How To Spend Your Summer Vacation: Five Convertibles for Summer 2009

Best Hard Top Convertible: 2009 Ferrari California
MSRP: 197,350 (including $3000 gas guzzler tax)

Maranello has used the California nameplate on a roadster before, but a retractable hardtop? That's a new trick. The same goes for the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, multi-link rear suspension, and direct fuel injection.

But there's no denying the California, modern as it may be, fits right into the legacy established by the most endearing Ferraris ever built. It's a front-engine gran turismo, with all of the 4.3-liter V-8's 455 hp channeled to the rear wheels. And, much like the 250 GT California, it looks even better with the top securely stowed.

And, like virtually every Ferrari before it, the California will be rather exclusive. The firm expects the car to be popular, and plans on building 2500 units each year. That may be a gargantuan figure for Ferrari, but we're hearing most of that production run is already spoken for.

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