Okay, you got me here. The last Ferrari California was my least favorite Ferrari but my inner enthusiast has slightly changed my outlook after discovering an all-new Turbocharged 552 horsepower 2015 Ferrari California T set to debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show next month. I have always been a fan of the famous Italian prancing horse brand and now Ferrari is poised to bring back forced induction, something we have not seen on the Italian exotic since the F40.
It was just a matter of time before the likings of Ferrari turned towards forced induction; it is the thing to do these days as we see a natural progression and change in the automotive industry. It is not a bad thing at all, especially considering how the all-new 2015 Ferrari California T will produce a healthy dose of 552 horsepower and 556 pound-feet of torque. Not to mention, fuel economy numbers will account for a 15% less consumption than the outgoing 4.3-liter V8 engine and about 49% more torque produced.
I don’t know about you, but the new Ferrari California T may actually be worth the price of admission as opposed to the $200K+ older variation – my opinion but I will stick to it. It is a looker too with design influences taken from the new Ferrari face but paying homage to the legendary 250 Testa Rossa in some aspects.
Ferrari California T to be unveiled at Geneva: elegance, sportiness and technology
New V8: intense sound and vivid acceleration across the rev range for the first time from a turbo-charged engine
Torque up by 49% and fuel consumption down 15%
Maranello, 12th February 2014 – The Ferrari California T epitomizes elegance, sportiness, versatility and exclusivity: characteristics that have distinguished every California model since the 1950s.
The California T boasts striking standards of innovation while retaining signature features such as the successful 2+ concept, a refined cabin and, of course, the retractable hard top (RHT) which transforms it from a chic coupe into a sleekly sophisticated spider in a mere 14 seconds.
The model brings with a host of new solutions, not the least of which is its 8-cylinder turbo engine. Maranello’s engineers have created an entirely new power unit which delivers absolutely superb levels of performance, blistering pick-up and the most exhilarating soundtrack any turbo has ever yielded.
This is also the first time virtually zero turbo lag has achieved on an engine of this type, guaranteeing instantaneous response to commands and, as with naturally-aspirated power units, a torque curve that increases constantly across the rev range thanks to Variable Boost Management.
The direct-injection, 3885 cc turbo 8-cylinder is mounted very low in the chassis in a mid-front position and delivers 560 cv at 7500 rpm, which translates into a specific power output of 145 cv/l – the highest in its category – as along with maximum torque of 755 Nm. Figures that give the California T extraordinary acceleration over the 0 to 100 km/h sprint which it covers in just 3.6 seconds.
As in Formula 1 this season, a turbo is used to cut fuel consumption and C02 emissions. Compared to the outgoing model, fuel consumption is down by 15 per cent despite 70 cv more power and a 49 per cent increase in torque. Emissions are down to 250 g/km over the combined cycle which equates to a 20 per cent reduction in the C02/cv ration (0.44g/cv). The California T’s engine also benefits from several other solutions used on the single-seater, not least compact, very low inertia twin-scroll turbines to ensure ultra-sharp throttle response. The Scuderia’s methodologies and plant are also used for certain phases of its production, particularly at the casting stage.
One major challenge involved in the design of the California T was to guarantee it a typically intense, exhilarating Ferrari engine sound. This was achieved through meticulous design work and the use of special manufacturing techniques for essential components, such as the flat-plant crankshaft and the three-piece cast exhaust manifold and turbo housing. The engine produces a powerful, engaging sound during both the intake and exhaust phases, becoming even more potent as engine speed increases. This the first time a result of this kind has ever been achieved with a turbo engine.
The California T delivers true sports car dynamics too, thanks to reduced steering wheel activity and improved steering response to driver input, courtesy of a new steering box and suspension set-up. New springs and latest-generation Magnaride dampers (which respond 50 per cent faster), combined with body motion accelerometers, reduce roll and pitch for more precise handling whilst still guaranteeing an incredibly comfortable ride.
The California T also has the latest evolution of the F1-Trac traction control system for maximum acceleration of corners, thereby underscoring the sportier side of its personality.
The California T’s architecture, controls and new 8-cyklider engine ensure consistently intense driving pleasure in challenging driving conditions as well as making the car fun to drive even in more relaxed situations, very much in the Grand Tourer tradition.
The carbon-ceramic braking system is also extremely efficient with new composite discs and pads. The brakes are integrated with the ESP 8.0 which controls the high performance ABS for a short 100 to 0 km/h braking distance of just 34 meters.
Considerable attention was paid to the design, maintaining the outgoing model’s overall dimensions while ensuring that the California T has a new, individual personality. The sleek proportions were penned by the Ferrari Styling Centre in collaboration with Pininfarina and are very much in keeping with the Ferrari front-engined ethos. The shape of the California T’s flanks is inspired by the 250 Testa Rossa’s famous pontoon-fender styling, with the front wing line stretching back towards the compact, muscular rear, bringing an aerodynamic sleekness and movement to the sides. The rear benefits from meticulous aerodynamic research resulting in a new triple-fence diffuser.
The California T’s cabin was designed to be as ergonomic as possible and exudes a sense of warmth and craftsmanship, with luxurious Frau semi-aniline leather trim. The interior space is flexible so that owners can make the most efficient use of the boot capacity even with the top down, thanks to the opening between luggage compartment and rear seats.
The human-machine interface encompasses the Ferrari steering wheel with integrated controls while the Turbo Performance Engineer (TPE) takes pride of place between the two air vents in the centre of the dash. The TPE display boasts a capacitive (touch-sensitive) surround to scroll through screens with information on making the most of the new engine’s performance. The California T also features a new infotainment system with an extremely intuitive high-resolution 6.5″ screen featuring both tough-screen and conventional controls.
The California T will be unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show in March, but from today can be admired online at www.ferarri.com in its two launch colours: Rosso California, an intense, deep new red inspired by classic Ferraris, and Blu California, which underscores the versatility and elegance of this new model.
Type: direct-injection 90° V8
Total displacement: 3,855 cc
Maximum power*: 412 kW (560 cv) at 7500 rpm
Maximum torque*: 755 Nm (77 kgm) at 4750 rpm
DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT
Length: 4570 mm
Width: 1910 mm
Height: 1322 mm
Dry weight**: 1625 kg
Weight distribution: 47% front – 53% rear
Top speed: 316 kn/h
0-100 km/h: 3.6 s
* With 98 octane fuel
** With lightweight optional equipment
*** Combined cycle (ECE+EUDC) with HELE system