This then is the new Ferrari Portofino, announced today (August 23rd) ahead of its public debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, where it will take over from the California T. There’s even a new shade of red to celebrate the launch: Rosso Portofino.
Ferrari has given the Portofino a new version of the 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 from the 488 GTB as well as an all-new chassis said to be much lighter than the one it replaces. But in a world increasingly going soft in the hood department, Maranello has stayed true to the retractable hard-top, always the California’s USP as well as its burden.
Roof up or down, the new car is sleeker and more cohesive a design than the old model from any angle. The profile verges on the classical, the new body-colour hard-top (rather than the black of some previous Californias) contributing to what is a remarkable impression of a very sharp-looking fastback coupe. Roof down it’s just as seamless, with only a vestigial roof hump.
There are new LED headlights in the new nose, new side vents and a new tail treatment to better hide all the hard-top gubbins, but you won’t need them: you’ll be able to tell Portofino from California at a glance.
Ferrari says the Portofino continues to offer the roomy cabin (still with two kids-only seats in the back) and luggage room of its predecessor, making it a practical as well as fast convertible GT. Features inside include a bigger new touchscreen infotainment system, new air-conditioning system, new steering wheel, 18-way electrically adjustable seats and a new wind deflector which is claimed to cut top-down turbulence by 30 per cent.