The Ferrari 149M Project’s shroud of mystery has been cleared as the Prancing Horse today revealed the newly upgraded entry-level model, the California T – and yes, T is for turbo!
As we predicted, the California has received a much-needed visual upgrade including styling elements from the likes of the F12berlinetta. The key upgrade however is a new twin-turbo V8 motor, which Ferrari claims to have “virtually zero lag” in order to achieve the best possible responsiveness. The 3855cc V8 is an upgrade of the unit found in the Maserati Quattroporte and develops 412kW at 7500 rpm and 755Nm at 4750 rpm – which Ferrari claim should catapult the California T from 0-100km/h in 3.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 316km/h.
The California T benefits from a host of upgrades to the steering and suspension too, with suspension said to respond 50% quicker to reduce body roll and pitch for increased handling. Also included on the T is the latest version of the F1-Trac traction control system. The Grand Tourer features carbon-ceramic brakes integrated with the ESP system that ensure stopping from 100km/h in a mere 34 metres.
The styling of the California T has been revised rather extensively with help from Pininfarina. The design takes much from historic models such as side elements inspired by the 250 Testa Rossa’s pontoon-fender styling, whilst the rear has been upgraded for aerodynamic ability with a new triple-fence diffuser.
The interior of the California T has also received an upgrade to make it as ergonomic as possible. The Frau semi-aniline leather trim offers a warm, luxurious look to add to the GT appeal. The space has been carefully designed for the most efficient use of the boot capacity, even with the roof down, thanks to the opening between the luggage compartment and the rear seats of the 2+ seat configuration.
The California T features the typical Ferrari steering wheel, with built-in controls and paddle-shifters, while a Turbo Performance Engineer (TPE) sits between the 2 central air vents. The TPE display shows a range of performance and information displays and features a touch-responsive surround to scroll through the displays. The California T also benefits from an upgraded infotainment system with a 6.5-inch screen, with both touch-screen and conventional controls.
The California T will be officially unveiled to the world at the Geneva International Motor show in March.