Ferrari’s California T:
The new Ferrari California T: In 3.3 seconds the turbocharged dual-intercooled V-8 propels you to 60 mph from start, and in 14 seconds the retractable hard top (RTP) system, built of lightweight, strong aluminum, transforms the car from slick coupe to chic droptop.
Every moment you’re in it, the all-aluminum California T spider offers the elegance and power, sportiness and versatility signature of every Prancing Horse. And, when you ask this 2+ Grand Tourer to gallop, it doesn’t stop until 196 mph. That’s a state-of-the-art ride in California or anywhere else.
The MSRP is $202,723, so this car is for someone for whom driving is decidedly more than a utilitarian experience, someone who thrills each time the wheel is gripped and the throttle opened.
“The California T offers traditional Ferrari performance, handling, sound and excitement in a larger, more practical package,” says Gary Simon, sales manager at Scottsdale Ferrari, a Penske Automotive Dealership. “It represents production systems shared with the Scuderia racing team; the development program alone took more than four years.”
Introduced last year in Geneva, the California is the first Ferrari V-8 to be converted to a turbo, and the upcoming 488, replacing the 458, will also be turbocharged. “At that point, all Ferrari V-8s will have turbo engines,” he says.
The 9.4:1 compression ratio allows the turbo to perform at maximum efficiency, and economy, without burning excessive fuel. For the higher power, a 20 per cent larger radiator is included ––a particularly helpful component for desert drivers.
Why the first turbo in the thoroughbred stable since the GTO of 1984 and the F40 of 1987?
“Increasingly stringent emission and mileage requirements from Europe are the reason,” Simon explains. “Ferrari’s goals were to meet these mandates while maintaining the traditional Ferrari feel and response from the engine. The upside is more power and flexibility –– and that always appeals to people.”
The Power of the ‘T’
Maranello engineers have generated great performance results via turbocharging: 552 horses @ 7,500 rpm and 557 lbs-ft of torque at 4,750 rpm for the 3,582-pound car, distributed 47-percent to the front and 53 percent to the rear, with traditional Ferrari bias.
You’ll experience superlative acceleration through all bands, that legendary throaty soundtrack during both intake and exhaust phases and virtually no turbo lag. In addition, emissions have been reduced as well as fuel consumption, which, in turn, ups the car’s range by 15 percent from the 20.6-gallon fuel tank.
The exhilaration of the California T isn’t just brute power, although this very special GT never lets you forget that it’s a worthy inheritor of the greatest performance-car legacy in the world.
F1-derived components include a low-inertia, flat-plane crankshaft combined with innovative twin-scroll turbines; these reduce throttle response times, getting you promptly to where you want to go, even if that’s thrill and joy alone.
Also F1 engineered, the dual-clutch transmission features longer ratios –– up to a 23 per cent increase in 7th gear, once again resulting in faster acceleration.
In the same spirit, the Variable Boost Management, a new control system, works with the ECU to optimize torque delivery, helping to produce these longer gear ratios in the higher gears. Both pick-up and fuel consumption are improved –– the ideal scenario for the contemporary performance-minded owner.
To improve handling and dynamics, the Maranello engineers focused on a number of factors, Simon explains: less steering wheel activity and quicker steering; reduced body roll for improved dynamics; improved handling and better control; and greater chassis dynamics without affecting ride comfort.
Dynamics and control have been improved through the use of a new steering box and new suspension set-up. New springs (they’re 11 percent stiffer) and shocks, the magnetorheological damping system, also combine with body motion accelerometers, which reduce roll and pitch for precision handling while retaining a comfortable ride.
In addition, the latest F1 traction control, to manage the greater torque from the turbocharging, and the ESP 8.0 Premium electronic systems also combine for superlative responsiveness.
A button on the steering wheel allows you to decouple the damping setting from the manettino for desired comfort level, and the F1 paddles are longer and flush to the steering wheel rim for faster gear shifting.
The carbon-ceramic braking system incorporates new composite discs and pads, allowing for quick stops at any speed. On alloy wheels, tires are 245/40 ZR19 inch on the front and 285/40 ZR19 inch on the rear, with larger 245/35 ZR20 inch available for the front and 285/35 ZR20 inch on the rear. Lighter 20-inch forged wheels are available.
“Working together, these optimized stability programs translate to better handling with less effort,” Simon explains. “The result is a car that’s easier to drive than other Ferrari models and that has the utility of marques such as Mercedes SL, Bentley GT, BMW 6 Series or Porsche while allowing you to enjoy the exclusivity and excitement that are the unique joys of driving a Ferrari.”
Not Just By Engine Alone
“The California T is much more than just a new engine,” Simon notes. “It has new styling, giving the car more flowing lines and a much sleeker shape.”
The new design work retains the dimensions of the previous California, yet company stylists and Pinninfarina have created an essentially new look, while inspired by previous Ferraris such as the legendary 250 Testa Rossa and its stylish pontoon fenders.
Convex and concave surfaces combine from the front of the car, with its wide signature Ferrari grille and LED headlights, continuing with aerodynamic efficiency from the front wing line to a stout sporty rear. Side air intakes incorporate the intercoolers, and the front brake intakes are on the front underbody. The round rear lights sit at the edges of the enlarged trunk, which also functions as a spoiler.
Inside, sports performance meets tuned ergonomics and luxury.
“The new interior features more room, a bigger 6.5-inch infotainment display, a choice of button and touch-screen controls, wider, more comfortable seats, front and rear, semi-aniline trim and a more aggressive dash layout,” Simon explains.
Even with the top down, you can use the generous space between the luggage compartment and the rear seats, which accommodate two children or two adults on shorter trips.
At the dash center, The Turbo Performance Engineer (TPE) is a touch-sensitive digital display incorporating a touch-sensitive surround for scrolling, with five different displays: time, exterior temperature, turbo pressure, turbo response, the percentage of the maximum engine response available to the driver depending on engine revs; and turbo efficiency, the percentage of maximum efficiency at which the engine is running.
That wide infotainment screen offers a variety of amenities providing for efficient and memorable drives, including a diversity antenna, which improves reception and sat nav, with 3D mapping for easier routing. For convenience to both driver and passenger, USB ports are under the armrest.
The audio system includes an 8-channel amp, and the most discriminating owners can order an even more powerful JBL Professional system, with 12 speakers and a 16-channel amp which caps out at 1280 watts.
“Every Ferrari is built to a customer’s specifications, so each is bespoke, a unique motoring artwork,” Simon explains, noting that purchase includes the new seven-year maintenance program. “Stop in and order your California T now.”
For more information, see www.scottsdaleferrari.com or call Gary Simon or General Manager Chad Morgan at the dealership, (888) 964-6056.