Ferrari has unveiled its all-new entry level model, bearing the Portofino name and retaining the folding hard top layout of the California T it succeeds, with more defined styling and a more powerful turbocharged V8 engine.
Based on a new aluminum platform, the Portofino (named after the picturesque resort town on the Italian Riviera) is both lighter and more rigid than the California T it replaces owing to new production techniques.
Underneath the long, sculpted bonnet lies a development of the 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 used in the California T, with power boosted by 29kW for 441kW in total at 7500rpm, plus an extra 5Nm bringing a band of 760Nm between 3000 and 5250rpm.
Detail changes to the engine include revised intake and exhaust systems, along with new pistons and conrods. Ferrari claims the 0-100 km/h sprint drops by 0.1 seconds taking just 3.5 seconds, while fuel consumption remains unchanged at 10.5 l/100km.
Drive is channeled to the rear wheels via a remapped version of the California T’s seven-speed dual-clutch transaxle featuring a third-generation of Ferrari’s E-Diff electronically actuated differential.
More repurposed California T parts are found in the Portofino’s wishbone suspension setup, with new twin-coil magnetic dampers claimed to improve both comfort and grip. The Portofino will also become the first Ferrari model to make the switch to electric power steering.
In order to quell criticism of the original California and updated California T, Ferrari’s in-house styling department has given the Portofino a more solid stance, turning up the aggression through bulging body details, flatter headlights, and a broader front intake.
Dimensionally the Portofino grows by 16mm in length, and 28mm in width compared to the California T, while shaving 4mm in height to a flatter, broader presence.
The 2+2 seat interior design features a new 10.2-inch infotainment display and new steering wheel design with a smaller, flatter hub compared to its predecessor. The front seatbacks have also been reworked to free up extra space for the occasional-use rear seats.
The folding hardtop can be lowered while on the move, although Ferrari is yet to confirm at up to what speed.
Ferrari has confirmed that the Portofino will officially launch in Australia in the first quarter of 2018, with customer deliveries expected to follow later in the year. Pricing and specifications for the new model won’t be announced until closer to its on-sale date. The first public showing of the new model will take place at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show in September .
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