Ferrari Unveils Mischievous Replacement for ‘Entry-level’ California

Ferrari officially presented the world with the car intended to replace the California on Wednesday. The new model, called the Portofino, is a 2+2 sporting a mischievous grin and enough horsepower to warrant it. Named — like many of Ferrari’s grand tourers — after a part of the world known for its temperate climate, the Portofino houses an updated 3.9-liter turbocharged V8 with 591 prancing stallions ready to tear up the tarmac.

Distinctively less subtle than the base California in both appearance and specifications, the new “entry-level” Ferrari benefits from new internals, but the overall affect primarily bolsters horsepower. Torque is bumped up to 560 lb-ft between 3,000 and 5,250 rpm, representing a modest 3 foot-pound increase compared to a nearly 40-horsepower improvement. Not that it should matter; the Italian automaker still considers the Portofino a GT car despite its more aggressive persona.

Outfitted with magnetic damping, electronic power steering, an electronic rear differential, and the same variable boost management that mitigated turbo lag in the California, the new model should be technologically superior than just about anything else you’ll encounter on the road.

Ferrari claims the new model is capable of a 3.5-second 0-62 mph acceleration time and a top speed “greater than 199 mph.”

Lighter than the California, even with its retractible hardtop, everything is pointing toward the Portofino being a little more squirrelly than its predecessor. Ferrari introduced the California T after some purists griped that it wasn’t hardcore enough — as if a comfortable grand tourer with a hidden cup holder was some kind of sin. While this is speculative, I would imagine the design department is going to try and dodge that bullet in advance by assuring snobs that the Portofino is a “proper Ferrari” straight away.

However, it probably won’t be impossible to live with for the sake of “purity.” The interior offers slimmer seat backs so rear occupants have some legroom — though not much by the look of it. There is also a new 10.2-inch infotainment screen, passenger controls, a revised air conditioning system, and a brand new steering wheel.

The 2018 Ferrari Portofino will make its official debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show in September, and it will likely go on sale some time in 2018 for a six-figure fee to be announced later on.

[Images: Ferrari]

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