I'll never forget the day I bought my very first Ferrari. It was a bright-red F40, I'd saved up for it for what felt like an eternity and I couldn't wait to get home so I could park it next to my other four-wheeled piece of pride and joy, a stealth-black Lamborghini Countach, so I could compare their blunt-edge, wedge-like shapes and massive spoilers in microscopic detail. The year was 1987, and the event felt like the pinnacle of my life's achievement. Though both of my Italians had been die-cast in 1/18th scale, I coveted the two supercars with the verve of a true collector, taking in the intricacies of their engine bays, opening their doors and turning their working steering wheels. In reality, the two could have hardly been more different, and yet they both looked like finely crafted perfection to my seven-year-old eyes, their questionable day-to-day practicality completely overshadowed by their unquestionably exotic shapes. More than two decades later, I'm belting myself into the driver's seat of the 2015 Ferrari California T, the first turbocharged Ferrari since the F40 went out of production in 1992. The Tuscan countryside spreads out ahead, a twisting barrage of two-lane roads on the agenda, and I can't help but reminisce of my much younger self as I twist the red key and thumb the equally red ignition button on the steering wheel. For a brief moment as I relieved the glory days of my misspent youth, I almost felt envious of my future self. And in a fleeting moment of clarity, I considered the split-personality of me at seven, wanting nothing more than visceral thrills and to be seen by all my friends, and the current me – appreciating the comfort afforded by modern luxuries while still relishing the unbridled performance of an Italian thoroughbred – as an interesting lens with which to experience the California T. Would either side of me be let down by the experience of reality in a Ferrari? I pulled a paddle to the right of the California's steering wheel, clicking it into first gear, intent on finding out. The number of pictures I was asked to take of bystanders with the car tells me it has a certain appeal. Opinions in the Autoblog offices are split on the second-gen California's appearance. While only some would describe it as unattractive, there's seems to be the prevailing opinion that it is the least beautiful Ferrari currently available. I don't agree – the California T doesn't have the drop-dead looks of such undeniably beautiful front-engine coupes as the early '60s 250 or the iconic Daytona, but it has presence, especially in person, with a very pretty silhouette serving as its defining characteristic. I polled several Italian passers-by, and the typically style-conscious citizens of Tuscany anecdotally seemed impressed. My Italian isn't great, but the number of pictures I was asked to take of bystanders with the car tells me it has a certain appeal. Current and future California owners will …
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|MPG||16 City / 23 Hwy|
|Transmission||7-spd auto-shift man w/OD|
|Power||553 @ 7500 rpm|
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