The Ferrari California might technically be the Prancing Horse's entry-level model, but there is nothing basic about the latest upgrade for the California T. Showing its face to the public for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show, it is now propelled by a 3.9-liter, turbocharged V8 with 560 horsepower and 557 pound-feet of torque, which equates to an extra 70 hp and a 49 percent increase in torque over the previous engine.

The forced induction mill is enough to accelerate it to 62 miles per hour in 3.6 seconds. Also not that many Ferrari buyers are going to care, but the switch also means a 15 percent improvement in fuel economy. Oh, and based on the video preview below, it sounds pretty good, too.

While the new engine is certainly the headline grabber, there are other upgrades as well: a top that closes in 14 seconds, new steering box, improved magnetic dampers and an upgraded traction control system. Pininfarina also reshaped the nose to make it more look like Ferraris of the 1960s. This seems to be the best looking and performing California yet.

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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


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.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

ENGINE
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 rear

PERFORMANCE
Top speed: 316 kn/h
0-100 km/h: 3.6 s

FUEL CONSUMPTION***
1.5l/100 km

CO2 EMISSIONS***
250 g/km

* With 98 octane fuel
** With lightweight optional equipment
*** Combined cycle (ECE+EUDC) with HELE system


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 25 Comments
      thenewrick
      • 9 Months Ago
      Awesome. My favorite Ferrari yet.
      Frisky_Dingo
      • 9 Months Ago
      From mediocre to damn good looking.
      milton_perriwinkle
      • 9 Months Ago
      Gorgeous!! I hope they got the heat management right though... The world doesn't need any supercar fire stories.
      Jonathan Wayne
      • 9 Months Ago
      Much better looking and improved, almost 599 looking now.
      ferps
      • 9 Months Ago
      Is there a show award for "most improved?"
      Spytap
      • 9 Months Ago
      I just can't get excited about the California in any fashion. There's too little performance delta for too large of a price differential when compared to a Corvette. Other Ferraris like the 458 and F12 whisper to my soul, but there's something about the California that screams "not worth it" to me.
        Jobu
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Spytap
        Look, Spytap, I'm a HUGE fan of the new 'Vettes, but I would let Rosie O'Donnell sit on my face for a week to have this as a daily driver...
          AcidTonic
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Jobu
          Is that what you've been thinking about?
          Jobu
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Jobu
          Sorry AT. I was just trying to come up with the most foul act possible at the time. Rosie just outscored french kissing the first lady and made the big board.
      nocommie11
      • 9 Months Ago
      Looks a little less gay but still a chick car.
      AcidTonic
      • 9 Months Ago
      Would love to see how my favorite "engine builder" built their turbocharged car...... Their 3D cam mapping used in past naturally aspirated engines was absolutely brilliant. Changing cam timing, valve lift, valve duration, valve overlap, and even uneven/delayed opening to create swirl. Basically instead of Vtec where theres two cam mappings, their cam is a 3D grind that is slid in and out of the block as revs change to basically run a unique cam grind for every RPM band. That was part of their secret to making so much power with no forced induction. Now that they are using turbochargers I'd love to see how they decided to handle boost control and spool up tuning.
        Nick
        • 9 Months Ago
        @AcidTonic
        Have a look at the valvetrain on the Ferrari FF, the most modern Ferrari I can find a diagram for. No sliding 3D cams, just old fashioned lobes with variators on the ends for timing adjustment. http://www.ricambiamerica.com/parts_catalogs.php?M=FE&P=&V=diag&I=114504 Ferrari have maximized output through high compression ratios, direct injection (only recently), large displacement and/or high revs, optimized intake manifolds with tuned/variable runners, individual throttles and free flowing multivalve heads etc... Pretty standard stuff.
      Chris O.
      • 9 Months Ago
      The looks are much improved, in my opinion, but the engine note is not all that great.
      ndukyh
      • 9 Months Ago
      This video is far too boring for its soundtrack. No drifts, fake tire squeal sounds. Just middle-aged men driving slowly on some backroads. Need more excitement!
        imag
        • 9 Months Ago
        @ndukyh
        Seriously. That soundtrack was way over the top. The car does not look nearly that epic.
      Merc1
      • 9 Months Ago
      Hot Hot Hot.
      Carlos de Vries
      • 7 Months Ago
      The sound of the former Californa was much better, that was the same as the 458, really the Ferrari sound, The turbo is faster but sounds much less, the sound is to me more important than 0,3 sec. faster. From aside the new model looks better, but the nose of the former, seen from the front, was more beautiful. The rear was more interesting also with the exhaust pipes on top of each other.
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