Ferrari will unveil the second generation of its California convertible at the Geneva Motor Show in March. Called the California T, it combines looks clearly derived from the F12 flagship with a new 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 engine, making it the first production turbocharged Ferrari other than limited-edition cars like the 288GTO and F40 (and models such as the 208GTB, which was sold in Italy as a tax-break special).
The engine is a development of the similarly configured V8 already seen in various Maseratis, but sufficiently modified for Ferrari to claim it is effectively a new unit. It has a bespoke capacity (3855cc compared to Maserati’s 3799cc) and a power output of 552bhp, better than both Maserati’s 523bhp and the 490bhp of the current, normally aspirated 4.3-litre California.
Ferrari also says torque has been increased by almost 50 per cent, despite a reduction in fuel consumption of 15 per cent. Perhaps most significantly, the Ferrari version of the V8 has a flat-plane crankshaft, a company tradition dating back to the introduction of the 308GT4 some 40 years ago. It will provide a completely different sound from a conventional V8 such as that used by Maserati, with its 90-degree crank.
Ferrari claims a 0-62mph time of 3.6sec, a 0.2sec improvement and “the most exhilarating soundtrack any turbo has ever yielded”. Coming from people who made the unforgettable noise of the F40, that’s interesting news indeed.