The big news announcement from Ferrari is about the company’s new California T that’s being unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March. The headline reads, “Torque up by 49% and fuel consumption down 15%.” That is newsworthy!
The “T” in California T stands for “Turbo.” Specifically a new 3.8-L twin-turbocharged V8 that puts out a whopping 552 bhp (412 kW) compared to the previous California’s 490bhp. Torque increased from 372 lb-ft to 557lb-ft. An impressive accomplished since the increase in power comes with improved fuel economy. The claimed fuel economy has improved from 22mpg to 27mpg. The California T accelerates from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in just 3.6 seconds, a 0.2 second improvement over the previous California. Top speed is in excess of 190mph.
Switching to the turbo V8 improved performance but it presented Ferrari’s design team with a significant challenge. The California T needed to sound like a Ferrari and that wasn’t going to happen without some reengineering. The engineers in Maranello, Italy came up with a solution that produces what Ferrari says is “the most exhilarating soundtrack any turbo has ever yielded”. The end result is the engine produces a powerful sound during the intake and exhaust phases that becomes more potent as engine speed increases. Ferrari’s designers deserve kudos because this is the first time such an engine sound has been achieved with a turbo.
The California T measures just a hair under 180 inches long, is 75.2 inches wide, and only 53 inches high. The new Ferrari GT car tips the scales at 3582.5 lb. and has a weight distribution of 47% at the back and 53% at the front. Considering there’s a huge V8 forward of center, the weight distribution is impressive.
Pininfarina helped Ferrari come up with a more refined exterior design. The grill was given a face lift, but still retains its trademark smile. The headlights extend back from just above the grill, along the top edge of the fender wings. The effect is that they look as if the wind has swept them back. In the rear there’s now a triple fence diffuser, and the two tailpipes on each site are lined up horizontally rather than stacked vertically as they were before. The result of the design changes is a most sleek look, but according to Ferrari, what appear to be visual enhancements are actually incorporated to improve aerodynamics. A new steering box has been added to improve response for less input. New dampers were added and are said to respond 50% faster for more precise handling.
The cockpit was remodeled too, and is lined with sumptuous leather. A separate access through the rear seats enables the driver to reach the trunk with the top down. Drivers are able to access engine information from a circular touch screen called, Turbo Performance Engineer (TPE), that is located between the two centre air vents. Underneath this there is an intuitive, high-resolution 6.5″ screen featuring both touch screen and conventional controls.