Car News

The Portofino Is the Latest Small Ferrari

Ferrari has just launched their newest model. The Portofino hard top convertible is the replacement for the California T. it's lighter, quicker, and faster.

You'll see the new Portofino called an "entry-level" Ferrari. And while it's true that the new model is the Italian brand's least expensive model (since the California T started at $231,000, I'm not going to call it cheap), it's hard to call something that makes 600 hp and 560 lb-ft "entry-level." That's 40 hp more than the California T, from the same 3.9L twin-turbo V8. That engine gets new pistons and rods, a new intake, and a new exhaust to coax out that extra power.

Running to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the Portofino hits 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds and Ferrari claims a top speed "greater than 320 km/h."

The Portofino is an all-new chassis that Ferrari says "features a significant weight saving over the California T," although they haven't given the exact figures. The new car gets the third-generation electronic rear differential, a first for the base Ferrari. It also moves to electric power steering, which Ferrari says allows for a quicker rack without reducing stability. The magnetic dampers are a new dual-coil system that allows it to work quicker and more effectively. The system can now respond to eliminate roll while better absorb bumps at the same time.

The styling brings the car more in-line with the 812 Superfast. Stealing styling from the big brother is a good idea, especially when the result looks as sleek and fast as this one does. The wide grin looks like it's just begging you to drive much more quickly than is probably a good idea.

Inside is loads of leather, a new steering wheel, and a 10.2-inch touchscreen. The 18-way adjustable seats have a new backrest that Ferrari said boosts legroom. More likely, it will now let you put your laptop or purse on the floor out of sight, instead of perched on the back seat. The air conditioning is also improved to help cooling with the roof down. Alternatively, use your right foot to improve airflow into the cabin and cool the occupants.

The Portofino will make its world debut at the Frankfurt show next month.