Ferrari just unveiled one of its Geneva show debuts: the new Handling Speciale pack on the California Turbo.
This promises quicker responses and more intense track settings. This is the first honing of the Cali since its refresh and new engine for 2015. Upgrades are said to be pretty noticeable on the road — with the transmission and throttle maps now better matched for the V8TT’s power delivery. A shoutier quartet of pipes out back help too.
Outside, the HS pack brings a few new elements in a matching matte finish. Grille bars, exhausts, diffuser and ventwork is all darkened. This is extra nice in the nose: the new slats of the grille in expanding, 3D motif is retro but modern. Its crispness makes a nice counterpoint to the flowing, curvy new nose. Better looking and driving than ever is the word on the carretera! The black roof and A-pillars are a solid look, for sure.
Just a few teasers of the HS so far, but you can see the differences compared with this very-sexy Tailor Made California T in racing livery. Its black grille makes an oval intake shape with invisible elements. Subjective preferences, certainly.
White wheels on there, and light alloys for the HS preview. Fear not: dark options abound. =]
Clients the world over have been so impressed with the California T’s ideal combination of performance and versatility that it has become the benchmark for all high-performance Grand Tourers. Now owners looking for an even more sporty driving experience, particularly on challenging, twisty routes, have a new optional package to meet their needs.
The Handling Speciale option offers a series of specific calibrations and a set-up that lends an extra edge, especially in the manettino’s Sport mode. This bespoke solution incorporates new damper settings and modified springs that make the car stiffer which, although marginally reducing the ride comfort, results in even sportier feedback, aided and abetted by the new engine sound that increases as revs rise.
The gear-shift logic for the Sport mode has been modified (both in automatic and manual), resulting in faster, sportier gear engagement during both up- and down-shifts.
The HS package also includes 16% stiffer front springs and 19% stiffer ones at the rear with a consequent increase in body control thanks to lower roll, dive and pitch.
The differences in Sport mode are underscored by a new strategy for the SCM3 magnetorheological dampers that increases their speed of response and improves their efficiency. The revised F1-Trac logic helps ensure even better acceleration, particularly when exiting corners and on more bumpy road surfaces.
The HS package also includes a new exhaust system with silencers featuring two primary pipes and a new geometry designed to yield an exhaust note that increases progressively as engine speed increases, with a sound in keeping with the car’s more sporty character.
The exhaust was developed in tandem with the engine and gearbox control software to underline the performance gains, with a more rapid response and improved sound and volume when driven hard.
The exhaust’s new timbre is instantly recognisable as soon as the driver hits the Start button. It is fuller, richer and more involving at all speeds and in all driving situations.
On an aesthetic level, certain elements have been highlighted to underscore the HS package’s sporty vocation while still retaining the California T’s signature elegance and sophistication. These include the new front grille in matte Grigio Ferro Met and the rear diffuser in the same colour with matte black fences and matte black tailpipes. A special plaque in the cockpit also indicates that the car sports the HS optional package.
The new option makes its official debut at the upcoming Geneva International Motor Show.
Ferrari California T technical specifications
Type 90° V8 – direct injection
Overall displacement 3855 cc
Maximum power * 412 kW (560 cv) at 7500 rpm
Maximum torque * 755 Nm (77 kgm) at 4750 rpm
Dimensions and weight
Length 4570 mm
Width 1910 mm
Height 1322 mm
Dry weight ** 1625 kg
Weight distribution 47% fr. – 53% r.
Maximum speed 316 km/h
0-100 km/h 3.6 s
2016 Ferrari California T Red Tailor Made
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
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