Ferrari christened its second-generation California the “California T,” because whereas the outgoing model would be right at home lugging clubs to the golf course, this new one looks more apt to skip tee time for a hard run down an Alpine pass.
The “T” in its name, of course, stands for “turbocharged,” which the new California is. In fact, the convertible is twin-turbocharged, but either because a certain German automaker might take umbrage with the use of the “TT” name or because saying “California TT” out loud makes us giggle, Ferrari stuck with plain old “T.” Either way, the name’s better than “LaFerrari” and we’re pleased that Ferrari didn’t simply name the car California Turbo.
There are Volkswagen Beetle Turbos and Chevy Malibu Turbos, so it would seem déclassé and unoriginal for a Ferrari. On the other hand, “T” is so concise and simplified as to almost overshadow the marvel of an engine it represents. The new twin-turbo V-8 features a tight 3.9 liters of displacement—Ferrari actually calls it a 3.8, but the mill displaces 3855 cc—a pair of twin-scroll turbochargers, and direct fuel injection, helping it to produce 553 horsepower at 7500 rpm and 557 lb-ft of torque at 4750. Those figures represent jumps of 70 horses and a huge 185 lb-ft of torque over the old naturally aspirated 4.3-liter V-8, with both peaks hitting lower in the rev range.
The new twin-turbocharged 3.9-liter V-8 engine might have been the 2015 California T’s flagship feature if not for the car’s sharper styling. Unlike the functional-but-weird LaFerrari, which was designed in-house, the entry-level California wears almost classically gorgeous sheetmetal shaped by Ferrari’s hired pens at Pininfarina. Overall, the California appears longer and lower than the car it replaces, despite carrying over nearly identical dimensions. The gigantic posterior has been toned down a bit, thanks to a bevy of horizontal styling elements and a mean-looking diffuser that reduce the visual height of the rear deck. There’s still a power-folding hardtop back there—the reason for the mild bustle-butt effect—but overall the California T now looks nearly as good going as it does coming.
Pininfarina recycled elements from the larger, V-12–powered F12berlinetta for much the rest of the car, including the headlights, the prominent scallop that runs from just behind the front wheels to the rear fenders, and the pumped-out fenders. We actually prefer the California’s simpler grille, as well as its hot-looking hood vents and the way the body sits athletically on its wheels.
Inside, the dashboard has been updated with fresh materials and shapes, a new 6.5-inch infotainment screen that looks way more modern, and a nifty digital touch-screen turbo boost gauge/performance menu prominently displayed above the center stack. The rear seats are still useless shelves capable of hauling a single can of soda each, and Ferrari’s hatred of steering-column stalks continues here—the steering wheel is cluttered by every stalk-related item. The push-button transmission controls have been rearranged, and are now comprised of Reverse, Auto, and enticing-sounding “Launch” buttons. Visit Exotic Car Rentals in Clearwater, FL.