Ferrari makes the California T louder and more fun

Ferrari makes the California T louder and more fun

Ferrari has one of the strongest ranges on sale at the moment. The 488 GTB, F12tdf, FF and LaFerrari are all thoroughly lovely cars, each with a different role in the world. Each nails its brief successfully.

In a range of pin-sharp sports cars and GTs, then, the California T has always been a little too easy to overlook.

Enter the Handling Speciale pack, a new option that will be unveiled at the Geneva motor show. There’s little to get excited about outside - the HS only sports some matt black detailing over standard.

Nope, the excitement lies beneath. A new exhaust system yields extra noise from the Cali’s 552bhp, 557lb ft 3.8-litre turbo V8. “The exhaust’s new timbre is instantly recognisable as soon as the driver hits the Start button,” Ferrari reckons. “It is fuller, richer and more involving at all speeds and in all driving situations.” Two thumbs up from us.

The paddleshift gearbox comes with snappier changes when you switch the little Manettino lozenge into Sport mode, too.

But the big news, naturally, involves the handling characteristics. The suspension is stiffer (by 16 per cent at the front axle, and 19 at the rear), while its trip-off-the-tongue magnetorheological dampers come with a new setup when you’ve engaged Sport, designed to quicken their responses and ensure better traction out of corners and on bumpy roads.

The Cali’s ride height doesn’t change, while the rest of its make-up - folding hard-top convertible roof, optional 2+2 seating - remains intact, as do its 196mph top speed and 3.6sec 0-62mph time. It should just be sharper and more fun when you want to hurl it around a bit.

The Handling Speciale pack comes only as an option on new California Ts (no retro-fitting if you already have one, sorry), and should add around six grand to the car’s £155k price tag when sales start after Geneva.

Source: www.topgear.com