One part you can't have in GRP however, is the lightweight carbon bonnet offered to customers really fanatical about paring off weight. The raised air intake center section is left in natural carbon weave as a styling cue.

Ferrari does a pretty good job on interiors these days, down to the sport seats and carbon trim. Here, Hamann just offers carpet mats-his own logos covering Ferrari's.

In a straight line there's no discernible major change to the California's demeanor. Accelerate hard and the tonally richer exhaust brings a bigger smile to your face. The thrust builds with revs, as does the pitch of the V8's scream, until you pull the right paddle and the twin-clutch transmission seamlessly shuffles to the next gear ratio, and the sound builds again from 1000 rpm lower.

When you reach a twisty section of road, the Hamann car really shows its mettle. Attack a bend at the sort of pace where the standard California starts to move around more than you would like, and the uprated chassis begins to earn its keep. Cornering flatter with impeccable body control, the Hamann suspension feels like a better match for the California's sharp and gutsy motor.

Admittedly, it is still no F430 Spider, since the extra weight that the California carries can be felt every time you call on it to change direction, or accelerate, or brake. And with the engine up front, its nose does not chase down apexes as keenly as its mid-engine cousin.

But Hamann has moved the California's game upward just enough to take it over the tipping point, and has given it some real attitude. It is now less soft GT and more typical Ferrari roadster. That last ten percent really makes all the difference.

Hamann California

Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive

4.3-liter V8, dohc, 32-valve. Hamann sport exhaust with 200-cell metal catalysts, ECU remap

Six-speed automated manual

Custom lowering springs

OEM Ferrari assemblies

Wheels & Tires
Hamann alloys, 9x21 (f), 12.5x21 (r), 10mm spacers Hankook S1 Evo, 245/30 (f), 345/25 (r)

Carbon-fiber hood, front splitter, rear wing, rear diffuser

Hamann-logo floor mats

Peak Power: 520 hp @ 8000 rpm
Peak Torque: 388 lb-ft @ 5100 rpm

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