Ferrari California T Handling Speciale: A Review
The Ferrari California T Handling Speciale is a car that carries with it high expectations. As Ferrari’s arch boulevardier, it aims to prove that it can be just as rampante (fierce) as any other cavallino (prancing horse). In this review, we will delve into the details of this special edition, exploring its enhanced performance, design, and driving experience.
- The Ferrari California T Handling Speciale is designed to be more aggressive and sportier than the standard California T.
- The Handling Speciale package includes various upgrades to the suspension, exhaust system, and control systems.
- The car aims to strike a balance between GT-oriented comfort and performance-oriented driving dynamics.
Upgrades for a More Dynamic Ride
To live up to its name, the Handling Speciale package brings significant upgrades to the California T. Ferrari has stiffened the springs by 16 percent at the front and 19 percent at the rear, providing a more responsive and agile ride. The SCM3 Magneride dampers, dual-clutch gearbox, and F1-Trac stability control have been recalibrated to optimize performance.
- The Handling Speciale package includes upgrades to the spring stiffness and suspension components.
- The recalibration of the dampers, gearbox, and stability control improves the car’s handling and response.
- The new exhaust system enhances the sound and flow of gases, creating a more exhilarating driving experience.
Aesthetics and Design
The Ferrari California T Handling Speciale features subtle design enhancements that set it apart from the standard model. The grille and diffuser are finished in Grigio Ferro Met (matt silver), adding a touch of exclusivity. Additionally, a Handling Speciale plaque can be found on the center tunnel, showcasing the car’s unique identity.
- The Handling Speciale version of the California T features a distinctive grille and diffuser finished in Grigio Ferro Met.
- The inclusion of a Handling Speciale plaque adds to the exclusivity of the car.
- These design enhancements contribute to the overall sporty and aggressive appearance of the vehicle.
Performance and Driving Experience
When it comes to performance, the Ferrari California T Handling Speciale does not disappoint. The twin-turbo V8 engine delivers an exhilarating start-up bark, accompanied by whistles and whooshes from the forced induction system. The car’s nimble handling and excellent feedback make it a joy to drive, especially on winding roads.
- The twin-turbo V8 engine provides a powerful and thrilling driving experience.
- The Handling Speciale version offers improved handling and feedback compared to the standard model.
- The car’s balanced weight distribution and responsive steering contribute to its agile and enjoyable driving dynamics.
Comparing to Rivals
In the realm of luxury sports cars, the California T Handling Speciale faces tough competition from the likes of the Aston Martin Vanquish Volante, Mercedes-AMG SL, and Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet. While each car has its strengths, the Ferrari stands out with its unique combination of performance, handling, and iconic Ferrari heritage.
- The California T Handling Speciale competes with top-tier luxury sports cars like the Vanquish Volante, AMG SL, and 911 Turbo S Cabriolet.
- The Ferrari offers a distinct combination of performance, handling, and brand heritage.
- Each car has its strengths, but the California T Handling Speciale holds its ground in terms of overall driving experience and exclusivity.
Interior and Technology
While the California T Handling Speciale impresses on the road, its interior falls slightly behind its German counterparts in terms of quality and technology. The switchgear and navigation graphics may not match the standards set by Mercedes and Porsche. However, for those who prioritize the driving experience over luxurious amenities, this may not be a significant drawback.
- The California T Handling Speciale’s interior is not as technologically advanced as the Mercedes-AMG SL or Porsche 911 Turbo S.
- The switchgear and navigation graphics may not meet the same standards as its German rivals.
- However, for enthusiasts who prioritize performance and driving dynamics, these interior shortcomings may not be a major concern.
Driving Modes and Performance
The California T Handling Speciale offers different driving modes to cater to various preferences and road conditions. In Comfort mode, the car is geared towards a more relaxed and stable driving experience. Switching to Sport mode unleashes its true potential, providing a more responsive and engaging driving experience. ESC (Electronic Stability Control) can also be turned off for those seeking a more dynamic and thrilling ride.
- The California T Handling Speciale offers different driving modes, including Comfort and Sport.
- Comfort mode prioritizes stability and a relaxed driving experience.
- Sport mode enhances the car’s responsiveness and engagement.
- ESC can be turned off for a more dynamic and thrilling ride.
Turbocharged Power and Torque Management
The California T Handling Speciale is part of Ferrari’s transition to turbocharging, and it showcases the brand’s ability to deliver impressive power and torque. The twin-turbo V8 engine provides excellent response, reach, and character, making it enjoyable to drive without relying on complex driver modes. The car’s transaxle layout and balanced weight distribution ensure a well-balanced and instinctive driving experience.
- The Handling Speciale version demonstrates Ferrari’s ability to create a turbocharged engine with impressive performance characteristics.
- The car’s transaxle layout and weight distribution contribute to its balanced and instinctive driving dynamics.
- The torque management through the gears is well-executed, providing excellent flexibility and quick gearshifts.
Conclusion: A Ferrari Spin on the Theme
The Ferrari California T Handling Speciale is a convincing spin on the California T, offering enhanced performance and driving dynamics. While it may not be as technologically advanced as some of its rivals, it makes up for it with its iconic Ferrari heritage and exhilarating driving experience. Whether you’re a Ferrari enthusiast or someone looking to step into the world of Italian sports cars, the Handling Speciale version is sure to leave a lasting impression.
- The California T Handling Speciale offers enhanced performance and driving dynamics compared to the standard model.
- Its iconic Ferrari heritage and exhilarating driving experience make it a compelling choice for enthusiasts.
- While it may not have the same level of technology as its rivals, the Handling Speciale version offers a unique and thrilling driving experience.
Here are the key specifications of the Ferrari California T Handling Speciale:
|3,855cc, V8 twin-turbo
|7-speed dual clutch auto
|Torque (lb ft)
|557@4,750rpm (in 7th gear)
|1,625kg (with lightweight optional equipment)
|26.9mpg (NEDC combined)
|£160,798 (OTR, including Handling Speciale package)
Tone of Voice: Engaging and Enthusiastic
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