Kamis, 13 Februari 2014

New Car: 2015 Ferrari California T

Ferrari’s been busy. After recently unveiling 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 rev range. 

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 finish.

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

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