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Ferrari's updated California gets turbo boost

By John Carey, 05 Mar 2014 Events

Ferrari California T

The new twin-turbo California T revealed at Geneva might use 15 percent less fuel, but it still wails to its 412kW maximum

Downsizing, Ferrari-style, is going to be different.

The new twin-turbo 3.9-litre V8 of the California T revealed at Geneva might use 15 percent less fuel, but it isn’t an engine with a fat torque curve and a lazy rev limit. Instead, the new engine wails to 7500rpm to deliver its 412kW maximum, while the 755Nm high point arrives at 4750rpm.

The new engine’s vital stats overwhelm the current naturally aspirated 4.3-litre V8’s 360kW and 505Nm. No wonder, then, that the California T is quicker 0-100km/h (3.6sec v 3.8sec, says Ferrari) and has a higher top speed (316km/h v 312km/h). But, with the smaller twin-turbo’s power and torque peaks delivered a scant 250rpm lower than the atmo V8, the essential driving character of the front-engined four-seat Ferrari with folding hardtop won’t change dramatically.

In terms of looks, though, the T – created by the Ferrari Styling Centre in collaboration with Pininfarina – brings an update to the California’s 2009 design, changing everything except the roof and windscreen. And for the better, too.

Most obvious feature of the interior upgrade is the addition of a circular touchscreen display between the centre air vents, providing info on the new engine up front.