Enter the turbo era. crankandpiston.com takes a spin in Ferrari's first road-going turbocharged model since 1987.
Delve into the scarlet history books and the California – strange as it may seem – will emerge as one of the greatest Ferraris to roll off the production line. In a purely fiscal sense, of course. In the five years following its debut in 2009, the California solid some 10,000 units, 70 per cent of which went to first time buyers. Quite a change to the couple of thou of Ferrari's elite models normally up for grabs.
And yet, to Maranello purists, the California was far from a 'proper' Ferrari. Deviating from the time-honoured brand attributes set by old man Enzo himself, the California championed everyday civility over exceptional driving as a Prancing Horse available to the masses, rivalled the latest from Mercedes rather than the top bananas at Lamborghini, and retailed nearer the $200K mark as opposed to the quarter of a mill being asked for the range-topping 458 Italia. To many, the California was very much Ferrari's Porsche Cayenne.
It seems ironic that, as the second-generation California T arrives on the scene, the purists are once again up in arms, their angst this time aimed at that 'T' on the rear bumper. The first turbocharged road car since the lunatic F40 in 1987, the California T opens the doors to a brand new era at Maranello, little of which includes natural aspiration (the recently unveiled 488 GTB rubber-stamping this). Signs are though that the newboy is much more than the soft and ugly model heading towards the exit.
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