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Why so much Cali hate?

Discussion in 'California/Portofino' started by cosmicdingo, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. AlfistaPortoghese

    AlfistaPortoghese Moderator
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    Mar 18, 2014
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    Nuno
    The hate surrounding the California reminds me of the Mondial affair:

    Not a proper Ferrari. Ugly. Underwhelming performance. A girl’s car.

    Not true of course, but why do people insist? Because they’re judging a fish by its ability to climb a tree.

    The California, like the Mondial, is an entry level GT. And a very good one at that. Fun, engaging... A great driving experience. It can’t be compared to a full blown, no compromise, supersports car. If you do compare it, not only you’ll frustrate yourself, you’ll also miss out on properly enjoying a great Ferrari. If you spend your entire time wishing the California to be something it isn’t and wasn’t designed to be, you’re looking at it from the wrong angle and that’s on you, not on the car or its alleged shortcomings.

    Also something that I’ve learned from the Mondial affair that pretty much echoes with the California: the vast majority of hardcore critics has never owned one. Owners generally are fans of the car and tend to be a tightly knit community.

    The California, unless I’m very much mistaken, is the most produced and sold Ferrari of all time. And there’s a reason: people liked it, demanded it, bought it.

    On a final and biased, personal note, sadly I’ve never owned a California but I’ve been fortunate enough to drive the original California, the T and the Portofino. In terms of looks and driving feel, my favorite is the California T, although I wish Ferrari had retained the exhaust pipes on top of one another, like in the original California. The Portofino is much faster I felt, and handles great, but it’s too “techy” for me.

    There’s a plus side to all the hate: brings prices down over time, and we’ll be able to find great models at very inviting prices, which also reduces part costs and labor costs. Generally the passage of time is just and fair, and the California will shake off its undeserved reputation.

    Like my 458, the California is a milestone car for Ferrari, representing a series of firsts and lasts. In a couple of years, when we’ll all be forced to drive electric SUVs, people will sigh and long for the California. In the meantime, enjoy it and maintain it carefully. Time, the pedal on the right and the wind in your hair will reward you.

    Kind regards,

    Nuno.
     
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  2. Piper

    Piper Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Jun 6, 2010
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    Unlike the Mondial though, the Cali and IMO the Cali T over the others, is beautifully sculpted. Unlike the Mondial, gobs of power. IMO the Cali T is for me the perfect GT sports car. Want for nothing. If the MSRPs were flipped and the similar year FF were the cheaper model, I'd still want the Cali T.
     
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  3. odellicour

    odellicour Karting
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    Apr 15, 2019
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    Today, my California T and I attented a rallye organized by the Ferrari Club Belgium. It was awesome. Organisation was perfect, great food and fun.
    I drove all day long without any fatigue nor back pain unless some other ferrari owners.
    I drove with the top down enjoying the sun and the wind.
    I open the exhaust valves (capristo mod) and the car was making such a great noise other Ferrari owner didn t believe it.
    I drove on the quiet side in auto mode. And on the fast and furious side in sport+manual.
    The T was able to maintain pace with 430, 458 or 599. Only the 488 was faster but only if the driver was able to deal with the power.
    Then I went home with the top up, gps activated with good music (on the crapy infotainment system).
    Most of the Ferrari owners were amazed by the power of the T. And many were curious about the trunk space, the rear seats or the options.
    Driving the T today was like driving several cars, one for the highway, one for the fun, one for the race and one for the sun. The T is so versatile. I love this car.
     
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  4. Piper

    Piper Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Jun 6, 2010
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    Seats on the T are great. The Cali 30 was fine but the bolsters were too aggressive. GT should be comfortable, and the Cali T is. And the aerodynamics are the best of any convertible I've owned. Can drive with the top down at 70 or 80 very comfortably. Seat belt in the 30 would start flapping about by 60mph.
     
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  5. Il Co-Pilota

    Il Co-Pilota Formula Junior

    May 29, 2019
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    A.B
    Generally I think for other car enthusiasts it is number one. In the eyes of so.e, it will always be a "Ferrari" that was supposed to be a Maserati.

    For the uninitiated the look is very polarizing.

    I have heard the notion that it's a girls Ferrari. I guess that is simply derived from the fact that the design is very soft, and it's a car that was generally targeted in a much more family friendly fashion.

    I don't hate the Cali, but I would be hard pressed to say I respect it. I simply think it's way too flawed and unfocused. It all just seems like an afterthought to me somehow. I suppose that in part has to do with the fact it did start its life as a Maserati., that became a Ferrari at the last minute. I think it has a rather poor ride, and it feels way too heavy and flimsy to be a good sportscar. This is why I think the Cali T is so much better. More focused, refined and sorted. It's not that I think the original Cali feels more raw and sporty. It's simply a question of "what the hell were they thinking with that suspension setup!". Combine that with an engine that simply feels too weak to really make it shift and a chassis that flexes, and you have a car that is just not very good. The 30 got better with the new ratios and revised suspension, but it's not enough to redeem it.

    It's of course completely personal and subjective. It just does not do it for me because of how it drives.

    For some, it has the same marque issue as the Porsche Boxster, meaning it was the poor mans entry level for those who could not afford a 911.

    The most common comment I've heard about the Cali is, "It's not a real Ferrari", and that comes from people who own and can afford exotics.
     
  6. Il Co-Pilota

    Il Co-Pilota Formula Junior

    May 29, 2019
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    Used to? They have made some truly horrible design flaws in the past as well. Let's not forget the 400 series. I think the Trabant is more inspiring and have more personality than the 400.

    The Cali is not the prettiest car. Its problem looks-wise is that it is simply dull and generic.
     
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  7. Chizz

    Chizz Karting
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    May 21, 2017
    214
    Atlanta
    Love your posts and respect your knowledge but I can’t agree with most of what you said other than it’s a personal choice. I drove a Porto and a 458 this weekend. Enjoyed them both. Got back into my T and smiled. Is it as fast no. Is it as exotic looking as a 458...no but I will tell you I get more looks and compliments than I can count (in a city very used to exotics and expensive cars) it has the perfect exhaust note without being obnoxious and I have dusted many “red light and highway challengers”. I am more than pleased. I bet if this car was $300k+ it would get more love. I think a lot of opinion is made by this whole “entry level” mentality.
     
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  8. Way2fast

    Way2fast Formula 3

    May 24, 2006
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    The original California was for someone to buy instead of a Mercedes SL. It was not considered a sports car and only had 400 hp. The Portofino is a whole different car and will actually kick butt

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
     
  9. odellicour

    odellicour Karting
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    I got what you mean but a boxter with options is 90K€, a Cali T with options is 240K€!
     
  10. Il Co-Pilota

    Il Co-Pilota Formula Junior

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    I'm not comparing the Boxster and Cali directly.

    Just saying that some view it like that compared to a 458, FF or F12.
     
  11. Il Co-Pilota

    Il Co-Pilota Formula Junior

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    That's cool. We don't have to agree on everything:)

    Let me clarify this, because I think you're missing my point a bit. I am here speaking very specifically about the original Cali, not even the Cali 30 really.

    I have a completely different view of both the T and Porto. I respect them tremendously. And especially the Porto has become what the car should always have been.

    Had Ferrari at least equipped the original Cali with a softer suspension that was not all over the place or tried to turn the car into something it's not, it would have been focused and made a lot more sense.

    The Cali T is great, and it definitely managed to come a lot more into its own, and also shed both the entry level and Maserati stigma.

    As for looks? Yes I prefer the T over the Cali as well, and think the Porto is better still.
     
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  12. Chizz

    Chizz Karting
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    May 21, 2017
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    Gotcha!!! Thanks nice reply.
     
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  13. odellicour

    odellicour Karting
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    You are right. "Purists" have a tendancy to snob it. Until they try one !
     
  14. first gen cali is my favorite..
     
  15. vonbeeler

    vonbeeler Karting

    Jul 28, 2012
    68
    Southern California
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    Mike
    This is a very interesting read. Found this thread looking for feedback on the Port as its in my radar.
    I currently have a Cali 30 and have had for over 4 years.
    I love the looks of the original Cali over the T and never considered it.
    I don't need to impress aficionados that may or may not consider the Cali legit.
    Most true aficionados know it has its purpose and what that purpose is and can respect the car for that.
    The haters have insecurities and nothing can be done to help that.
    I think the original Cali has a sense of class and elegance that was lost in the T and more so in the Port.
    I get complements all the time on who beautiful it is. I think those complements come because it is classy and not overly boy racy.
    I gentleman came up the other day admiring it and asked if it was an F12. I'm considering an upgrade. I was looking at F12 but really concluded I don't want to give up the convertible. So its down to the Porto first and 488 second. We use this car as more of GT so leaning to the port. I actually prefer the front and side of the Cali but the Port looks better from rear. The drive is more planted in the Port, more modern conveniences, more comfortable and of course the power. is it worth twice as much money is my dilemma?
    Back to topic haters gunna hate. Drive what you love and make yourself happy and or your wife happy:)
     
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  16. PhilNotHill

    PhilNotHill Two Time F1 World Champ
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    How did it do in RACE mode.

    Sorry. Couldn’t resist. :)
     
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  17. odellicour

    odellicour Karting
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    Ha ha excellent !
    Very discrete mode
     
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  18. Il Co-Pilota

    Il Co-Pilota Formula Junior

    May 29, 2019
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    Question.

    Why is it, that the fact that some of us simply aren't as awestruck by the California, has to be equated with hate and snobbery? And what is all this stuff about those who don't like it "Don't get it" and are not appreciative or sensitive enough to understand? A lot of us understand and "get it" with the other older and newer cars in Ferraris history, so I would imagine that we are experienced and clever enough to "get it".

    I personally don't belong in the camp that looks down at the Cali because of its history with Maserati or its feminine appeal. I don't hate it either. I think it now fills a nichè that needed filling. I just don't think the first incarnation is a very good driving car.

    I'm not hating it nor do I feel the need to rag on it endlessly.about what I don't like. If asked what I think, I answer. I'm not looking to offend, but not necessarily looking to please either.
     
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  19. tomc

    tomc F1 World Champ

    Apr 13, 2014
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    ^I think where some take exception is when people denigrate the Cali - or indeed any car - without ever having driven one, and/or just repeat well-worn internet tropes they heard from a YouTube expert or a friend of a friend, and then quote opinions as if they were facts.
    T
     
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  20. RamsHmb

    RamsHmb Karting
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    Jan 22, 2017
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    For wha it’s worth...I have owned all three, recently took delivery of the Porto, and loved each for their own charms. But the portofino has really impressed...drove it from SF to Tahoe and was one of the most comfortable, sporting drives I have done in a long time. It’s a fantastic GT with some real teeth.
     
  21. 635CSI

    635CSI Formula 3
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    Just found this thread. I get the same hate for our lovely Lusso T which is by far the best all round Ferrari I have ever driven.

    Its usually from people who have never owned or driven a Ferrari let alone my car..."oh well, couldn't you afford the V12?"
    Well, reply, "There is my 250 GTE and the 575m and the 456 I had, pretty sure they were V12s, but really I just ****ing like my Lusso V8T"

    The Cali T before that was great too. :) Losers gonna hate...
     
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  22. AlfistaPortoghese

    AlfistaPortoghese Moderator
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    Mar 18, 2014
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    Graham,

    There’s no measure of how I enjoyed your reply! I used to get a lot of that too. I just never came up with such a formidable reply as yours.

    Kindest regards,

    Nuno.
     
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  23. energy88

    energy88 F1 Veteran
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    I think the common denominator here runs across all car lines whereby persons hate on a manufacturers' entry-level cars or most novel/oddball car as compared to the brand's most desirable car in the eyes of the person making the comment.
     
  24. Chizz

    Chizz Karting
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    May 21, 2017
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    I hear you but for goodness sake it’s a frickin Ferrari!!! Entry level should only refer to mass produced brands like Mercedes or BMW. Entry level should refer to cars that the average income can afford when moving into a certain upper brand. Not exotics like Ferrari. A $250k “entry level”????!!!!! Please.... talk about 1st world issues!
     
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  25. odellicour

    odellicour Karting
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    100% aligned with you. In a car magazine they said that the California/Portofino is commonly referred to as an "entry level" car but looking at the price and the performance they considered it more like a starter in a fancy restaurant ! Something tasty to start your Ferrari journey. I could not agree more.
     
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