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2018 Ferrari Portofino Debuts as The California T Replacement We Deserve

There are performance cars out there that get endlessly teased or spied and then we have go-fast offerings such as the Ferrari Portofino, which leap into the headlines out of nowhere.
Ferrari Portofino 9 photos
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The Portofino, which borrows its name from an Italian village, is here to replace the California T, with the open-top machine set to make its public debut next month, at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The Maranello engineers went back to the drawing board for the newcomer, with the Portofino using an all-new aluminum chassis that delivers a significant diet. While the Prancing Horse hasn't mentioned the exact weight loss, we've been told that the carmaker has come up with new production techniques that boost torsional rigidity, a key area for a convertible.

Underneath the hood, the California T's twin-turbo 3.9-liter V8 jumps from 560 hp 600 hp, while the 560 lb-ft peak torque arrives between 3,000 and 5,250 rpm.

By nature, Ferraris are tail-happy animals and Maranello wants to ensure the Portofino allows its driver to fully harness all that muscle. As such, the fresh beast mixes Ferrari's E-Diff 3 electronic rear diff, the company's F1-Trac stability control and (a big change) electric power steering.

All these tech features come in an aggressive wrap. The Ferrari Portofino comes with a supermodel-wide mouth, while air intakes flanking the edges bring the airflow into the front wheel arches.

The Italians have maintained the folding metallic top formula, with the roof now helping the car fully resemble the line of a coupe when the weather is bad. However, when you're willing to enjoy the elements, the new wind deflector helps reduce air flow inside the cabin by a massive 30 percent.

Speaking of the interior, we also find important transformations here, such as the new 10.2-inch central infotainment screen or the generous passenger display.

Truth be told, this transformation was necessary. You see, the California was always regarded as too soft for the Prancing Horse badge, with the extensive facelift brought by the T badge only partially addressing this. So we can't wait to see how the Portofino feels in the flesh.


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