Ferrari California (2009)

Ferrari hasn’t yet pulled the $50-a-yard, Swiss voile cotton sheet back on its latest model, the California. But the company did release its initial media package on the car earlier today. It revealed a sleek grand tourer sporting the first front-mounted V8 in the company’s history. The California is also the first all-new model to arrive since the iconic brand started hinting at a new focus on fuel efficiency. Say what?

Don’t get any crazy ideas about Ferrari diesels (though a hybrid is on the drawing board). The overarching idea is to keep the Ferrari sports-car mystique by holding weight down. Ferrari hasn’t released any figures on the California’s bulk, but it follows on the company’s relationship with aluminum producer Alcoa, which recently built a massive new shop in Modena, Italy just to meet Ferrari’s demand for lightweight spaceframe chassis. (The California’s chassis and bodywork are aluminum.) The California also gets a 4.3-liter V8 with direct fuel injection producing 460 horsepower and a torque curve that provides more twist at lower revs. Pairing the engine with a new 7-speed dual-clutch manumatic transmission, the company says, will reduce fuel consumption and emissions (c.310 g/km CO2).

Ferrari hasn’t released pricing info yet, but they will say this: it’s not an entry-level model.