Ferrari California by Novitec Rosso

It sounds Italian, I know, but Novitec Rosso is a bespoke German tuning house, that specialises in creating the world’s fastest Ferrari’s.
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Better still, these cars are very user friendly and can easily be driven on a day-to-day basis, despite the additional power.

It’s a modest operation with a small showroom with adjoining factory at the top of a hill close to a quaint German village.

The surrounding fields are dotted with thousands of beautiful little yellow flowers, which I’m told produce Rapeseed oil.

That serenity was well and truly obliterated last year when we hit the red starter button and fired up our test car, the twin compressor and twin water-cooled super fast 430 Scuderia 16M.

The power and torque figures produced by this rarest of supercars is overwhelming to the un-initiated, with over 512 kW of power and just on 700 Nm of torque.

As a spider, its one of the fastest we’ve driven with a top speed of over 330km/h and 0-100km/h in 3.5 seconds. Fast, yes. But dead easy to drive at 250km/h, even with the roof down.

Now Novitec have a new drop-top creation, the superb looking Ferrari California, but this one’s got a few extra horses.

Power from the modest 4.3 litre V8 has been boosted from 343kW (460hp) to a ballistic 446kW (606hp) making this Ferrari one of the world’s quickest 2+2 convertibles.

Peak torque pushes out at a staggering 603 Newton-metres, and that’s up from the stock California’s 485 Nm. The car will accelerate from 0-100km/h is just 3.8 seconds and onto a top speed of 325km/h. Not bad for a convertible GT.

Novitec specialists don’t like fiddling with Ferrari engines, they say that they’re perfection and just add the compressor and intercooler, which have been carefully designed and mapped to sync with the eight-cylinder four-valve engine.

It’s a mechanical charger driven by the crankshaft via a cogged belt, which produces a maximum 0.4 bars of boost pressure.

The Novitec system includes a water-to-air intercooler, custom intake manifold and slightly larger injectors.

They like to add their own exhaust system too and this unit is a stainless-steel high-performance model, which adds some extra body to the exhaust note.

Once out on the autobahn or blasting through the Allgau Mountains, you can open up the exhaust flaps, which means an F1 sounding note via the small switch called the ‘manettino’ or travel in whisper stealth mode through the small towns, without disturbing the residents.

With advanced engine mapping by Novitec Rosso, not only are these cars reliable, they also comply with Euro IV emissions standards.

Such high speeds demand additional work in the wind tunnel where the front spoiler was developed to reduce lift on the front axle and maintain stability at speeds above 250km/h.

Further aerodynamic work in the form of aerofoils are added to the sides of the car along with a carbon fibre rear diffuser and boot lid spoiler to reduce lift at the rear of the car.

The Novitec Rosso NF3 wheel and tyre package on the California are particularly tasty with 255/30 ZR 21s up front and huge 315/25 ZR 22s providing supreme traction at the rear of the car.

Helping the car to remain planted on the tarmac are Novitec Rosso sport springs, which have been specifically tuned for this wheel and tyre package.

As a result, ride height has been lowered by some 35 millimetres but that shouldn’t worry you, as the car is fitted with a custom designed hydraulic lift system, which can raise the car by up to 40 millimetres. Perfect for entering/exiting problematic driveways or negotiating speed bumps.

A combination of Alcantara and leather interiors can be ordered in any combination you like.

CarAdvice will bring you complete road tests and video clips of several new Novitec Rosso Ferraris, later this year.