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

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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.

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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.

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