The Ferrari California T maybe the cheapest Ferrari available in the lineup, but it’s no slouch by any means whatsoever.
And although it’s not the greatest, best, or top-performing model, it’s still a Ferrari. So it comes with a whole suite of expectations for performance, luxury, handling, and status. It’ll also get you laid in far more ways than a jalopy Honda would.
But to make sure Ferrari prioritizes handling performance as being one of their fortes in the entire business, the Italian Prancing Horse just announced a new package for the California T, aimed specifically at improving handling performance.
That said, it should be no surprise the extra kit is named the Handling Speciale package.
So what do you get?
For starters, it does include some changes to the exterior, such as a slightly reworked front lower fascia, a new integrated rear diffuser at the back decked out exclusively in a Grigio Ferro Met matte color, and some special badging and other trim bits.
Ok, cool. But what about the real stuff?
Obviously, because it’s a handling package, the suspension and setup have been modified accordingly. The shocks and springs are new, as are the programs for the sequential automatic. The Sport mode has also been modified to better cope with those who have a manual-equipped California T.
There’s also an optimized exhaust system with new high-flow mufflers and an overall improved design for better breathing.
Altogether, Ferrari boasts more aggressive handling with “sportier feedback” (as if the California T needs more of it, being a performance icon) along with faster and edgier shifts for improved acceleration and deceleration times, both in the upshift and downshift actions. And of course, you can’t doubt that despite the little changes, they’re sure to amount to a different driving experience.
It’ll debut at the Geneva International Motor Show in the coming months.
Check out the press release below.
Clients the world over have been so impressed with the California T’s ideal combination of performance and versatility that it has become the benchmark for all high-performance Grand Tourers. Now owners looking for an even more sporty driving experience, particularly on challenging, twisty routes, have a new optional package to meet their needs.
The Handling Speciale option offers a series of specific calibrations and a set-up that lends an extra edge, especially in the manettino’s Sport mode. This bespoke solution incorporates new damper settings and modified springs that make the car stiffer which, although marginally reducing the ride comfort, results in even sportier feedback, aided and abetted by the new engine sound that increases as revs rise.
The gear-shift logic for the Sport mode has been modified (both in automatic and manual), resulting in faster, sportier gear engagement during both up- and down-shifts.
The HS package also includes 16% stiffer front springs and 19% stiffer ones at the rear with a consequent increase in body control thanks to lower roll, dive and pitch.
The differences in Sport mode are underscored by a new strategy for the SCM3 magnetorheological dampers that increases their speed of response and improves their efficiency. The revised F1-Trac logic helps ensure even better acceleration, particularly when exiting corners and on more bumpy road surfaces.
The HS package also includes a new exhaust system with silencers featuring two primary pipes and a new geometry designed to yield an exhaust note that increases progressively as engine speed increases, with a sound in keeping with the car’s more sporty character.
The exhaust was developed in tandem with the engine and gearbox control software to underline the performance gains, with a more rapid response and improved sound and volume when driven hard.
The exhaust’s new timbre is instantly recognisable as soon as the driver hits the Start button. It is fuller, richer and more involving at all speeds and in all driving situations.
On an aesthetic level, certain elements have been highlighted to underscore the HS package’s sporty vocation while still retaining the California T’s signature elegance and sophistication. These include the new front grille in matte Grigio Ferro Met and the rear diffuser in the same colour with matte black fences and matte black tailpipes. A special plaque in the cockpit also indicates that the car sports the HS optional package.
The new option makes its official debut at the upcoming Geneva International Motor Show.
Maranello, 22 January 2016 – The California T, Ferrari’s immensely successful front-engined V8 model with retractable hard top and 2+ seating configuration, is now available with the brand-new Handling Speciale (HS) option.
Ferrari California T technical specifications
Type 90° V8 – direct injection
Overall displacement 3855 cc
Maximum power * 412 kW (560 cv) at 7500 rpm
Maximum torque * 755 Nm (77 kgm) at 4750 rpm
Dimensions and weight
Length 4570 mm
Width 1910 mm
Height 1322 mm
Dry weight ** 1625 kg
Weight distribution 47% fr. – 53% r.
Maximum speed 316 km/h
0-100 km/h 3.6 s
10.5 l/100 km
C02 emissions ***
* With 98 octane petrol
** With optional lightweight equipment
*** Combined cycle with HELE system (ECE+EUDC)
– By: Chris Chin