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Frankfurt – Ferrari Portofino becomes new entry model

Lighter weight and more power than California predecessor

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Frankfurt sees the debut of the Ferrari Portofino, a 2+2 convertible intended to replace the California T and to be the new entry model to Ferrari ownership.

The V8 GT Portofino is a 2+2 convertible with a folding hard top. Thanks to a complete redesign of the retractable hard top mechanism it now opens or closes in 14 seconds, while a new design of housing allows three cases to be carried in the boot with the roof up, two with it down.

The Portofino’s 3.9-litre V8 engine is developed from the California T unit and puts out 600hp, which is 40hp more powerful than in the California T. It will take the car through 62mph in 3.5 seconds and onto 124mph in 10.8 seconds. Top speed is said to be over 199mph.

Weight saving

Ferrari states that the Portofino is significantly lighter than its predecessor, though has not yet stated figures. Achieving the savings involved a complete chassis redesign – an example being the windscreen pillar (A-pillar) that now comprises two components instead of the 21 of predecessor cars. As a result body stiffness increases by 35 per cent.

Major suspension changes are also a part of the Portofino menu. Springs are stiffened at the front by 15.5 per cent, 19 per cent at the rear. The car’s Magnaride system now uses dual-coil dampers, and with other measures contributes to improved body control and reduced rolling in corners. The car also boasts electric power steering and an electronic rear differential for the first time.

Ferrari is yet to release prices for the Portofino.

Ferrari Portofino, The Car Expert

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.