Just three months after making its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show, the Ferrari California T has made its local debut at the Naza Italia showroom in Petaling Jaya. The revised 2+2 convertible grand tourer gets more power and a load more torque to go with its newly-spiffened looks.
A larger front grille, 458-style headlights, twin bonnet vents, reprofiled fender vents, cleaner tail light design, triple-fence diffuser and a more conventional horizontal quad tailpipe arrangement transforms the slightly awkward retro-inspired original. The interior has also been thoroughly redesigned, with a Turbo Performance Engineer (TPE) display between the two middle air vents a sign of things to come.
That display is there because the California T features the first turbocharged engine fitted to a Ferrari since the hallowed F40 came out 27 years ago. While the direct-injected flat-plane V8 is smaller than before – 3.9 litres versus 4.3 – power has actually risen by 69 hp to 552 hp at 7,500 rpm. But it’s the torque output that has received the biggest gain, jumping a whopping 250 Nm to 755 Nm at 4,750 rpm.
These improvements have been realised thanks to a pair of twin-scroll turbochargers with Variable Boost Management software that adjusts torque delivery to suit the gear selected. The previous model’s seven-speed dual-clutch transmission has been retained.
0-100 km/h is done in just 3.6 seconds, while the top speed is an impressive 316 km/h. Yet the California T also consumes 15% less fuel, while carbon dioxide emissions is down to 250 grams per kilometre.
Bringing all this power in control is a new steering box that improves response and reduces steering wheel activity, as well as a new suspension set-up comprising of revised springs, over 50% faster Magnaride dampers and body motion accelerometers. All these upgrades combine to reduce roll and pitch, delivering more precise handling.
Rounding out the improvements are the latest version of the F1-Trac traction control system and CCM3 carbon ceramic brakes with new composite discs and pads that stop the car from 100 km/h in just 34 metres.
As for the price, well, you know what the say about asking, but if you really must know, it’s RM888,800 excluding duty and options. As with all new Ferraris bought through official channels, the California T comes with a seven-year scheduled maintenance programme at standard service intervals (every 20,000 km, or once a year with unlimited mileage).