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California To A T

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The DriveWrite Archives Topics:  Ferrari F149 California

California To A T

Geoff Maxted
DriveWrite
February 13, 2014


Ferrari California T Ferrari California T Ferrari California T Ferrari California T Ferrari California T
The new Ferrari California T epitomises elegance, sportiness, versatility and exclusivity: characteristics that have distinguished every California model since the 1950s. The California T boasts striking standards of innovation while retaining signature features such as the successful 2+ concept, a refined cabin and, of course, the retractable hard top (RHT) which transforms it from a chic coupé into a sleekly sophisticated spider in a mere 14 seconds.

The model brims with a host of new solutions, not least of which is its 3855cc 8-cylinder turbo engine mounted very low in the chassis in a mid-front position. Maranello’s engineers have created an entirely new power unit which delivers absolutely superb levels of performance, blistering pick-up and the most exhilarating soundtrack any turbo has ever yielded. The California T has extraordinary acceleration over the 0-62mph sprint, which it covers in just 3.6 seconds.

This is also the first time virtually zero turbo lag has been achieved on an engine of this type, guaranteeing instantaneous response to commands and, as with naturally-aspirated power units, a torque curve that increases constantly across the rev range thanks to Variable Boost Management.

One major challenge involved in the design of the California T was to guarantee it a typically intense, exhilarating Ferrari engine sound. This was achieved through meticulous design work and the use of special manufacturing techniques for essential components, such as the flat-plane crankshaft and the three-piece cast exhaust manifold and turbo housing. The engine produces a powerful, engaging sound during both the intake and exhaust phases, becoming even more potent as engine speed increases. This the first time a result of this kind has ever been achieved with a turbo engine.

The California T delivers true sports car dynamics too, thanks to reduced steering wheel activity and improved steering response to driver input, courtesy of a new steering box and suspension set-up. New springs and latest-generation Magnaride dampers (which respond 50 per cent faster), combined with body motion accelerometers, reduce roll and pitch for more precise handling whilst still guaranteeing an incredibly comfortable ride. The California T also has the latest evolution of the F1-Trac traction control system for maximum acceleration out of corners, thereby underscoring the sportier side of its personality.

The CCM3 carbon-ceramic braking system is also extremely efficient with new composite discs and pads. The brakes are integrated with the ESP 8.0 premium which controls the high performance ABS for a short 100 to 0 km/h braking distance of just 34 metres.

The California T’s cabin was designed to be as ergonomic as possible and exudes a sense of warmth and craftsmanship, with luxurious Frau semi-aniline leather trim. The interior space is flexible so that owners can make the most efficient use of the boot capacity even with the top down, thanks to the opening between the luggage compartment and rear seats.

The California T will be unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show in March, but can be admired online in its two launch colours: Rosso California, an intense, deep new red inspired by classic Ferraris, and Blu California, which underscores the versatility and elegance of this new model.



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