Spending the day driving a Ferrari through the Australian landscape sounds like a pretty idyllic experience, right? Well we can tell you with confidence that yeah, it really is. We were fortunate enough to be invited on a recent Ferrari California T Drive Day to test out their latest innovation, the Handling Speciale. On a journey that took us from Bondi to Bowral and back, we got to know the newest Ferrari package pretty well.
Our morning kicked off at PACIFIC Bondi Beach; a stunning premium real estate and retail development located directly opposite the beach. The location was fitting of the luxury lifestyle exuded by Ferrari. Though we’re in the middle of winter right now, the weather couldn’t have been more ideal. The sun shone brilliantly and made the coastal waters lapping at the sand glisten. At PACIFIC we were greeted by a convoy of Ferrari California Ts, each a different colour yet all looking entirely enticing. Before long we were off to Bowral, a couple of hours south of Sydney – where we took the scenic route of course.
The California T is already a lively drive, but with the new Handling Speciale package, it’s truly enhanced. Switching from Comfort to Sport mode with the additional package makes an absolute world of difference to the way it feels. Utilising new damper settings and modified springs, which make the car stiffer, the drive becomes far sportier and extremely fun. You’re quick to forget any reduction in comfort when experiencing its sheer thrill. I shared the driving of our model with a seasoned car reviewer who really put it through its paces on the winding country roads. It was pretty amazing to feel the handling and how in control the car was as it flew around corners at high speeds. Having made it to Bowral at lunchtime, we enjoyed a delicious meal at Biota Dining. Serving up Modern Australian cuisine with fresh, local ingredients, it was the ideal pit stop before heading back to Bondi in the California Ts.
A new exhaust system in the Handling Speciale package means the sound emitted from the Ferrari is exhilarating to say the least. Even when you’re stuck in traffic, it feels exciting; the lightest touch of the accelerator gives a deep growl that reminds you of the calibre of car you’re driving (as if you’d ever forget). As expected, in general the car drives incredibly well. Steering is responsive and nicely weighted, and the brakes are as powerful as they need to be for a car of this nature. When it comes to aesthetics, the California T looks just as sharp as it feels. Matte black accents feature along the exterior of the car, including the front grille and tailpipes, which give it a ferocious yet elegant look. Together with the unmistakable clean lines and sharp angles, the Ferrari California T Handling Speciale is one sleek car.
The addition of the Handling Speciale package on a California T is priced at close to $16,000. If you’re looking at spending around $400,000 on a Ferrari anyway, it’s definitely a worthwhile addition.