‘Ferrari’ and ‘turbo’ in the same sentence may sound to some like utter sacrilege, but for those in the know, 2 of the best Ferraris ever made had turbochargers – the 288 GTO and F40. Now, we’re in an era where turbos are standard fare for even the most exotic brands, and just as Ferrari have unveiled the turbocharged 488 GTB, the new California T has arrived in South Africa.
The entry-level Ferrari model is one of the ‘bulk’ sellers for the brand in South Africa, and the new one should continue the trend. Whilst not the typical hardcore Ferrari super sports car, the newly updated GT is sportier than ever and falls closer to the rest of the brand DNA. This is not just because the California T is more powerful than ever – it is more powerful, now boasting 412kW and 755Nm of 458 Italia bating potency – but because it’s now more rigid, more lively, and more stylish than ever before.
The first of the turbocharged breed has upped the ante for the brand, featuring largely updated styling that features an all-new set of body panels, with the only parts remaining from the previous model being the folding hard-top roof mechanism. The 2+2 convertible GT (the rear seats can only really be considered seats if your rear passengers have no legs) is available from a starting price of R3.68 million, subject to changing exchange rates.
The 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 is the biggest talking point of the upgraded California, especially as it’s the first of the modern turbocharged Ferraris and previews what’s to come. With power nearly matching the 458 Italia, and torque well above what the mid-engined supercar has, the California T plates up tasty figures like a 0-100km/h sprint time of 3.6 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 316km/h. Despite the bucket-loads of torque though, Ferrari claims that they’ve managed to give the new engine the feel of a naturally aspirated engine – limiting the torque available in each gear and through the rev range with what it calls Variable Boost Management. There’s also allegedly no turbo-lag due to the same system.
But buyers of the California T won’t be too fussed by the minimal lag, nor will they be attempting 0-100km/h runs on a regular basis – they’re buying it for style. That’s something the California T has in bucket-loads – now looking sleeker and more beautiful than ever – looking very much like an F12Berlinetta in miniature. It promises to be a comfortable grand tourer too, thanks to a reworked steering and suspension setup, with new springs and a revised Magnaride damper system.
The cabin design has also been reworked a touch. Luxurious finishes are par for the course, with leather-clad everything around the cabin, and easily operable controls at your fingertips. New upgrades include the addition of Apple CarPlay and a new touch screen infotainment system.
The Ferrari California T is now available and can be viewed at Scuderia South Africa’s new state-of-the-art Johannesburg dealership.