The next step of the world’s most famous car brand’s model lineup has been revealed in the form of the Ferrari Portofino, which replaces the California T as the entry-level model in the Ferrari lineup, ahead of its show debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
Like the California T, the Ferrari Portofino uses a folding hard-top roof and is powered by a revised version of the California T’s turbocharged 3.9-litre V8, this time producing 441kW of power and 760Nm of torque to compete with cars such as the McLaren 540C, Jaguar F-Type SVR and Mercedes-AMG GT.
Matched to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, Ferrari claims a 0-100km/h time of just 3.5 seconds and a top speed of over 320km/h for the Portofino. Fuel consumption on the other hand, is claimed as just 10.5L/100km combined – though you’re unlikely to ever see numbers as low as that.
The 3.9-litre V8 in the Ferrari Portofino has seen significant revisions, with Ferrari claiming that the engine’s efficiency has been honed with the adoption of new pistons and conrods, and a new intake system design. A new one-piece-cast exhaust header reduces energy loss, an important factor in ensuring Ferrari’s characteristic throttle response with supposedly zero turbo lag.
These improvements, combined with Ferrari’s Variable Boost Management – which adjusts torque delivery to suit the gear selected – enable the car to offer faster acceleration in all gears and lower fuel consumption compared to the outgoing California T.
The Ferrari Portofino’s dynamics have been completely revised and updated – for the first time on an entry-level Ferrari, the third-generation of electronic rear differential has been adopted, which Ferrari says improves the mechanical grip and control of the car on the limit. For the first time as well, the Portofino has been fitted with electronic power steering, which Ferrari claims allowed engineers to reduce the steering ratio by seven percent for “even more responsive steering without a trade-off in stability thanks to the integration with the new differential”.
The Portofino’s adaptive dampers have also been revised, with a new coil spring design that allows further stiffening of the suspension but also a better ride control level no matter what the dampers are set to.
The exterior of the Portofino has been changed significantly from the California T, though still keeps a slight resemblance. Of particular highlight are the Portofino’s dimensions, with a more hunkered-down appearance highlighted by the roof’s new shape. Strongly resembling the larger 812 Superfast, the Portofino’s roof is now a two-piece affair – the California T’s was a three-piece unit – which makes the roof simpler and faster to retract.
The interior of the Ferrari Portofino has also been gifted a new design, with a more modern and less complicated layout than before. Being a Ferrari, it’s still stylish and appears to be high quality. Centrepiece of the cabin is a new infotainment system with a 10.2-inch touchscreen, as well as a new air-conditioning system, 18-way electrically adjustable seats that supposedly improve rear occupant’s legroom and a passenger display on the dashboard that allows the front seat passenger to access the infotainment system and other features such as a rev and speed counter.
A new wind deflector design has also been implemented, which is claimed to cut airflow and noise into the cabin by up to 30 percent at highway cruising speed.
The Ferrari Portofino will make its international debut at the Frankfurt motor show and has been confirmed for Australia, with an expected release in the first half of 2018 – deliveries will follow in the third quarter.
Stay tuned to Chasing Cars for our coverage of the upcoming Frankfurt motor show, where more details about the Ferrari Portofino and many other show debuts will be revealed.
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