Ferrari California T ‘Handling Speciale’ appearing in Geneva

Special handling package firms up Ferrari's V8-engined GT for keen drivers

Affixing the word ‘Speciale’ to a Ferrari is a surefire way to get us hot under the collar, though the impact is diminished somewhat when the badge beside it reads ‘California’.

Nevertheless, the Ferrari California T has been shaped into a talented and desirable package over the year and the new ‘Handling Speciale’ option package should increase its drivers’ car credentials further.

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The pack includes a unique suspension setup and new calibration for settings accessed through the steering wheel-mounted manettino switch.

Springs are firmer by 16 per cent at the front and 19 per cent at the rear, improving body control and reducing dive and pitch. The SCM3 magnetorheological dampers have also been revised, responding faster in Sport mode.

Ferrari admits that ride comfort takes a small hit, but the tradeoff should be the sharpest California yet.

Other Handling Speciale changes include a revised F1-Trac stability control system, with improved corner-exit characteristics and abilities on bumpy roads.

The 3855cc, 553bhp V8’s tone should be easier to hear too, with a new exhaust system whose aural output increases progressively as engine speed rises – maintaining the Cali’s GT-like capabilities at lower speeds and developing an angrier tone in high-performance driving.

Small visual changes pick out the Handling Speciale models from their regular counterparts: The front grille is detailed in matte Grigio Ferro metallic, a shade matched on the rear diffuser. Ferrari also grants you a placque in the cockpit to indicate the car’s provenance.

The Handling Speciale package will make its debut at the upcoming Geneva motor show in March.

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