Ferrari California T review - Is the California T a true Ferrari? - Engine and gearbox

A capable, fast and polished GT - the Ferrari California T is still lacking in that intangible Ferrari magic

Evo rating
Price
from £155,254
  • A brilliant GT; impressive turbo V8
  • We’d sooner have a 458

Engine and gearbox

For the first time since the F40 of 1987, Ferrari has fitted turbochargers to a series production car. The 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 is entirely new, having been in development for four years. It produces 553bhp and 557lb ft of torque – but only in seventh gear. Ferrari has developed a Variable Boost Management system to gradually increase torque output in each gear to, it says, give the engine the same non-linear, building sense of acceleration as a normally aspirated engine.

In fact, an awful lot of work has gone into making this new engine behave as much like a normally aspirated unit as possible, both in its power and torque delivery and the way it sounds. Like the rest of the industry, Ferrari will have to adopt downsizing and turbocharging in order to improve fuel efficiency in the coming years. The California T is our first impression of Ferrari’s oncoming turbocharged era.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

As per the previous model, the basic layout is a transaxle arrangement within an aluminium bodyshell, suspended by double wishbones at the front and a multi-link setup at the rear. The gearbox is a twin-clutch paddleshift item, sending torque rearwards through a locking differential.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/features/202640/bmw-m4-competition-vs-mercedes-amg-c63-s-coupe-german-coupe-twin-test
Features

BMW M4 Competition vs Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe - German coupe twin test

The F82 BMW M4 is about to be put out to pasture, so does AMG’s recently fettled C63 S Coupe finally have its number?
18 May 2020
Visit/jaguar/202404/jaguar-project-8-evo-reader-experience
Advertisement Feature

Jaguar Project 8 evo reader experience

The Jaguar Project 8 is a 200mph marvel of engineering designed with one purpose in mind: to deliver the thrill of driving. We put some lucky evo read…
14 Apr 2020
Visit/features/18127/the-best-six-cylinder-engines-ever-we-pick-our-favourites
Features

The best six-cylinder engines ever – we pick our favourites

Six-cylinder engines can be found in cars of all kinds, good and bad. We collate the very best
13 May 2020
Visit/porsche/911/202636/porsche-911-carrera-to-be-turbo-only-as-manuals-stay
Porsche 911

Porsche 911 Carrera to be turbo only, as manuals stay

Porsche confirms the 911 Carrera won’t be available with a naturally aspirated engine again, but manuals stay. For now
17 May 2020