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At first glance, it’s classic Ferrari: long hood and short deck proportions, plus a retractable hardtop that gives the whole package the feel of a grand tourer that just so happens to have a disappearing roof. The body’s surface treatment is a somewhat dramatic departure from the California, however — from the new face to the fastback-ish roofline, it’s reminiscent of the 812 Superfast.
Underpinning the Portofino is an all-new chassis; this isn’t a California reskin. Ferrari claims “significant,” though unspecified, weight savings, coupled with increased torsional rigidity.
With the top up, the Portofino has fastback lines.
The engine is a member of the increasingly familiar Ferrari turbocharged V8 family, but here it’s been worked up to 592 hp and 561 lb-ft of torque — a notable 39-hp bump over the California T (though still not close to the 660 hp available in a 488 GTB). It is said to get new pistons and con-rods, plus it exhales through new one-piece cast exhaust headers, the goal being the reduction of the turbo mill’s already-negligible turbo lag.
Ferrari promises a 0-62-mph time of 3.5 seconds, which is just a hair faster than the Cali T — not that the outgoing car is a performance slouch. The Portofino comes equipped with Ferrari’s electronic rear differential, the E-Diff3, which we’ve seen previously on the likes of the 488.
One thing we’re watching cautiously: The addition of electric power steering. It’s the second Ferrari to make the jump to EPS, and we didn’t seem to mind it on the 812 Superfast. Here’s hoping they’ve got it dialed in just right here, too.
As to the model name? That comes from
a bizarre Lamborghini concept from the early Chrysler ownership era a seaside village in Italy which, like California, is presumably a lovely place to drive a Ferrari convertible. The paint the car is wearing in these photos is, incidentally, dubbed rosso Portofino.
The car will make its official three-dimensional debut at the Frankfurt motor show in just a few weeks.
The Portofino with its top down.
– Graham Kozak drove a 1951 Packard 200 sedan in high school because he wanted something that would be easy to find in a parking lot. He thinks all the things they’re doing with fuel injection and seatbelts these days are pretty nifty too.
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