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The news finally broke. As much as Ferrari management had denied it for months, a planned announcement later this week that a new and unique Ferrari is coming was trumped today when photos hit the web a week earlier than anticipated. Leaked photos have become common lately with the internet playing a more active role in disseminating information, and lighting fast too. This post is perfect proof of how quickly the word spreads ahead of printed publications.

The new Ferrari is called the California. It will be unique in several ways. It features a folding hardtop, a seven-speed dual clutch and will be produced in higher numbers that the current F430. It will have a 460 hp 4.3L V8 front layout with a bent towards grand touring tuning instead of the raw, racy edge of the F430. The single lamp taillights indicate Pininfarina’s new design direction, like with the 599 GTB; a break in the twin taillights over the past 30 years. This will be an elegant and easy design for people to accept, whereas the stacked exhaust pipes (as with the Lexus IS F) may take longer to be loved.

This new Ferrari will be priced essentially where the F430 is currently, if early indications hold true. That will push the Ferrari F430 up a rung on the Ferrari totem pole. The term “Dino” was thrown around a lot, indicating a “lesser” Ferrari. From the looks of this beauty, this is a real Ferrari and with the price in the $180,000 range, it is no discounted car either!

Anytime a new Ferrari is announced, it is a big deal. It is an even bigger deal when the new Ferrari is an entirely new line. The F430 replacement is certainly coming, but the California isn’t an evolution on an existing car, but an entirely new line. A good day indeed in the automotive world!

Should Club Sportiva get one? I think I know the answer…