2017 Ferrari California T

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2017 Ferrari California T Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Often dubbed as the “Baby Ferrari” , the 2017 California T is a two door hardtop roadster that can seat up to four people . The California T is essentially the most pocket friendly car with a prancing horse on it’s front grill - it still has a price tag of around $203,000 .

The Ferrari California T is powered by a 3.9 liter twin turbo V8 engine mated to a 7 speed dual clutch transmission . The car can produce a maximum of 553 horsepower and 557lb-ft of torque. These numbers give a good idea of how “baby“ the “Baby Ferrari” actually is .

The direct rivals for this car include the Mercedes AMG SL65 , the McLaren 570s Spider and the Aston Martin Vantage V12 S Roadster. All of these cars offer top-down, wind in the hair experience.

See detailed review »

Pros

Impressive acceleration

Good interior quality

Practicality of a grand tourer

Quick folding metal top

Cons

Tiny rear seat

Car must be stopped to raise the convertible top

What's New?

No new changes for 2017


Pictures & Videos


Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2017 Ferrari California T Base

Base

power
553 hp @ 7500 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
18 combined

$202,723


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
2dr Convertible (3.9L 8cyl 7AM) Starting at $202,723 MSRP (16/18/23) 553 hp @ 7500 rpm, 3.9 L, V8, premium unleaded (required)
See Full Specs
7-speed automatic rear wheel drive 4

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Expert Review


CARHP Editorial June 17, 2019


The car can produce a maximum of 553 horsepower and 557lb-ft of torque. These numbers give a good idea of how “baby“ the “Baby Ferrari” actually is .

The direct rivals for this car include the Mercedes AMG SL65 , the McLaren 570s Spider and the Aston Martin Vantage V12 S Roadster. All of these cars offer top-down, wind in the hair experience.

2017 Ferrari California T Features

The Ferrari California T is available in only one trim .

Model

Ferrari California T

MSRP

$203,723

Key Features

Dual stainless steel exhaust with chrome tailpipe finish

 

Mechanical limited slip differential

 

19 inch wheels

 

Black side window trim

 

Power heated side mirrors

 

Rain sensing wipers

 

Lip spoiler

 

Automatic roll-over protection

 

Manual wind blocker

 

Power bucket seats

 

Valet function

 

Dual zone climate control

 

Automatic bi-xenon headlights

 

Illuminated locking glove box

 

Full leather headliner

 

Leather seat trim

 

Power tilt/telescopic steering wheel column

 

Power rear windows

 

Hard top power retractable roof

Recommendation

The Ferrari California T comes loaded with all sorts of bells and whistles as standard in the only trim that is offered by Ferrari . Although , customers can choose from a wide variety of customizable options from Ferrari

2017 Ferrari California T Engine

The California T's power delivery feels convincingly similar to that of a classic, high-revving, naturally aspirated Ferrari. -Edmunds

Engine and Transmission

The California T is available in only one engine option - a 3.9 liter twin turbo engine producing a very competent 553 horsepower and 557lb-ft of torque . The engine has been tuned in such a way the turbocharger power is restricted at low and highway speeds but once the pedal touches the floor , the car moves and it moves quick . Ferrari has also managed to contain any power delay , i.e turbo lag .

The seven speed dual clutch gearbox makes sure of lightning fast gear shifts . The gear shifts are seamless which make the California T a very smooth highway cruiser as well .

Model

California T

Mercedes SL 65 AMG

McLaren 570 S Spider

Aston Martin Vantage V12 S Roadster

MSRP

$202,723

$219,850

$208,800

$200,695

Engine

3.9 Liter Twin Turbo V8

6 Liter Twin Turbo V12

3.8 Liter Twin Turbo V8

6 Liter V12

Transmission

7 Speed Dual Clutch Automatic

7 Speed Dual Clutch Automatic

7 Speed Dual Clutch Automatic

7 Speed Dual Clutch Automatic

Power

553hp @7500RPM

621hp @5500RPM

562hp @7500RPM

563hp @6650RPM

Torque

557lb-ft @4750RPM

738lb-ft @2300RPM

443hp @5000RPM

457lb-ft @5550RPM

All the cars in this group cost roughly the same but offer different powertrains . The AMG offers a twin turbo 6 liter V12 and the Aston Martin offers a different version of the same engine . The McLaren comes with a 3.8 liter twin turbo V8 . The Mercedes produces a mind blowing 621hp and 738lb-ft of torque . But , the Mercedes also costs the most and the huge V12 also means that it is not exactly economical .

Acceleration

The 3.9 liter twin turbo V8 is capable of launching the car to 60mph in 3.3 seconds which is really fast considering it is the Baby Ferrari. The team in Maranello has left no stone unturned when it comes to making the California T fast .

Models

California T

Mercedes SL 65 AMG

McLaren 570 S Spider

Aston Martin Vantage V12 S Roadster

0-60 MPH

3.3 seconds

3.7 seconds

3 seconds

3.7 seconds

Quarter Mile

11.3 seconds

11.8 seconds

10.8 seconds

11.8 seconds

Engine

3.9 Liter Twin Turbo V8

6 Liter Twin Turbo V12

3.8 Liter Twin Turbo V8

6 Liter V12

Emission (Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K Mi/year)

NA

NA

10.9

12.6

The California T is quicker to 60MPH than the V12 Mercedes and Aston Martin , which can be mainly due to their weight . McLaren has a league of it's own when it comes to accelerating from a standstill and the 570s Spider is no exception . It blasts off the line and reaches 60 in 3 seconds flat .

Braking

The California T is equipped with 15.4 inch brakes in the front and 14.2 inch in the rear . Ferrari also offers Carbon Ceramics on the California T as an option . The brakes do feel solid and make the driver feel confident even at high speeds .

Model

California T

Mercedes SL 65 AMG

McLaren 570S Spider

Aston Martin Vantage V12 S Roadster

Brake Front (in)

15.4

15.4

15.5

15.7

Brake Rear (in)

14.2

14.2

15

14.2

Curb weight (lbs)

3813

4299

3287

3847

60-0 MPH

111 ft

150ft (70-0)

95 ft

114 ft

The brakes on the California T are not the best but they do manage to bring the car to a halt from 60MPH in 111ft . Again , McLaren sets the standard as the 570s spider does 60-0MPH in 95ft which is very very good . This can also be credited to the McLaren's super light weight when compared to the competition .

Ride and Handling

The 2017 Ferrari California T has stiffer suspensions when compared to it's predecessor California . This helps the car around corners as it makes it feel more planted and stable around corners . Even with the stiffened suspension setup , the Ferrari feels comfortable on highways and it is good enough for cruising .

The steering is also sharper when compared to the old California but Ferrari manages to maintain the ease of driving . The California T is still easy to drive and feels comfortable enough for highway journeys which was the original California's strong point.

2017 Ferrari California T Fuel Economy

The 2017 California T has a total range of 330 miles (city) and 474 miles (highway) . The twin turbo setup mangages 16MPG in city driving and 23MPG on the highway which is better when compared to the previous California's 13MPG (city) and 19MPG (highway) .

Model

California T

Mercedes SL 65 AMG

McLaren 570 S Spider

Aston Martin Vantage V12 S Roadster

MPG (City)

16

13

16

12

MPG (Highway)

23

22

23

18

MPG (Combined)

18

16

19

14

When compared to rivals , the California T manages a better fuel economy than the Mercedes and the Aston Martin which also has an AMG sourced engine . This can be blamed on the fact that the Ferrari and McLaren have a 3.9 and 3.8 liter engine respectively whereas the Mercedes and Aston Martin are powered by a 6 liter V12 engine. The Aston Martin's naturally aspirated V12 engine gives the least fuel economy out of this bunch . The McLaren managed the best economy numbers mainly due to it's light weight .

2017 Ferrari California T Interior

Ferrari California T is mostly designed with comfort and sumptuous luxury in mind, there are some high-performance touches sprinkled throughout the cabin, too. - Edmunds

Seating and Comfort

The California T can seat up to four passengers .The seats are also wider than the previous California and offer more support during corners . The rear seats offer very less room and can only be used to seat children or extra luggage .

Most of the buttons have been moved to the steering wheel . So , they are easy to reach and very simple to use . The Manettino wheel on the steering which is used to change the driving mode also looks very cool . The LED shift lights on the steering wheel are also a cool paid option .

Models

California T

Mercedes SL 65 AMG

McLaren 570 S Spider

Aston Martin Vantage V12 S Roadster

Passenger Capacity

4

2

2

2

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

NA

39.1/55.5/42.9

NA

36.7/-/42.8

Only the Ferrari provides the practicality of 4 seats in this group . The Mercedes comes with a softer suspension setup but does not feel as sporty as the Ferrari . The Prancing Horse also offers a good amount of room to it's front seat passengers . The McLaren also offers a good and comfortable ride but it is harder to get in and out of when compared to rivals .

Interior Features

The California T's interior is a mix of both luxury and sporty feeling . Some of it's features include -

  • Manual wind blocker
  • Power bucket seats
  • Valet function
  • Dual zone climate control
  • Steering mounted controls
  • Illuminated locking glove box
  • Full leather headliner
  • Leather seat trim
  • Power tilt/telescopic steering wheel column
  • Power rear windows
  • Hard top power retractable roof

Infotainment

The California T has an upgraded infotainment system when compared to the previous California but it still feels dated when compared to the infotainment systems provided by Mercedes and McLaren . The screen is not as responsive to use as the ones offered by the rivals. Aston Martin uses Mercedes's previous generation infotainment system which is ages behind the modern technology . The California's screen is sharp and bright but the system suffers from lag .

Infotainment System features

  • LCD Screen
  • Navigation
  • Bluetooth
  • Voice activated controls
  • 7 speaker audio system
  • Audio streaming

Cargo space

The California T offers 12 cubic feet of space with the top up and 8.5 cubic feet with the roof down . The foldable metal roof definitely takes up space in the trunk . The Ferrari also offers a luggage pass-through which makes it possible to carry a set of golf clubs . The rear seats can also be used to carry luggage as they cannot be used to carry adults .

Model

California T

Mercedes SL 65 AMG

McLaren 570S Spider

Aston Martin Vantage V12 S Roadster

Cargo Volume (ft cube)

12

8.5

5.3

5

When compared to rivals , the Ferrari provides the most cargo space and can easily carry at least an extra bag over it's rivals . The SL65 ranks second when it comes to cargo space .

2017 Ferrari California T Exterior

The exterior recalls classic Ferrari roadster designs, with long, flowing lines and arched fenders. - The Car Connection

Dimension and Weight

The California T isn't the largest car out there but it isn't the smallest as either . At 3813 lbs , it is not light . The McLaren is the lightest of the group at 3287 lbs due to it's carbon fibre monocoque chassis .

Models

California T

Mercedes SL 65 AMG

McLaren 570S Spider

Aston Martin Vantage V12 S Roadster

Curb weight

(lbs)

3813

4299

3287

3847

Length (in)

179.9

182.7

178.4

172.6

Width (in) (w/o mirror)

75.2

63.2

76

73.4

Height (in)

52

51.2

46.3

49.2

Ground clearance (in)

4.3

3.7

NA

5

Wheelbase (in)

105.1

101.7

105.1

102.4

Track width (in) F/R

64.2/63.2

63.1/63.2

65.9/63.7

61.8/62.0

In terms of exterior dimensions , the Ferrari has the highest roofline and it is also the longest . Even at 3813 lbs , the California T feels easy to drive and controllable at all times . Once the roof has been folded down into the trunk , the rear feels a little heavy but it isn't anything that cannot be controlled .

Exterior Features

  • Dual stainless steel exhaust with chrome tailpipe finish
  • 19 inch wheels
  • 20 inch wheels (optional)
  • Black side window trim
  • Power heated side mirrors
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Lip spoiler
  • Automatic roll-over protection
  • Automatic bi-xenon headlights
  • Hard top power retractable roof

2017 Ferrari California T Safety

The Ferrari California T has not been crash tested by the IIHS or the NHTSA so , no crash data exists . The California comes with quite a few safety equipment and systems as standard -

  • Dual front mounted airbags
  • Anti lock braking system
  • Electronic stability control
  • Active anti-roll control
  • Electronic brake distribution
  • Parking sensors

2017 Ferrari California T Competition

2017 Ferrari California T Vs Mercedes AMG SL65

The AMG is powered by a huge 6 liter V12 engine which clearly impacts the fuel economy . The California T offers a much better fuel economy when compared to the AMG . The Ferrari is also easy to drive and the steering also feels easy to handle . The 6 Liter AMG V12 produces more power than the Ferrari but the weight of the car impacts the performance . Mercedes's COMAND system is better and more advanced that Ferrari's infotainment system but the Ferrari is a better package overall and a better driver's car .

2017 Ferrari California T Vs McLaren 570s Spider

McLaren has set the standard for performance in the recent times and the 570s Spider sets the bar very high . It can sprint to 60MPH in 3 seconds flat which is very impressive . Even in terms of braking , the McLaren just needs 95ft to come to a complete stop from 60MPH. The light weight carbon fibre monocoque chassis and the twin turbo setup also means that the McLaren also returns a good fuel economy for this segment . McLaren also provides an advanced infotainment system with the latest technology .

2017 Ferrari California T Vs Aston Martin Vantage V12 S Roadster

The Aston Martin V12 S offers a version of the same 6 liter V12 in the SL65 . The Aston has a naturally aspirated version of the same which means that the fuel economy is even worse . The infotainment system is also clearly dated as it is the previous generation of Mercedes's COMAND. The gear shifts are also not smooth when compared to the Ferrari . The V12 S just feel like an unnecessary barge on the road .

 

2017 Ferrari California T Final Verdict

The Ferrari California T is the most comfortable diverse car in the group and can be considered a beginner's guide into supercars . It is a comfortable highway cruiser but at the same time , with the push of a button - it can deliver performance worthy enough of the Prancing Horse badge . It can run smoothly at low RPMs but as you dive deeper into the throttle , the output from the turbos increase and the California T just keeps on going and going . The McLaren does offer better performance but it cannot match the Ferrari in terms of luxury and comfort . The Mercedes and Aston Martin can match the Ferrari in terms of luxury and comfort but they cannot match it in performance and practicality . Plus , the Baby Ferrari California T comes with a Ferrari badge and yes , you can buy it in red.