Is the California T a Real Ferrari, That is the Question
The Big Q: Is the California T a ‘true’ Ferrari?
The Big A: Ferrari fanatics aka the Tifosi insist that a front-engine, rear-drive Ferrari’s beating heart must have 12-cylinders. No questions asked…
The California T has just 8-cylinders and engine is mid-chassis. So, is it 4-cylinders short of greatness, no, it is a fine sports car for sure.
Ferrari has improved the exterior design of the latest car, which now look like coupe with its roof secured. The black roof gives it a sinister look when matched to the ‘Rosso’ body color, delivering an extra dash of Ferrari strength.
At the touch of the button the metal roof folds into the boot, a procedure that delights onlookers.
Inside the cabin, the dashboard looks incredible.
If you thought Ferrari was only about performance, think again because the interior design impresses as much as the aggressive exterior.
Everything from headlight, wiper, indicator and of course the adaptive suspension toggle are all located on the face of steering wheel, and, for me, it works brilliantly making city driving as seamless as coastal road cruising.
Inside and out the new California T looks more menacing and it now has 2 turbochargers that give it enough power to push the drive firmly the leather-lined sports seating.
The California T is fast, accelerating from 0-100km/h in just 3.6secs with launch control.
Starting from a standstill results in serious thrust, a maximum of 755Nm of torque hitting the skids at 4750rpm, pinning bodies firmly in plush leather seats. Keep the throttle pinned and peak power at 7500rpm intensifies the assault, the 412kW turbo V8 happily in its purist of speed.
Except for turbo lag low in the rev range, it a responsive engine that provides the Ferrari with powerful propulsion when jumping out of corners, but there is something missing, and it is the sound.
There is sound, it is just the wrong sound. When a $410,000 Ferrari sounds like a 4-cylinder Golf GTI with an aftermarket exhaust system, something is really wrong.
The Ferrari California T is a screamer, it’s loud, but the acoustic is without the soul expected from a Ferrari. There’s a lovely burble on the overrun when engine-braking but it cannot redeem its overall tone.
This new Ferrari’s driving dynamics are much improved compared to its non-turbo predecessor, thanks to chassis recalibrations that make it more amenable to diving into corners and dealing with rough surfaces once committed.
For a Spyder it handles mid-corner bumps deftly, just watch out for bigger bumps and pot holes because there’s not a huge amount of vertical give in the suspension.
The taut, responsive chassis delivers high levels of grip and there’s plenty of scope for cranking up the power. The F1-derived E-diff is very effective at apportioning torque at the rear axle too, although just when you start to get a feel for the car the electronic nannies seem to come in prematurely.
The steering is Ok, if a little light, and the brakes are excellent both in feel and execution, providing breathtaking deceleration should you need to flat-spot your ultra-wide 19-in tires.
Gear changes via the Getrag-built 7-speed dual-clutch are really fast, and using the paddle shifters on the steering wheel feels instinctive. That’s a good thing because there is no traditional gear knob, just 3 styled buttons on a spine.
The supercar is fast and fun, plus it is a good cruiser to boot. Slotted into 7th gear at any time, it generates enough torque to lope along at 1000rpm and roof up or down it is a pleasant ride at highway speeds.
This car attracts attention. It looks stunning and although it sounds like a vacuum cleaner it goes, stops and turns like a luxury sports car.
Price: $409,088 plus fees, taxes and license.
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|HeffX-LTN Analysis for RACE:||Overall||Short||Intermediate||Long|
|Bullish (0.29)||Neutral (-0.05)||Bullish (0.42)||Very Bullish (0.5|