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.

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.

Recommended

Volvo P1800 Cyan restomod makes a return in GT spec
Volvo P1800 Cyan GT
News

Volvo P1800 Cyan restomod makes a return in GT spec

Cyan Racing’s fascinating Volvo P1800-based restomod is back, this time in road-biased GT form
15 Feb 2024
New Porsche 911 (992.2) spotted – the first electrified 911?
Porsche 911 (992.2) Targa – front
Spy shots

New Porsche 911 (992.2) spotted – the first electrified 911?

The facelifted Porsche 911 is expected to offer hybrid power for the first time when it arrives this year – these latest spy shots provide a closer lo…
14 Feb 2024
The 2024 Mazda MX-5 gets tweaked dynamics, Recaro seats and a £28,000 price tag
Mazda MX-5 2024 facelift
News

The 2024 Mazda MX-5 gets tweaked dynamics, Recaro seats and a £28,000 price tag

Mazda has updated its evergreen roadster for 2024, with the goal of improving feel, drivability and in-car connectivity
12 Feb 2024
Why the Audi TT is one of the most significant cars of the last 25 years
Audi TT
Features

Why the Audi TT is one of the most significant cars of the last 25 years

To mark our 25th anniversary we name the 25 most significant driver's cars launched in the last 25 years. Richard Porter presents his case for the Aud…
12 Feb 2024

Most Popular

Toyota GR Yaris v Audi S1 – four-wheel-drive hatches go head-to-head
Toyota GR Yaris v Audi S1
Group tests

Toyota GR Yaris v Audi S1 – four-wheel-drive hatches go head-to-head

They’re two dinky performance cars with startlingly similar recipes, but how does the decade-old Audi S1 compare to today’s much-hyped Toyota GR Yaris…
17 Feb 2024
Driving MST’s stunning Mk1 Ford Escort recreation – car pictures of the week
MST Mk1 Ford Escort – front
Features

Driving MST’s stunning Mk1 Ford Escort recreation – car pictures of the week

In the latest issue of evo, we get behind the wheel of the glorious MST Mk1 – here are some of our favourite shots…
18 Feb 2024
The new Alpine A290 hot hatch is just around the corner
Alpine A290 – front
Spy shots

The new Alpine A290 hot hatch is just around the corner

Alpine’s Renault 5-based hatch will arrive this year – here’s our first look at the new EV in prototype form
16 Feb 2024