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Ferrari Portofino: Frankfurt Auto Show

What Is It?

The Ferrari Portofino will serve as the new entry-level Ferrari model, replacing the California in the brand’s lineup. It offers totally new styling compared to the outgoing California T, along with some new features and an evolution of the California T’s engine.

The Portofino’s allure starts on the outside, with brand-new styling that looks like a gorgeous update from the California T. The sides are especially eye-catching, filled with character lines and sporty design details near the wheels. The interior is also updated and touts a handsome look — characteristic of modern Ferrari models — with a large center touchscreen. Of course, the full power retractable hardtop is retained; the Portofino won’t be offered as a coupe.

Under the hood, the Portofino retains the California T’s 3.9-liter turbocharged V8, although it’s been revised for more power. The Portofino now offers 592 horsepower (up from the California T’s 551) and 560 lb-ft of torque, which is roughly the same as the California T. Like the T, the Portofino uses a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic; zero to 60 is said to come in just 3.5 seconds.

Beyond the powertrain, Ferrari says the Portofino will offer a few other new features — like a revised magnetic suspension, electric power steering and a new “F1-Trac” traction control system.

How Much?

Ferrari hasn’t yet set pricing, but we expect a small (yet noticeable) increase over the California T’s base price of around $199,000.

When Can You Get It?

Late 2017 or early 2018

Add It to Your Shopping List Because…

Although the original Ferrari California was generally agreed to offer questionable styling, the California T update improved things dramatically. The Portofino looks even more attractive than the T, with a handsome exterior that barely reveals its status as the “base-model” Ferrari. Add to that amazing performance (zero to 60 in 3.5 and a top speed approaching 200 mph) and you might just have the most usable, best all-around Ferrari ever made.

Other Cars to Consider

Aston Martin DB11 — The gorgeous Aston Martin DB11 features handsome styling and a high-quality interior — along with a V12 engine. But it doesn’t boast the California T’s removable roof — or its “Ferrari” name recognition.

Audi R8 — The new Audi R8 offers gorgeous styling, and — in V10 form — amazing acceleration. It’s also an “entry-level” exotic; a gateway to the Lamborghini realm. Compared to the Portofino, its only problem is that it doesn’t offer a drop-top model.

Maserati GranTurismo — The aging Maserati GranTurismo doesn’t quite have the performance or the appearance to match the California T. But with a starting price of just $134,000 with shipping, it’s far more affordable.

Used Ferrari F12 — The Ferrari F12 is the brand’s flagship model save for ultra-high-end supercars like the LaFerrari. Although there’s no convertible F12, it features an amazing 731-horsepower V12 — and prices for used examples are starting to come down toward the Portofino’s range.

Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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  1. The rear of the California was always my least favorite bit, that seems to have carried over, although its a bit prettier now. The rest is pretty attractive.

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