• Image Credit: Newspress
  • Image Credit: Newspress
  • Image Credit: Newspress
  • Image Credit: Newspress
The Ferrari California, in both turbo and non-turbo configurations, has been soldiering on for nearly a decade. With a base price of just over $200,000, it's the brand's entry-level model. Today, the automaker announced the car's replacement, the Ferrari Portofino. This will be the brand's entry-level GT car, slotting in below the top-dog 812 Superfast. It's both lighter and more powerful than the California T while still retaining the convertible hardtop bodystyle.

The now-familiar 3.9-liter twin-turbocharged V8 rests under the Portofino's long hood. The engine sends 591 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. That's 39 more horsepower and 3 more pound-feet than the California T. A new engine map along with new pistons, connecting rods, intake and exhaust account for the boost. Ferrari's Variable Boost Management system limits torque in certain gears, only sending out what the wheels can handle. Ferrari says the Portofino will hit 62 mph in just 3.5 seconds, pressing along to a top speed of 199 mph.

The Portofino makes use of the third generation of Ferrari's electronic rear differential. The car also comes with the F1-Trac traction control system. Combined with the Variable Boost Management, the Portofino should find adequate grip in most situations. A new generation of magnetorheological dampers helps improve ride and handling. Notably, the Portofino moves to electronically assisted power steering, following the same move in the 812 Superfast earlier this year.

The car is longer, lower and wider than the outgoing model. The new chassis makes use of modern design and engineering techniques, shaving an unspecified amount of weight from the car. At 3,813 pounds, the California T is a bit of a pig. Any weight savings will be a good thing. Because the V8 sits behind the front axle, the Portofino's weight distribution is 46/54 percent front/rear.

As expected, Ferrari has emphasized aerodynamic efficiency when crafting the Portofino's design. Overall, it looks like a slightly smaller 812 Superfast. If you like that car, you'll like the looks of the Portofino. The car is covered with small lips and intakes to help channel air in the most efficient and useful way possible. Look just to the side of the headlights or the deep cut that leads from the front wheels all the way along the door. The rear end does a much better job of hiding the convertible hardtop. The first California looks frumpy and bulbous from behind. The California T redesign helped, but the new Portofino looks great from the start.

The Portofino's interior is all new. It features a 10.2-inch infotainment screen that's far more passenger friendly than the system on the Ferrari 488 Spider. Occupants will appreciate an upgraded air conditioning system and a rear wind deflector to help block air with the top down. The driver will grip a new steering wheel that's a slight evolution of the current design.

Pricing and sales dates haven't been announced, but look for the full reveal next month at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

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