OUT OF OFFICE | Ferrari
by Carl Wepener
A New Era For Ferrari
Being invited to the launch of a new Ferrari is always an event to look forward to. And to be invited to the opening of the new Johannesburg premises as well, promised to be a grand affair.
Welcomed by Mervyn Eagles, we were quickly taken through the latest developments and the reasoning behind the new building, the new image, and the new name of the South African arm of Ferrari. The premises are also intended to enable Ferrari clients and Ferrari lovers to interact there, or even for corporates to hold meetings surrounded by magnificent Italian craftsmanship.
For over 40 years, Viglietti Motors was the home of Ferrari, but, due to the expansion, it is now under the ownership of partners Mervyn Eagles and Smart Growth Investments. Ferrari is set to really reach new heights in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. To ensure that people realise that there has been a change, the official name will now be Scuderia South Africa (Pty) Ltd. The Scuderia Ferrari Shield will also be used by Scuderia Ferrari South Africa as their emblem. This symbol of Ferrari will be pointing the way to the future for Ferrari worldwide.
As proof of the new developments, and to celebrate the new company, Scuderia South Africa unveiled the brand-new Ferrari California T at its new premises.
The Ferrari California has been around since 2008 and is sometimes seen as ‘not a true Ferrari’. For me, however, I have had the privilege to race around Kyalami and have, on several occasions, been given Ferraris for tests, so I can truly say that the California is a thoroughbred Ferrari that is a respected model of the brand. As testimony to this, I might just add that the Ferrari California is the best-seller in the Ferrari stable and attracts 78% of new clients to Ferrari. I think that settles it – the Ferrari California is a true-blue Ferrari.
The new Ferrari California T, both Spider and Coupé 2+2 Concept, emphasises Ferrari’s return to turbos and, for the California T, it is a direct injection 3 855 cc, turbocharged V8 engine that delivers 412 kW with a power output of 755Nm. There is virtually zero turbo lag, resulting in the California T reaching 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds, with 0 to 200 km/h being reached in 11.2 seconds.
The California T delivers true sports-car dynamics and, with the latest evolution of the F1-Trac traction control system, gives exhilarating control and speed out of corners. The design has received considerable attention, giving it its new, yet well-known, individual personality. Some Ferrari 250 Testarossa influences are to be seen on the flanks, followed by a muscular and compact rear. Aerodynamic sleekness is obvious when viewed from the sides. The cabin is designed to be as ergonomic as possible and is a reflection of true craftsmanship with its luxurious, Frau semi-aniline leather trim. Interfacing with the Ferrari encompasses the steering wheel with integrated controls, while the Turbo Performance Engineering (TPE) takes pride of place between the two air vents. It further boasts a capacitive touch-sensitive surround scroll through screens with information. A new infotainment system is part and parcel of the new California.
I have not yet had the opportunity to strap myself into the cockpit of this beautiful Italian machine but hope to do so soon – and, then, will report back on what I believe will have been an exhilarating experience.