California T distills the most romantic and sensual elements of the Ferrari mythos, blends in acceleration that is hardly more than an angel’s breath away from matching the 458 Italia Spider, and pours the sweet concoction into a wide,
curvaceous vessel that demands almost no compromise from driver or passenger, a hardtop convertible ideally suited to beachside sybarites as well as happy couples who share driving duties on weekend grand touring expeditions
At 3850 lbs., California T is no featherweight sports car; she’s 429 lbs. heavier than the Ferrari all men dream of owning, the 458 Italia Spider. Yet thanks to aggressive gearing fed large quantities of turbocharged power, California T is only two-tenths of a second adrift in the sprint to 60 mph or the quarter-mile. Top speed? Only four miles per hour slower than Italia.
Here’s another important metric: Not only does California T have 553 horsepower, but also a maximum of 557 lb. ft. of torque. That’s an astounding 49 percent increase over the outgoing California.
By Mark Ewing Contributor
How’d those clever lads in Maranello, Italy, do it? Ah, California T has a 3.8-liter V8 with a twin-scroll turbo on each side of the engine. “Twin scroll” means that each turbo housing has not one but two turbines, small and large. The small turbine responds quickly at low engine revs to kick off the party; even at revs hardly above idle, in less than a second the engine is delivering the goods, eliminating any perception of turbo lag. The larger of the two turbines pumps vast quantities of compressed air right up to the fireworks at the 7500-rpm redline.
Close your hand three times in rapid succession on the paddleshifter to drop a few gears on the highway, bury the alloy throttle pedal, and you have a changeling. No longer a placid commuter vehicle happily ambling along at 50 or 60 mph in a sea of beige Camrys and dented Hyundais, California T’s engine will jump high into the rev range, and hurtle the car to extra-legal speeds, running through each gear in two or three seconds. Wave goodbye to that sea of commuter cars. If you keep the fires burning too long, California T shoots to 120 or 130 mph, a feat the car proved on a long mountain straight, leaving me with a surprised smile, laughing when I looked down at the speedometer.