Ferrari unveils the California T {{favouriteCount}} Quantity of Likes

16 May 2014

Ahead of the global public premiere in Geneva, Ferrari has decided to reveal their new base model – the revised California. Certainly a revision of the old model, not an entirely new car, the new car gets the name California T to distinguish it from the previous car. But this is more than just a facelift – think 360 to 430, 550 to 575 – the California T is to all intents and purposes a new car.

Though it was extremely popular, the old California was always considered the ugly duckling of the Ferrari range, the folding hardtop forcing an unusually high and bulbous rear end design that was quite unattractive. Add in the messy side lines and slightly bulbous nose and it was a car you bought for in spite of the styling, not because of. So Ferrari has taken a big leaf from the F12 styling book and has created a California T that even though it shares the same underpinnings, looks much much better.

At the front the F12 influences are clear, with new headlights and more pronounced wings, twin air vents on the bonnet and a wide grille flanked by air intakes for brake cooling (featuring moving flaps as on the F12). The side profile has been cleaned up too, with a deep sculpted air vent vehind the front wheel and pronounced side sills. But the biggest change is at the rear, where Ferrari have trimmed lots of visual mass from the bodywork, with a sharp crease over the rear arches leading to a set of single rear lights. The controversial stacked exhaust pipes are gone, replaced by normal quad pipes either side of a large diffuser. Inside the style is similar to before, but there is a new infotainment system, steering wheel and upper dash along with detail changes elsewhere. Between the central air vents sits a new round touch screen display mainly to display turbo pressure.

Yes, you read that correctly – turbo pressure. This is the first production turbocharged V8 Ferrari since the F40 – though in this case it is thanks to emissions legislations. Out goes the old 4.3 litre V8, replaced by a 3.9 litre twin turbocharged unit producing 552 bhp and a mammoth 557 lb/ft of torque – increases of 69 bhp and 185 lb/ft. Thanks to an 80kg weight saving this means the California T hits 62 mph in 3.6 seconds and goes onto a top speed of 196 mph – bear in mind this is the base model Ferrari!

Expect the California T to carry a price increase over the outgoing car, which along with the on-sale dates will be confirmed at the Geneva Motor Show in March.