California T - Ferrari's turbo days are back

The Ferrari California T is in the UAE and is driving - and looking - better than ever.

June 20, 2014

For the first time in 22 years Ferrari will release a car fitted with a turbocharged engine when the new California T is revealed at the Geneva International Motor Show later this month.

Not since the iconic F40 supercar, the last car built under the watchful eye of “the old man” Enzo Ferrari himself, has there been a turbo Ferrari. But with tightening emission standards coming into effect, even La Scuderia has needed to change its tack – slightly.

Purists need not fear however, as it’s still powered by a traditional V8 but adding the new technology which was first seen on the current generation Maserati Quattroporte means the new California gets 50 per cent more torque and 15 per cent better fuel economy.

Of course, the trademark folding hardtop remains, allowing it to flip from a fully-closed coupé to an open-top convertible in 14 seconds and provides two plus two seating.

Although the engine has already seen duty in the Maserati after being built by Ferrari, the Prancing Horse has kept a few special features for itself to ensure that it retains a unique character under the right foot. The 3.9-litre (3,855cc) engine is mounted low in the chassis in a mid-front position and delivers 552bhp at 7500 rpm and a maximum torque of 755 Nm. This helps give the California T extraordinary acceleration from 0 to 100 kmh in just 3.6 seconds and tops out at 305kmh.

The factory also claims that “for the first time, virtually zero turbo lag has been achieved on an engine of this type, guaranteeing instantaneous response,” and of course they have also produced a stunning sound track from the tail pipes.

Stylists Pininfarina have given it bit of a touch up by making the nose a little more aggressive with a new grille and headlights that stretch back further into the guards and a new triple diffuser gives the rear a more purposeful stance.

While the leather-lined cockpit is built for comfort and features a new, touch sensitive infotainment screen, its sporting intentions are also clearly visible with a flat-bottomed steering wheel hiding paddle shifts for the 7-speed dual-clutch box and a new circular touch screen between the air vents for vital engine information.

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