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Prancing horse boosts into South Africa with California T


Ferrari is a word that is associated with so much history but at the same time also evokes a massive amount of emotion and passion among so many regardless of age and gender. That’s why attending the launch event for a new Ferrari model is something quite special.

Ferrari making some changes

Apart from the local launch of the California T which I’ll get in to in a minute we also had the chance to see the new home of Ferrari Johannesburg which is now in 1 Bruton Road, Bryanston. The facility is massive and houses a showroom for new and pre-own Ferrari models as well as a workshop and entertainment area.

The other big news is that the official dealer of Ferrari in South Africa has announced that Viglietti Motors will henceforth be known as Scuderia South Africa (Pty) Ltd, with the three branches in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban adopting this name.

The new California T

The outgoing Ferrari California has been a great success for the Italian brand with strong sales figures and more proof that the development of unique model like the California and the FF will still see that brand maintain its exclusivity while attracting new buyers. The new California T is now in SA and this model is set to ruffle the feathers of traditional Ferrari enthusiast even more.

Dramma visivo

In terms of aesthetics the new California is, I feel, an improvement over the previous car which itself wasn’t exactly lacking in the visual drama department. The design is more reminiscent of front-engine Ferraris of old. The new model only shares that folding metal hardtop with the previous car, other than that the body is totally different, according to Ferrari.

Decorazione d'interni

There’s not much else to say about the California’s cockpit other than it is simply gorgeous with the familiar steering wheel which incorporates the indicators, light setting and drive-mode controls. The car also has a 6.5-inch screen infotainment screen while the quality, finishing and atmosphere created inside feels special.

The car is marketed as a 2+2 however those rear seats are best left for children while there is a reasonable amount of boot space when the roof is up at 340 litres.

T for turbo

You guessed it, that “T” badge that adorns the new California implies the use of forced induction, much like the icons from the brand such as the 308 GTB/308 GTS and even the legendary F40. This model is set to usher in a new era of turbocharged Ferrari models with the new 488 being confirmed as turbocharged model too. The addition of turbos to Ferrari model is with aim of improving efficiency with the California T being claimed to use a little at 10.5 litres/100km.

The pair of turbochargers are strapped to a low-mounted 3.9 litre eight-cylinder motor that produces 412kW/755Nm. Peak power comes in at 7500 rpm meaning that the engine is happy to rev. The impressive engine and dry weight of around 1.6 tons means that the car can go from 0-100km/h in 3.6 seconds and on to a top end of 316 km/h.

Ferrari tell us that the usual loss of aural delight associated with turbocharging has been overcome in the new model which has technology such as a flat-plane crankshaft, three-piece cast exhaust manifold and turbo housing to provide a better soundtrack. I’ll be the judge of that when I get an opportunity to drive the beast.


The Claifornia T gets Ferraris extended seven-year maintenance programme which covers all regular maintenance for the first seven years of the car’s life. Services are pegged at 20 000 km or once a year with no mileage restrictions.


Ferrari California T  R3 668 000

Article written by Sean Nurse
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