2015 Ferrari California T

Mash that accelerator from rest, and you’ll blast to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds, a split second of lumbering just off launch the only indication of the car’s heavier weight and hint of turbo lag.

Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy – Yes, the folding hardtop Ferrari California became known for its generously large rear end. That may occasionally work in the celebrity world, but for a car company whose powerhouse brand depends on its sleek and performance-oriented sports cars, and its Formula One race cars, that’s a much tougher sell. Perhaps moreso to Ferrari executives and designers than buyers, since the California convertible provided enough visual zing, comfort and city-friendly practicality – in relative, Ferrari terms – to became the Italian brand’s best-selling model ever.

So much of the design focus of the all-new 2015 California T was to improve its athleticism, both visual and visceral. From a design standpoint, that meant sculpting and shaping all around, but particularly to that rear end. It’s now lower, flatter and less prominent, its distinctive stacked exhaust pipes now more conventionally side by side. But it’s really the new turbocharger under the hood that provides the California’s new ‘T’ moniker that provided the most entertainment through the twisty back roads of Tuscany.

2015 Ferrari California T
Base price: US$198,000
Price as tested: US$205,000+

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Michael Bettencourt

Michael Bettencourt

Michael Bettencourt is on the World Car of the Year jury, has been a long-time AJAC member, and is on its Technology of the Year judging panel.