This is Ferrari’s new entry-level model but that doesn’t mean the average Joe can rush out and buy two of them in case one gets dirty. It’ll still command a six-figure sum but forget all that for now, let’s just appreciate the beautiful new Portofino. It may at first appear a lot like the outgoing California (which had been around since 2008; six years later the second gen Cali T arrived and in spite of strong sales it was high time for a replacement) but look again and there are a host of differences.
The Portofino gets new horizontal headlights, slightly less curvy fenders and bonnet which makes for a flatter and more aggressive appearance. We like the pronounced F1-style nose, and the more prominent grille gets larger air ducts in the lower fascia. A closer look reveals tiny air intake vents on the outside edge of each headlight helps to channels air into the wheel arches and out the flanks to reduce drag.
The roofline is longer and it flows nicely into the rear deck lid for a fastback look and with the retractable hard top stowed away you can the beefier rear haunches become more visible while the taillights are now spaced a bit more further apart.
The cabin features a new 10.2in touchscreen and a passenger display in the dash, the steering has been tweaked a little, some controls have been relocated and the AC has been improved.
To the most important aspect, performance, the Ferrari gets an updated version of the 3.9-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 which you also find in the 488 (and the current Cali T) and it gets new pistons and a redesigned intake and exhaust system to make 592 horsepower. That’s a healthy 40 more than the outgoing model and it is mated to a seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox. It’ll do the 0-100kph sprint in around 3.5 seconds.
Beneath the new body is the familiar front-engine rear-drive layout of the outgoing grand tourer but it rides on an all-new aluminium chassis which is lighter and offers more rigidity than the California and this should improve handling and overall make for an even more enjoyable car to drive. Like what you see? Thought so, The official launch will be next month at the Frankfurt motor show and we can't wait!