Ferrari has proceeded to an extensive facelift of the most affordable model in its lineup, the California, which now gains a “T” in its name indicating the adoption of a new turbocharged mill.
The new 3.9-liter turbocharged and direct-injection V8 is based on the force-fed unit introduced on the Maserati Quattroporte and Ghibli sedans. However, Ferrari says it has been reworked featuring a slightly larger displacement (Ferrari: 3,855cc vs Maserati: 3,799cc) and more power at 560PS (552hp) at 7,500 rpm and 755Nm (557 lb-ft) over the Trident’s 530PS (523hp) at 6,500 rpm and 710Nm (524 lb-ft).
That’s a hefty increase over the outgoing California that was motivated by a naturally-aspirated 4.3-liter V8 delivering 490PS (483hp) and 505Nm (373 lb-ft).
The Italians promise that, despite being turbocharged, the new V8 will produce a typical Ferrari sound that’s both powerful and engaging, “becoming even more potent as engine speed increases”, while also achieving virtually zero turbo lag.
In regards to performance, the Italians state that the front-engine, rear-wheel drive model completes the standard 0-100km/h (62mph) sprint in 0.2 seconds faster than the older California at 3.6 seconds, while top speed climbs from 194mph (312km/h) to 196mph (316km/h).
When fitted with the available ‘HELE’ fuel-saving tech, the California T returns a combined fuel consumption of 10.5l/100km (22.4 mpg US / 26.9 mpg UK) on the European cycle, with CO2 emissions of 250g/km, down 15 percent and 20 percent respectively over the current car.
Other updates to the California T include a revised chassis with improved steering response, new springs and the latest-generation Magnaride dampers (which respond 50 per cent faster) for the suspension, plus the newest iteration of the brand’s F1-Trac traction control system and an available CCM3 carbon-ceramic braking system that offers a 100 to 0 km/h (62mph – 0 ) braking distance of 34 meters (111.5 feet).
Cosmetically, the convertible model retains its hardtop roof that retracts into the boot in 14 seconds, but gains new styling elements inspired by the F12berlinetta and the FF. These include the redesigned front end with different lights, a vented hood, bigger grille and re-shaped bumper, plus new flanks that are said to be inspired by the classic 250 Testa Rossa, and a different rear diffuser.
Inside, Ferrari redesigned the dashboard that sports a new partially digital instrument panel, and a new center console with a 6.5 inch display for the infotainment system featuring both touch-screen and conventional controls.
The California T will be presented to the public for the first time at the Geneva International Motor Show in March and will go on sale later in the year.
By John Halas