The California T epitomises the sublime elegance, sportiness, versatility and exclusivity that have distinguished every California model since the 1950s.
The 3855 V8 punches out 560 CV (145 CV/l, the best figure in its category) and maximum torque of 755 Nm in 7th gear. Despite delivering an extra 70 CV and a massive 49% more torque, fuel consumption has fallen by 15%. Range has increased by 20% in consequence.
Turbo lag has also been virtually eliminated by cutting overall masses and inertia, and the use of the F1-derived flat-plane crankshaft and innovative twin-scroll turbines. The torque curve increases constantly across the rev range too, thanks to proprietary Variable Boost Management software that adjusts torque delivery to suit the gear engaged. Clever design and manufacturing techniques have also produced a classically powerful, exhilarating Ferrari soundtrack too.
The California T boasts true sports car dynamics too, thanks to reduced steering wheel activity and improved steering wheel responsiveness to driver inputs as a result of a new steering box and new mechanical set-up. New springs and latest-generation Magnaride dampers (now more than 50 per cent faster) combined with body motion accelerometers reduce roll and pitch to deliver more precise handling whilst still guaranteeing an incredibly comfortable ride.
The car’s electronic systems are also the state-of-the-art in the sector with the latest evolution of the F1-Trac, SCM3 magnetorheological suspensions and ESP 8.0 Premium integrated with the CCM3 braking system to manage the high performance ABS.
The California T ia a strikingly compact car, a fact that boosts its sporty handling dynamics, while still maintaining truly generous cabin space. Its transaxle architecture results in perfect weight distribution with a slight bias to the rear as per Ferrari tradition (47% front, 53% rear). Furthermore, the fact that the engine is now located lower in the chassis (40 mm lower than the previous California) has improved the car’s centre of gravity which enhances handling still further. Both chassis and bodyshell are made entirely from aluminium. This is a lightweight solution with high torsional rigidity, a particularly important factor for a drop-top car, making for better performance and safety.
The California T boasts classic Ferrari proportions: the shape of its flanks is inspired, in fact, by the 250 Testa Rossa’s famous pontoon-fender styling, with the front wing line stretching back towards the compact, muscular rear and bringing an aerodynamic sleekness and movement to the sides.
A generous grille lends the car an aura of power and sportiness too while the sleek bonnet emphasises the muscular wings either side which incorporate the headlights and the two characteristic vents used to dissipate hot air from the engine. The rear features new horizontal styling elements and was subject to intensive aerodynamic honing resulting in a new triple-fence diffuser.
Made from aluminium panels over weight-bearing structural castings, also aluminium, the RHT also helps cut the California T’s overall weight to the bone. Both cover and top move simultaneously during the opening (or closing) cycle allowing the California T to switch personalities in an exceptionally short time. Optimisation of the roof packaging – with overlapping of the concave side - means the California T’s luggage compartment remains very generous even when the top is down, guaranteeing ample space in the cabin also.
The California T’s cabin is a seamless melding of innovative volumes, streamlined, functional forms and a strong Ferrari feel courtesy of certain classic Prancing Horse styling cues, such as the clear division between the dash and tunnel, round air vents, multi-functional steering wheel and the signature F1 bridge on the tunnel. All presented as a beautifully elegant hand-crafted package focusing on sophisticated materials and finishes whilst also being superbly functional.
The Turbo Performance Engineer (TPE) takes pride of place between the two air vents at the centre of dash. This is a sophisticated instrument with a digital display and touch-sensitive surround for scrolling that provides pointers on making the most effective use of the new engine’s performance in terms of responsiveness and efficiency. The California T also has a new highly intuitive infotainment system designed for easy navigation and instant access to the other functionalities.