Replacing the California T as the hardtop convertible GT in Ferrari’s lineup, Ferrari’s ‘Portofino’ convertible features an all-new chassis that claims to be lighter and stronger than the California T, while the 3.9-litre V8 from that model has been tuned to deliver increased performance.
Making its debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the Portofino is a fairly comprehensive restyle over the outgoing California T: while features like the grille and back end treatment are familiar, there are now 488-esque headlights (full LEDs), front guard cut-outs in the vein of the 812 Superfast and a more aggressive look to the bonnet and lower front vents. The design for the retractable hardtop is also described as being all new.
Ferrari says the restyle is the result of a close collaboration between the Ferrari Design Centre and the in-house aerodynamics department. For example, the outer edges of the headlights feature an air intake that vents into the wheelarch and along the flanks to reduce drag. A similar design was used on the 812 Superfast.
Described as a four-seater, but more realistically a 2+2, the new arrival’s name comes from the Italian fishing village located near Genoa that’s described as one of Italy’s most beautiful towns.
While Ferrari hasn’t revealed exactly how much lighter the new Portofino is compared to the California T, they say the difference is “significant.”
What has been revealed is the power output. In Portofino spec, the turbocharged 3.9 V8 produces 441kW and 760Nm; an increase of 29kW and 5Nm over the same capacity engine in the California T.
The increased outputs come, Ferrari says, from changes to the intake and exhausts systems, pistons and conrods, as well as recalibrated engine management software. The transmission hadn’t been confirmed at press time, but is likely to be the same seven-speed dual-clutch type as the California T.
Combined with upgraded suspension, Ferrari’s third-gen electronic differential and electric power steering (a Ferrari GT-first), the Portofino claims a 3.5-second 0-100km/h time and top speed of over 320km/h. Both measures are in excess of the California T.
Inside, upgrades include a new air con system, 10.2-inch infotainment touchscreen, new steering wheel design and 18-way-adjustable front seats with a new backrest design for improved rear seat legroom. Finally, a new wind deflector claims to cut in-cabin airflow by 30 per cent with the top down, while also reducing aerodynamic noise.
Following its European debut, Australian delivery of the Ferrari Portofino is expected in mid-2018, with pricing yet to be revealed, but likely to be around the $450K mark.