Unveiled in 2014 as the successor to the popular Ferrari California, the Ferrari California T is the Italian manufacturer’s entry-level convertible. However calling it entry-level car does not do it justice. The California T combines heaps of power with luxury and elegance, and is nothing but an experience behind the wheel. With a revised chassis, a turbocharged V8 and true Italian quality, Ferrari has brought yet another versatile and quick convertible to the market.
The added T in the name stands for turbo, and the engine does not disappoint. The last time Ferrari used a turbo in one of its cars was in the F40, a true classic from the late 80’s. And now the turbo is back, in the California T’s 3,9 liter twin-turbo V8 giving an impressive 553 horsepower and 557lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels. This lets the car hop from 0-100 km/h in just 3,6 seconds, and takes it to a top speed of 315 km/h.
Compared to the preceding California, the California T has gotten a slimmer profile making it more elegant. New exterior panels have also resulted in a more sporty look, much attributed to the reworked grille and side intakes. The springs have also been made firmer in the California T to favor handling, and the interior has been reworked, including a new infotainment system.
The California T boasts a retractable hard top which folds down neatly in 14 seconds, transforming the car from a stylish coupé to an even more elegant convertible. The roof folds into the trunk with the two panels on top of each other, giving you generous boot space even with the roof down. Here you have a total of 240 liters with the roof retracted, and about 340 liters with the roof up. The hard top is made out of aluminium, helping the California T shed some weight, which often can be a problem for convertibles with heavy hard tops. According to Ferrari’s spec sheet, the car has a kerb weight of around 1 700 kilograms, presuming the optional lightweight equipment is fitted.
In their test, Top Gear concluded that the California T gives you easy access to lots of power when you wish, whilst also providing you with a relaxed ride when you’re just looking to cruise. You can either manage the dual-clutch transmission yourself, or let it work automatically. They also noted how the chassis provides you with a very civilized ride when you’re taking it easy, but at the same time you get great traction and control when pushing the car harder.
All in all, the Ferrari California T is nothing other than a sports car, in true Ferrari fashion. And at the same time, it is a great convertible providing you with the possibility for a relaxing cruise. With the roof up, there is little that reveal it is not a regular coupé, and in both cases, it boasts a very elegant look combined with sports-car features. If you’re in the market for a high-end convertible that is practical as well as luxurious and fast, the California T is at the top of its class.