Breaking news of the week Ferrari has purchased the UK number plate "F1 CAL", and will be placing it on the first Ferrari California shipped to that country, according to Autocar. The first Britain-bound unit of Ferrari's front-engined 2+2 should arrive in 2011.
Unveiled at last year's Paris Motor Show, the Ferrari California is the automaker's first car to have a folding metal hard-top. Equipped with a 460 horsepower, direct-injection, 4.3-liter V8 engine, the car travels from 0-100 km/h in less than four seconds. Other features include the F1-Trac system (seen on the 599 GTB Fiorano), carbon/ceramic brakes, and a multilink rear suspension system.
"We wanted the perfect registration to befit its desirability," said Ferrari North Europe's Richard Gordon. The regional manager continued to say, "Thankfully, DVLA Personalised Registrations released its F-series last year and we worked hard to ensure we were able to secure F1 CAL - a registration that can only be described as ideal for our new car."
Ferrari will try to produce roughly 5,000 units of the California every year. The car is believed to be sold out through 2012..
Ford will begin testing of a battery-powered Ford Focus fleet in the UK from early 2010.
The Focus-based electric car that Ford is developing with Magna for a 2011 introduction is not the only EV program in the company. Early next year, Ford will start testing a fleet of battery-powered Focuses in the UK with funding from a British government program. The Technology Strategy Board announced a total of £25 million for eight projects, including the Ford EV test (we'll have details on the others up soon). Unlike the production-intent program in the U.S., Ford is collaborating with its partner for the Transit Connect EV, Smith Electric vehicles. The battery Focuses will be used by staff from Scottish and Southern Energy in Hillingdon, Middlesex, a utility which is partnering with Smith and Ford on the program
This set-up targets a range of up to 100 miles and a top speed of 80mph. The Tourneo can be plugged directly into a standard mains socket, and a full battery charge takes six to eight hours.
The Ford Focus BEVs are being developed at Ford's UK research and development centre at Dunton in Essex, which currently develops powertrains for all Ford vehicles in Europe.