounds great and maintains the factory warranty. I highly recommend it.

    Every time I get behind the wheel it's an adventure and it still doesn't hit me that I own and drive a Ferrari. My goal is to keep the mechanical and cosmetics at 100% with this car. It's the last of its kind, a naturally aspirated Ferrari V8. There are less on the road than 458's, 430's, and 360's and it marked the most substantial "firsts" for Ferrari and to this day is their most successful model launch.

    In the words of Ferris Bueller, if you have the means, I highly suggest you pick one up!

    Day one
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    After lower/wheels/tires
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    All emblems removed during paint correction and ceramic coating for 100% perfection
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    Post paint correction at various car shows
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    Seatbelt conversion to red
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    Carbon Front Spoiler (heed parking curb advice)
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    Today

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    A local Youtubers take on my Cali30
     
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  3. tomc

    tomc Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 13, 2014
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    I take it, you're a fan of the Cali 30 HS?!? ;)
    T
     
  4. Fireman1291

    Fireman1291 Formula Junior

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    You know it! I feel bad for those that write-off the Cali30 without giving it the beans!
     
  5. AD211

    AD211 Formula Junior
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    I’m feeling short changed on my standard 2010! Having 30 HS envy.


    Sent from my iPhone using FerrariChat
     
  6. tomc

    tomc Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 13, 2014
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    Only one way to cure it AD: time to load Cars.com on your phone and get shopping!

    I had to pass a car on a two lane road the other day; just a little gas and my humble Gen 1 was doing a speed that I'd prefer not to admit to on the internet. So, maybe I'm better off with 30 less ponies. Happily, I didn't break Fireman's rule about hitting expansion joints @ high speeds !

    T
     
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  8. Chizz

    Chizz Formula Junior

    May 21, 2017
    271
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    I must say I used auto for the first time last Sunday because I was eating an ice cream cone. Please forgive me. Other than that.,, loved your post :)
     
  9. tomc

    tomc Two Time F1 World Champ

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    Dang it, man, you need to be capturing stuff like that on a Go Pro!
    T
     
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  10. Avia11

    Avia11 Formula Junior
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    Jan 21, 2017
    662
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    wait...what?!...you were eating... in the car? lol ;). jk.
     
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  11. Federal man

    Federal man Karting
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    Sep 3, 2018
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    Mark Higinbotham
    Great write up Adam! I love your enthusiasm and passion for the brand and your car. I feel the same way and am making progress on my Cali-30HS to make it mine as well. I love the car!
     
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  13. Fireman1291

    Fireman1291 Formula Junior

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    lol I'd like to see that! I'd like to challenge my wife to eat an ice cream cone while I bang the gears back and forth. LMAO that would make for great video. I don't think she'd go for it though lol.

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  14. Chizz

    Chizz Formula Junior

    May 21, 2017
    271
    Atlanta
    I knew I was going to catch hell from you guys for eating an ice cream cone in the car. I was nervous as heck that it would drip on the leather! Please forgive me.,.,it will never happen again!!! LMAO!!!
     
  15. Chizz

    Chizz Formula Junior

    May 21, 2017
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    LMAO
     
  16. Carnut

    Carnut F1 Rookie
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    Morrie
    I think your post is an example of why after almost 16 years I still come to this forum. As you know I see cars as just machines to be made better (for my purpose for them), and nothing else. To read such impassioned praise of an inanimate object and to devote the time to write it's praises makes me realize how cars effect those of you lucky enough to have these experiences. I may not agree with your assessment of the car, but I liked the way you put it. I hope you continue to enjoy the car and write such detailed praises.
     
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  17. 4th_gear

    4th_gear F1 Rookie
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    #14 4th_gear, Jun 26, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
    Morrie, I appreciate your own passion, experiences and wealth of knowledge.

    However, I do not agree with your assessment of the Cali30 HS as you have not personally driven or tested these cars. I would suggest you test a Cali30 HS, especially one equipped with reasonable modifications that owners like Fireman1291 and I have on our cars. Ferrari purposely restricts the Cali in order not to overlap performance with the 458, 599 and F12. The car is capable of much more. When you undo those restrictions in the Cali30 HS, the true capabilities of the platform are unleashed. You already sort of do that with your own cars so you know what I mean.

    IMO, the Cali30 HS is one of the best cars that delivers all of the exotic Ferrari ownership experiences that you can actually use and enjoy on public roads and it is also their last NA front-mid V8 and it's the enhanced model. Front-mid-engine is important because it makes for a much more practical day-day platform layout, very different from the mid-engine 458.

    To further support my point and give you a better appreciation of the facts, I will illustrate below something nobody on FChat seems to have noticed.

    In December 2009, Road & Track reviewed the new Ferrari that was just announced in N.A. and they followed up with test results of the 2010 Ferrari California that they made at Variano, Italy. If you were paying attention at the time, you will recall the R&T test results were controversial because they far exceeded the factory performance claims and test results claimed by other reviewers. R&T's test results claimed the 2010 Cali they tested achieved a 0-60 mph time of 3.5 sec when Ferrari claimed it was only sub-4 sec. and 3.9 sec at best. So the R&T's time is almost 1/2 second faster than spec. People at the time who were experienced with Ferrari test cars claimed the car R&T tested was a "ringer" supplied by the factory to rig the test results.

    However, nobody seemed to have read the R&T test results very carefully so the true meaning of the data was missed. The "ringer" claims were correct. Here's why I make this claim:

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    The Cali30 uses very short gear ratios, which were purposely designed to make the car punchy to accelerate. IMO, it is very likely Ferrari had been planning and designing the Cali30 upgrade as soon as they started selling the original 2008 Cali (in Europe) and had already tested the short ratio gearbox and then put it in the R&T's test car.

    R&T also made their tests in 2009 when it would have been very unlikely for Ferrari to have already developed the upgraded F136 IH Cali30 variant of the original Cali's F136 IB NA V8. So the 3.5 sec 0-60 mph was probably achieved solely by the factory sneaking in a short ratio gearbox on the test car. If you look at my pic and compare the R&T test data on the gear ratios you will see they match the Cali30's, which only went into production in 2012.

    The engine specs of the R&T test car are otherwise the same as the original Cali's engine.

    IMO, the R&T test demonstrated some of real performance advantages of the Cali30. I also want to point out the fact that Ferrari "announced" the Cali30 in a very quiet manner and no car magazine actually published performance test data on the Cali30. They only published new features and engineering enhancements, but no empirical data pertaining to performance. I suspect they purposely downplayed the Cali30 because test data would have shown the car closed the gap to the 458 and exceeded the performance of the 599 and FF.

    I've known all this for years but chose not to discuss. If you add superlight wheels, wider contact patches, better air intake, better exhaust flow, stiffer and lowered suspension, 30HP, 15Nm... and an ECU upgrade, the car can only exceed the R&T test results, by a lot.
     
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  18. Fireman1291

    Fireman1291 Formula Junior

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  19. Fireman1291

    Fireman1291 Formula Junior

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    Great breakdown 4th gear. I knew about the gear ratios but not the fluffed test speculation. Very neat.

    It's great to have another person out there that thinks on the deep OCD levels that I do. People just don't know how good a modded Cali30 is and I'm sad for them. It's a HELL of a great car! With the aforementioned mods it all comes together to deliver a great driving experience that puts a 458 to the coals all day.
     
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  20. K_W

    K_W Rookie

    Jul 19, 2013
    9
    I had a 2014 Cali 30 w/ HS and replaced it with a 2017 Cali T w/ HS. Both are fantastic cars. I didn't do any of the mods to either car, both were 100% stock (unlike most of my cars!)

    One thing that drove me nuts about the 14 was that it smacked into the rev limiter when I wasn't super careful - the power curve seemed to just be getting to the good part and the rev limiter kicked in. the 17 tt motor is much less likely do that, despite Ferrari bleeding off boost in the lower gears to give a more linear power curve.

    Having spent time in a 599 and an FF, the Cali 30 isn't anywhere near their level of performance to me. The V12 cars pull really hard once you get on them. The 458 is a lot lighter than the California too and has a much higher redline - I think the 458 feels faster than my Cali t, except in the midrange where the beefy power curve of the tt motor wins out, when it's not bleeding off boost. I really enjoyed all of the cars, and clearly the DCT in the Cali 30 is miles more livable than the 599's single clutch.

    The 3rd generation DCT in the Cali T is considerably more responsive than the Cali 30, too. The Cali 30 is no slouch and especially with the HS's tranny programming, pretty good, but the Cali T's transmission shifts even quicker and feels more responsive to the paddles. Anyway, just my opinions, no data to prove the above.


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  21. Carnut

    Carnut F1 Rookie
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    Sometimes I think I do not come across properly. When I make comment they are based on the car and my purpose for it, and depending on which other cars I own at the time, that purpose may change. I have driven every car mentioned in this thread but I always find something I need to change. Remember in my garage sits a 997S with has over 335K invested in it. 2312lbs no traction control and over 650hp, I took it apart a rebuilt it from the chassis up. When you have a car that wants to kill you every time you drive it, most things don't raise your blood pressure much. I do think the Calf 30 is a better car than the Calf, but I'd flash the transmission it is too slow on gear changes, and if I was going to own one, I'd take it apart and make it into a coupe only (remove everything that had to do with the convertible), I would go to 18 or 19' lightweight wheels, and I'm sure I'd redo the suspension as well and remove the back seats, or whatever they call them. Don't get me started on what I'd change, but probably almost everything. My 997s (only has about 30% of its original parts) was in pieces for a year and a half, and I am too old to take on another project like that, plus I have been working on novel number five, so that has been taking up my time too. But now that I think about it,, it might be fun. You see I can only see cars from my purpose, and as I have said my purpose probably is very different than most peoples.
     
  22. 4th_gear

    4th_gear F1 Rookie
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    K_W, I appreciate your comments and views. The reason why I did not discuss the R&T "ringer" California before was because it would bring up a broad range of questions and discussions as we see. At any rate, I'm busy with several major projects on the go and I really shouldn't be spending too much time on this but I have a few minutes to add an initial comment to qualify my earlier post.

    To begin, IMO there are many technical factors that contribute towards actual performance. It is not just the engine, transmission components design, suspension design, weight factors, exhaust system or indeed even the tire contact patches but it is the combination of all these components that together result in the performance behaviour of the car.

    Similarly, because multiple components contribute towards overall performance, judicious upgrading of individual components will improve overall performance. I know this is intuitive and taken for granted but since these components differ between cars, their specifications and the sum of their specifications can have surprising results.

    I'll start by providing the end results of one test of performance, 0-60 mph times from the 0-60 Times Website (while these figures may not be 100% representative, they're better than what most people can gather up):

    0-60 mph Times (Sec.)
    =================
    2010 California .... 3.5
    2013 California .... 3.4
    2009 599 GTB ..... 3.2
    2012 FF ............... 3.4
    2011 458 .............. 3.0​

    Based on these 0-60 times, the 458 unquestionably is the fastest to 60 mph from rest. So to prove my point, let's focus on trying to close the Cali's gap to the 458, the fastest car in this performance criterion.

    Since engines do make a difference I have charted a series of dyno comparisons between the original 2010 Cali's (non-Cali30) engine with the 458's. The data are all redrawn from DYNOJET charts originally prepared by Fabspeed.

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    This chart shows the stock engines from the Cali and 458 have similar performance with the exceptions that the Cali's engine performs better at the low end up to around 3250 rpm, the 458's engine is better in the mid-range and then they perform similarly until the 458's engine revs past 6500 rpm.

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    So if you upgrade the 2010 stock Cali's exhaust system, the Cali's engine actually performs as well or better than the stock 2010 458 until around 6500 rpm. Low end torque is particularly much better. I would say these conditions would represent 90+% of driving these cars.

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    Finally, if you also add an ECU upgrade, the 2010 Cali engine actually performs much better than the stock 458 engine across the entire rev range of the Cali engine.

    The stock 458 is 0.5 sec faster to 60 mph than the Cali, and 0.4 sec faster than the Cali30. How much of those advantages would be negated by upgrades like Fabspeed's? What about the Cali30's engine?

    I have to hit the sack and tomorrow also attend to my serious projects but I will post more information on this discussion when I have time.

    G'night!
     
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  23. 4th_gear

    4th_gear F1 Rookie
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    Morrie, I understand your perspective. Here are a few quick comments.

    I think you need to engineer more downforce and traction in your modified 997S as I suspect its "wicked" nature is due to its tendency to "break contact with the road surface". The car is too light for its power but you can use downforce to "add weight" when you apply power. The other thing is to increase contact patch in the rear tires, to improve traction reduce oversteer. You should also check the tire pressure, possibly lower it to improve traction, reduce oversteer.

    I recall some information on the Cali's DCT performance being 20 msec. The HS option improves on this. This is like 5X faster than the 599's. So while it's always better to shift faster, the Cali DCT is already extremely fast. If you flash the transmission ECU you will reduce the safety margin of the DCT and risk a $25,000 replacement for a destroyed transmission. The DCT is mechanically bullet-proof so far and I think it's unwise to make it any faster.

    As for wheels, the old adage was to use smaller rims because they are lighter but the new superlight designs are probably even lighter and those designs are not available in sizes smaller than 20". The 20FR/21RR wheel combination on my car is 40 lbs lighter than the stock 20" wheels and both FR and RR tires are wider than stock. Bigger rims do contribute to significantly sharper turn-in response. They turn the car better.

    I think you must have done some amazing weight and performance improvements on your cars but I also hope you can see the rationale behind my suggestions.
     
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  24. Carnut

    Carnut F1 Rookie
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    I suppose you might come to those conclusions if your only knowledge of the car was the little bits of information I have offered but everything that you mentioned has been tried in fact it used to have over 700hp but it was difficult to keep in straight line and carbon fiber body parts and hard to source (the company that made the body no loner exists). It was built to prove a point and to literally scare the crap out of anyone that is crazy enough to drive it. It was not supposed to be tame, I think once again people just cannot understand the way I do things, and my reasoning. I am not surprised after 9 years the woman I am with still tells me I am a different person every 45 minutes. I am sorry but after building about 90 race cars and doing tests with 100's of wheel and tire combos, there is not a chance that I will ever believe that bigger is better, I have proved the opposite 100's of times. I can do things in my head that most normal people cannot do with a computer (I have a 132 patents but would have about 700 if I really wanted to patent everything I invented). I appreciate everyone's passion and charts, but what translates from paper to reality is merely wishful thinking. How many times have you been beaten of the line by an SUV in your sports car or wondered how is that car keeping up with me, or why isn't this car in my rear view mirror. I am sure it has happen to everyone on this forum at least once. On paper you should be in another state before this person gets to 70mph, but in reality that is not what happens. I believe nothing I cannot prove myself or tested myself and when you consider how much time I have spent doing just that over the last 5 decades, there is almost nothing I have not seen first hand.
     
  25. 4th_gear

    4th_gear F1 Rookie
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    Morrie, given what you have apparently done and achieved in life, I can readily appreciate what you say. However, none of us can say we have nothing more to learn and my own experience is that every project and every problem is different and it is important to remain authentic and treat every new experience as if it is the first time I am coming across such an experience.

    Modern "supercars" and "hypercars" come with prodigious power and need sophisticated traction control systems that dial back power in order to prevent catastrophic loss of control, something that is essential when the cars are driving on public roads. When driven on private roads and tracks, you can do without traction control and explore the limits of your driving skills, with cars that are going to try to kill you. However, I still think you can make your "wicked" car driveable but that will likely come with serious compromises.

    Regarding exhaust and engine ECU mods, I believe you acknowledge they work because you already told us you also use them. K_W mentioned the annoying penchant of the Cali/Cali30 to hit their redline rev limiter. I used to have the same experience because the engine seemed to "run out of breath" in every gear as I tried to dial in more power.

    So K_W is right and I am also right. Why?

    Well, look at the charts I prepared from Fabspeed's dyno test data. They show the Cali's 4.3L V8 is essentially the same engine as the 458's 4.5L V8... with the redline cut short at 8000 rpm. K_W and others like him were intuitively expecting the Cali's engine to continue to increase power delivery but instead hit a plateau and feel like they are short-shifting. These amazing engines are jewels and can do more but the factory purposely limited their redline. This may have been to improve low end torque but could also have been, more likely, to make the power output conform to their marketing purpose for the car. However, I no longer hit the redline in my car. Why?

    My car has a complete exhaust system upgrade, probably similar to Fabspeed's. When I step on the throttle, power increases proportionally with engine rpm to the point where it scares the crap out of me so I have to ease off and shift up, just to cool it. It's like smooth endless power. There is no plateau in power delivery. There is so much available power that you dial it back before you get near the redline.

    I no longer feel any point in tracking my Cali30 as I have a 675LT Spider so power and handling improvements for my Cali30 are just done for the fun of improving the car, to make it more responsive and fun to drive.
     
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  26. K_W

    K_W Rookie

    Jul 19, 2013
    9
    Ah. I looked into ECU flashes. The cali 30 picks up 20-30 hp from an ECU flash, the heads, cams, valves, etc are all different from the 458. There is no way to make the Cali 30's motor make even close to the 458's power, and it's about 400 lbs heavier. The redline is not the limiting factor, it's hardware differences that are not easy to make up the gap. The 458 is geared to take advantage of the higher redline as well.
     
  27. Chizz

    Chizz Formula Junior

    May 21, 2017
    271
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    Nicely done
     

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