The new Ferrari California T goes turbo

The 288 GTO had one, as did the F40. Now the new Ferrari California receives a turbocharged V8 motor with more power and torque than its predecessor, as well as a smoother appearance…

For some time, the automotive press has been speculating that Ferrari would employ a turbocharged V8 to power the new California. Now comes confirmation from Maranello: the California T will use forced induction to offset the downsizing of the V8, now 3.9 litres rather than the 4.3 of its predecessor. With 560HP, it has a 70HP advantage over the previous model, but even more impressive is the new torque figure, up 49% to 557lb ft. The California T completes the 0-62mph sprint in a supercar-like 3.5 seconds on its way towards a 196mph V-max. Fuel consumption is reduced by 15%.

Don’t fear the turbo

In using a turbo, lesser manufacturers might encounter troubles with spool-up lag and subdued acoustics, but apparently not Ferrari. Engineers have put particular focus on achieving a linear torque curve and fine-tuning the sound, the latter well-received by those who have witnessed test-mules being put through their paces at Fiorano. Ferrari also promises improved handling thanks to new, stiffer chassis components; meanwhile, the latest traction control systems have been borrowed from Formula 1 in order to meter out the 560HP on tap. The standard-fit carbon-ceramic brakes have been redesigned, and will now haul the California down from high speed even more effectively. 

Reminiscent of the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa

However, perhaps the most vital improvement for potential buyers is the smoother appearance. Ferrari’s Styling Centre worked with Pininfarina to tweak the somewhat controversial original design, and some will be able to see a hint of the Testa Rossa’s pontoon fenders in the California T’s flanks. At the rear, fins are added to the diffuser for aerodynamic reasons, while occupants are cosseted by leather from Poltrona Frau. Also, a dial showing the turbo boost pressure sits proud in the middle of the dashboard, while the new infotainment system can be navigated using smartphone-style ‘swipe’ gestures.

The new Ferrari California T will debut at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. It remains to be seen whether rumours about a six-cylinder model will prove to be correct.

Both classic and modern Ferraris can be found for sale in the Classic Driver Market.