For the first time since the legendary F40, a turbocharged engine has found its way under the hood of a Ferrari. The 2015 Ferrari California T was just unveiled ahead of its Geneva Motor Show debut, and unlike the Ferrari Mondial T, the “T” doesn’t stand for ‘terrible.’ This time it stands for turbocharged, as the new 2015 California T packs a 552-hp turbocharged V-8 under the hood.
Smaller in displacement than the old 4.3-liter naturally aspirated V-8 it replaces, the 2015 California T’s new 3.9-liter V-8 gets a big power upgrade over the old model. The California T’s twin-turbocharged V-8 makes 552 hp and 557 lb-ft of torque, an increase of 69-horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque over the previous California. Likely paired with a carry-over seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, Ferrari says the new California T can accelerate from 0-62 mph in just 3.6 seconds, and hit a top speed of 196 mph. The last California we tested, a 454-hp 2009 model, accelerated from 0-60 mph in just 3.5 seconds.
While Ferrari buyers concerned with things like throttle response will likely find themselves behind the wheel of the 458 Italia, Ferrari says it has used very low inertia twin-scroll turbos, as well as a boost management system to ensure the 2015 California T has near-zero lag and “ultra-sharp” throttle response.
The engine wasn’t Ferrari’s only focus for the new California T — it also upgraded the GT’s steering, suspension, and braking systems. The 2015 Ferrari California T gets a new steering box, new springs, and the latest-generation Magnaride suspension, courtesy of Ferrari’s friends over at GM. Reigning in the California T’s newfound power are carbon-ceramic brakes, which Ferrari says can bring the new California to a stop from 62 mph in 111 feet.
Along with the power upgrades, the California T gets new sheetmetal penned by Ferrari and Pininfarina. While the new California T’s grille and lower front fascia bears a lot in common with the out-going California, the new model gets new F12 Berlinetta-inspired headlights, and an aggressive new hood. Ferrari and Pininfarina also worked to pay tribute to the legendary 250 Testa Rossa by giving the California T attractive pontoon-like fender flares that visually tie the front and rear ends together. The power-folding hardtop remains a California staple, and can drop that top in 14 seconds.
The 2015 Ferrari California T also gets a minor interior redesign, with a new touch-sensitive infotainment system mounted in the center stack, standard leather trim, and aluminum accents. The party piece of the California T’s new interior is found in between the two center stack-mounted air conditioning vents – a boost gauge, so passengers can follow along with the turbocharged fun. The 2015 Ferrari California T has officially been revealed at the Geneva motor show in March.