Fer­ra­ri Cali­for­nia T

The epi­to­me of ele­gan­ce, sports per­for­mance, ver­sa­ti­li­ty, and exclusivity

The­se are cha­rac­te­ristics that have defi­ned every Fer­ra­ri Cali­for­nia model sin­ce the 1950s. Sin­ce its pre­miè­re five years ago, Fer­ra­ri has suc­cessful­ly sold around 10,000 of the models lea­ding up to the Cali­for­nia T.
Alt­hough 2014’s Cali­for­nia, the T as in tur­bo­char­ged, is chock­full of inno­va­ti­ve ide­as, the new V8 tur­bo­char­ged motor is not the less among them, but rather par­ti­cu­lar­ly special.

links ein blauer Ferrari rechts ein roter Ferrari stehen sich gegenüber

The legen­da­ry Fer­ra­ri F40 from 1987 is con­side­red to this day to be the epi­to­me of a tur­bo from Fer­ra­ri! Many years have pas­sed sin­ce then and Fer­ra­ri has again put a tur­bo on wheels – even in a pho­to com­pa­ri­son, the­re could hard­ly be more of a contrast.

One of the grea­test chal­lenges was recrea­ting the distinc­ti­ve and inten­si­ve roar of Ferrari’s engi­ne. This was achie­ved through the use of spe­cial pro­duc­tion engi­nee­ring of the tur­bo housing, the flat pla­ne cranks­haft and the three-pie­ce cast exhaust mani­fold, as well as thanks to meti­cu­lous tuning. During the inta­ke as well as exhaust pha­ses, the engi­ne pro­du­ces a powerful roar that gains in inten­si­ty with incre­asing rpms. It is pro­ba­b­ly the first time such a result has been achie­ved with a tur­bo­char­ged engine.

Blue asso­cia­ted with the water of the lagoons

The utmost atten­ti­on was given to the exte­ri­or and the inte­ri­or. Two new colors were crea­ted for the cou­pe-con­ver­ti­ble. The “Blu Cali­for­nia” of the dri­ven car accen­tua­tes the ver­sa­ti­li­ty and ele­gan­ce of this new model and is asso­cia­ted with the water of the lagoons. The mas­ter­ly pro­por­ti­ons ori­gi­na­ted with the dra­wing pens of the Fer­ra­ri Sty­ling Cent­re in col­la­bo­ra­ti­on with the design com­pa­ny Pin­in­fa­ri­na. Dyna­mic and aero­dy­na­mic shapes give the body a flowing form.

Taking advan­ta­ge of the latest wind tun­nel stu­dies, the rear end now sports a new dif­fu­ser with three ver­ti­cal fins. The cock­pit was desi­gned as ergo­no­mic­al­ly as pos­si­ble and a delight to sit in with its high qua­li­ty Cuo­io (in my case) lea­ther inte­ri­or by the Ita­li­an lea­ther manu­fac­tu­rer Pol­tro­na Frau. The new info­tain­ment sys­tem, as well as cock­pit and seats, are very appe­al­ing to the eye and func­tion impeccably.

The use of the inte­ri­or is so fle­xi­ble that the Fer­raris­ta can make opti­mal use of the trunk even when the top is down, thanks to the ope­ning bet­ween the lug­ga­ge com­part­ment and the rear seats – espe­ci­al­ly with the lea­ther lug­ga­ge or golf bag, who­se color is iden­ti­cal to that of the lea­ther inte­ri­or. In addi­ti­on, the 340 liter trunk has a gra­ti­fy­in­gly low loa­ding height.

From 0 to 100 km/​h (62.14 mph) in 3.6 seconds

The Fer­ra­ri V8 tur­bo­char­ged engi­ne, with 3855 cc and 560 peak hp (412 kW) at 7,500 rpm, delightful­ly deli­vers bet­ween 2,500 and 5,500 rpm in seventh gear with 755 Nm of tor­que (!) This tor­que cur­ve is limi­t­ed in the first three gears to a low tor­que of 555 Nm, but then increa­ses ste­adi­ly, as does a nor­mal­ly aspi­ra­ted engi­ne, to its maxi­mum at 6,000 rpm.

The advan­ta­ge of char­ging with a tur­bo­char­ger is that the engi­nes can deli­ver their high per­for­mance on demand, when­ever it is nee­ded. The smal­ler tur­bo engi­ne runs more eco­no­mic­al­ly when crui­sing, howe­ver, than a nor­mal­ly aspi­ra­ted engi­ne with grea­ter dis­pla­ce­ment. Accor­ding to fac­to­ry spe­ci­fi­ca­ti­ons, the spurt with Launch Con­trol from 100 km/​h in 3.6 seconds to 200 km/​h is achie­ved in 11.2 seconds – that is abso­lut­e­ly belie­va­ble, as belie­va­ble as the result shown on the nume­ric speed dis­play: three, zero, six – and – everything’s O.K, in wha­te­ver auto­mo­ti­ve respect – pro­ba­b­ly all of them!

The pana­che of a sports car

This Fer­ra­ri deli­vers real sports car dyna­mic, thanks, as well, to its very direct stee­ring and a once again impro­ved respon­se beha­vi­or owing to a new con­fi­gu­ra­ti­on of the stee­ring gears and sus­pen­si­on. New shocks and the latest gene­ra­ti­on Mag­na­Ri­de adap­ti­ve sus­pen­si­on that reacts 50 % quicker, in con­junc­tion with body-moti­on acce­le­ro­me­ters, redu­ce roll and pitch and pro­vi­de for grea­ter dri­ving com­fort that is nigh on per­fect. The rigi­di­ty of the chas­sis is also extre­me­ly impres­si­ve, thanks to the alu­mi­num frame structure.

The Fer­ra­ri Cali­for­nia T has the latest evo­lu­tio­na­ry stage of the F1-Trac sta­bi­li­ty con­trol sys­tem that allows maxi­mum acce­le­ra­ti­on out of cur­ves, accepts even grea­ter late­ral acce­le­ra­ti­on and thus demons­tra­tes the spor­ti­ve side of its per­so­na­li­ty. Fur­ther­mo­re, the new car­bon cera­mic bra­ke discs offer even more bra­king performance.

Con­s­truc­tion-wise, the new eight-cylin­der engi­ne and the con­trol ele­ments gua­ran­tee a con­stant­ly high degree of dri­ving fun in all dri­ving situa­tions enti­re­ly in line with GT histo­ry, from sports dri­ving under deman­ding con­di­ti­ons while ope­ra­ting the shift padd­les moun­ted on the stee­ring wheel, all the way to rela­xed dri­ving in the auto­ma­tic mode with the abso­lut­e­ly jerk-free seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission.

And then there’s that con­ver­ti­ble top, this com­ple­xi­ty from the house of Web­as­to. The roof switch in the cen­ter con­so­le takes care of the work of fol­ding it in 14 seconds and does it again and again… 

View exclu­si­ve Maga­zi­ne Print of this article


Text first published in celes­Que issue 06/​2015

Text and Pho­to­grapher: Wer­ner Schweckendiek

The artic­le in German

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