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by Tim Beissmann

The Ferrari California T has become the first turbocharged production car from the iconic Italian manufacturer in more than 20 years.

The California T is powered a twin-turbocharged 3.9-litre direct-injection V8 engine producing 412kW of power at 7500rpm and 755Nm of torque at 4750rpm – representing a whopping 52kW/250Nm boost over the naturally aspirated 4.3-litre V8 of the regular California that the new model replaces.

Ferrari claims the California T accelerates from 0-100km/h in 3.6 seconds (0.2sec faster than before) and powers on to a top speed of 316km/h (up 4km/h).

The legendary sports car maker promises “virtually zero lag” from the engine – which is a reworked version of the twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 found in the new Maserati Quattroporte – and claims to have created “the most exhilarating soundtrack any turbo has ever yielded” with the help of an enhanced crankshaft and exhaust manifold. The California T’s 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 makes it the first turbocharged Ferrari since the F40 of the late 80s/early 90s.


The smaller engine and the introduction of a stop-start system also make the California T significantly greener than its predecessor, with claimed combined cycle fuel consumption down 15 per cent to 11.5 litres per 100km and CO2 emissions cut 20 per cent to 250 grams per kilometre.

Ferrari quotes a 1625kg dry weight for the California T when fitted with “lightweight optional equipment”, making it 5kg lighter than the old model while maintaining its 47:53 front-rear weight distribution.

A new steering box and an overhauled suspension set-up with new springs and quicker-acting dampers claim to improve steering response, reduce roll, and provide more precise handling while maintaining the ride comfort of the old model. The latest evolution of the brand’s F1-Trac traction control system features alongside new carbon-ceramic brakes that cut the California T’s braking distance from 100km/h to 34 metres.


The Ferrari California T retains the dimensions of the old car but features updated styling that takes cues from  its F12 Berlinetta and FF siblings. The new design, penned by the Ferrari Styling Centre in collaboration with Pininfarina, features flanks inspired by the 1950s Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa. The profile has been enhanced for aerodynamic slipperiness, while the triple-fence rear diffuser is also said to be the product of meticulous aero research.

The retractable hardtop roof converts the California T from coupe to roadster in 14 seconds.

The cabin features new leather upholstery, an overhauled infotainment system with 6.5-inch touchscreen, and ‘Turbo Performance Engineer’ – a secondary touchscreen between the air vents displaying engine performance data.

The Ferrari California T will make its public debut at next month’s Geneva motor show.

Ferrari Australasia president and CEO Herbert Appleroth told CarAdvice to expect similar pricing to the $460K California and similarly strong waiting lists for the new model, with the first Australian deliveries expected in the final quarter of 2014.