the epic LaFerrari and the 458 Speciale, the Maranello-based sports-car maker has pulled the wraps off the 2015 California T ahead of its debut at next month’s Geneva auto show. We find it somewhat ironic that Ferrari christened its second-generation California the “California T,” because whereas the outgoing model would be right at home lugging clubs to the golf course, this new one looks more apt to skip tee time for a hard run down an Alpine pass.
The “T” in its name, of course, stands for “turbocharged,” which the new
California is. In fact, the convertible is twin-turbocharged, but
either because a certain German automaker might take umbrage with the
use of the “TT” name or because saying “California TT” out loud makes us
giggle, Ferrari stuck with plain old “T.” Either way, the name’s better
than “LaFerrari” and we’re pleased that Ferrari didn’t simply name the
car California Turbo. There are Volkswagen Beetle Turbos and Chevy
Malibu Turbos, so it would seem déclassé and unoriginal for a Ferrari.
On the other hand, “T” is so concise and simplified as to almost
overshadow the marvel of an engine it represents. The new twin-turbo V-8
features a tight 3.9 liters of displacement—Ferrari actually calls it a
3.8, but the mill displaces 3855 cc—a pair of twin-scroll
turbochargers, and direct fuel injection, helping it to produce 553
horsepower at 7500 rpm and 557 lb-ft of torque at 4750. Those figures
represent jumps of 70 horses and a huge 185 lb-ft of torque over the old
naturally aspirated 4.3-liter V-8, with both peaks hitting lower in the
Given how sonorous the 4.3-liter was, Ferrari understandably is making
big claims about how the twin-turbo eight won’t sound like a muffled
vacuum cleaner. The automaker cites the block’s 90-degree V, a
flat-plane crankshaft, and a tuned three-piece exhaust manifold as
reassurance. A version of this same engine—with 30 fewer horsepower and
33 fewer lb-ft of torque—comports itself well in the new Maserati Quattroporte,
so we’re not terribly worried the T’s soundtrack will suck. It
certainly won’t suck to look at, either—what with the intake runners and
cam covers on full display and in Ferrari’s signature red crinkle
The new twin-turbocharged 3.9-liter V-8 engine might have been the 2015
California T’s flagship feature if not for the car’s sharper styling.
Unlike the functional-but-weird LaFerrari, which was designed in-house,
the entry-level California wears almost classically gorgeous sheetmetal
shaped by Ferrari’s hired pens at Pininfarina. Overall, the California
appears longer and lower than the car it replaces, despite carrying over
nearly identical dimensions. The gigantic posterior has been toned down
a bit, thanks to a bevy of horizontal styling elements and a
mean-looking diffuser that reduce the visual height of the rear deck.
There’s still a power-folding hardtop back there—the reason for the mild
bustle-butt effect—but overall the California T now looks nearly as
good going as it does coming.
Thanks to: Car and Driver