Whenever I switch from being a driver to a passenger in a fast car, things quickly start to feel very different. Oftentimes, that means going from an adrenaline-pumping fun drive to a seat-gripping ride. Those seemingly “nothing much” bumps? Well, suddenly every one of them is unpleasantly emphasised. Comfort level drops and power surges make me feel more flight than fight.
So slinking into Ferrari's California T as a passenger, I brace myself for a similar, probably uncomfortable experience.
Designed for everyday comfort
The California T (or Cali T, as it is fondly known) is the prancing horse's latest lifestyle-focused car. And design-wise, just like the outgoing California, it certainly looks the part. For one, while it appears a tad lower than before, it isn't nearly as low to the ground as its more track-oriented siblings. This means us ladies can actually get in and out of the car in skirt and heels with grace. Its sleek silhouette isn't all about highly defined muscles either. Instead, it exudes a casual elegance — the kind of ride that you'd pull up at the beach or supermarket in.
On the inside
Comfort is definitely served in the front seats. The leather upholstery is plush yet sporty with sufficient back support and plenty of legroom. As a whole, the interiors is as luxurious as you can get for a car in this segment, but backseat passengers (yes, this Ferrari fits four) will probably experience a bit of a squeeze. (But I do know of a family who manages to ferry around their two teenage boys in the back, so it's not altogether that bad.) This hard-top convertible's boot space is also large enough to fit two luggage bags, and if you really need more cargo space, the rear seats fold down for more room.
All that horsepower
Though this is a lifestyle-oriented ride, the Cali T still boasts the same DNA Ferrari is known for. And it boasts the works — a V8 turbo engine that is touted to deliver 412kW of power, 755Nm of torque, max speed of 316kph, zero to 100kph in 3.6 seconds. And when the top is down (which takes only 14 seconds), you really can't ignore its exhilarating roar.
As a passenger, what I particularly enjoyed is the ride. The uneven bumps and crevices in the roads are hardly noticeable, something I'll put down to the Cali T's top-of-its-class adaptive suspension system. And because I'm not the one behind the wheel, I can fully concentrate on feeling and enjoying the sheer power. Already, I can't wait to get in the driver's seat. With the top down, of course.
Ital Auto, 30 Leng Kee Road
Ferrari California T
Engine: 3,855cc direct-injection V8 turbo
Transmission: F1 dual-clutch seven gears + reverse
Max power: 412kW @ 7,500rpm
Max torque: 755Nm @ 4,750 in seventh gear
Max speed: 316kph
Acceleration: 0-100kph in 3.6 seconds
Combined fuel consumption: 10.5L per 100km
CO2 emission: 250g/km
Kerb weight: 1,625kg