It’s T-time at Ferrari. The Italian automaker is offering up a first look at the next-generation California convertible, with its official public debut scheduled for the Geneva Motor Show next month.
Make that the new Ferrari California T, as in turbo, the 2015 model replacing its old 4.3-liter naturally aspirated V-8 with a new turbocharged 3.9-liter eight-banger. The good news, claims the Italian supercar maker, is that the new engine delivers about 70 more horsepower and a whopping 49% increase in torque – while absolutely eliminating the dreaded phenomenon known as turbo lag.
Oh, and for those who like a green spin to their wheels, no matter what the cost, the 2015 Ferrari California T will reportedly deliver about 15% better mileage than the outgoing convertible.
The new retractable hardtop, meanwhile, can “transform (the 2+2) from a chic coupe into a sleekly sophisticated spider in a mere 14 seconds,” notes a release from Ferrari.
At first blush, there’s plenty to like about the new California, from the heavily updated interior to the new shape of the sheet metal – developed, the maker note, with plenty of help from Pininfarina. But as with any Ferrari, the powertrain is the heart of what matters.
There’s a growing trend away from the large-displacement engines that have traditionally powered supercars, both in acknowledgement of increasingly tough global emissions and mileage standards, but also in recognition of where state-of-the-art powertrain technology is going. Consider the maker’s new flagship, the LaFerrari, which adopts a Formula One-derived hybrid system under the hood.
(New Ferrari 458 among World Sports Car of the Year finalists. Click Here for more.)
In this case, Ferrari mounts the new 3885 cc turbo V-8 in a mid-front position where it can drive the rear wheels. The engine, incidentally, is derived from the ever-so-slightly smaller turbo V-8 now being used by sibling Italian brand Maserati in its latest-generation Quattroporte and all-new Ghibli models. It also makes a bit more power, 560 hp compared to the Maseratis, and more torque, at 557 pound-feet. The pony count is also up from the old California’s 493-hp.
Fuel consumption drops 15%, meanwhile, with CO2 emissions dipping by 20%.
For those who prefer the raw sound of a classic V-8, don’t fret. Ferrari promises, “the most exhilarating soundtrack any turbo has ever yielded,” adding that it becomes “even more potent as engine speed increases.”
(Classic Ferraris help set multiple records during Arizona Auction Week. Click Here for the full story.)
Ferrari meanwhile lays claims to improved steering and handling, with reduced body roll. There are new springs and the magnetically operated Magnaride suspension is reportedly 50% faster then before. The package is rounded out with optional new carbon-ceramic brakes.
The exterior styling is familiar, though it has received some new tweaks inspired by other recent Ferrari offerings, such as the FF and F12.
The California T interior gets a welcome upgrade that includes a new 6.5-inch infotainment display that will, among other things, keep you abreast of how the new engine is operating on the Turbo Performance Engineer screen.
The 2015 Ferrari California T will debut in Geneva next month and is scheduled to reach showrooms later this year.
(Bugatti lays out its future, post-Veyron. Click Here to find out what’s coming — and what isn’t.)