Ferrari waves goodbye to California, and hello to Portofino

Summer may be winding down soon, but Ferrari has a new convertible on the way.

The Ferrari California was launched in 2008, and got a major upgrade in 2014, becoming the California T. But now Ferrari is starting over with a new model, and a new name. Behold the Ferrari Portofino, which makes its public debut next month at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Named after a city in northwest Italy, the Portofino rides on an all-new aluminum chassis. Ferrari claims the new car is lighter and more rigid than its predecessor, although the company wouldn’t release actual figures. It’s at least a bit better looking than the old California T, which always had a bit of awkwardness to it. Like most modern Ferraris, though, the Portofino isn’t exactly pretty.

Like the California T, the Portofino uses a 3.9-liter twin-turbocharged V8. But the engine has been upgraded to produce 590 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque, increases of 37 hp and 3 lb-ft over the California T. Ferrari says the Portofino will do 0 to 62 mph in 3.5 seconds, and reach a top speed of over 198 mph.

While it will certainly be able to send the wind rushing through your hair, the Portofino likely won’t be as hardcore as the other models in Ferrari’s stable. It will replace the California T as the “entry-level” Ferrari, and emphasizes comfort to a greater extent than other Ferraris.

That’s apparent from the interior upgrades, which include a more efficient air conditioning system, 18-way power-adjustable seats with a new backrest design meant to increase rear-passenger legroom, and a new wind deflector that cuts air flow through the interior by 30 percent with the top down, as well as reducing wind noise. The Portofino also boasts a 10.2-inch infotainment touchscreen (with a smaller display for the front passenger).

Ferrari also added its E-Diff3 electronic differential and upgraded the magnetorheological dampers, so the Portofino should still handle like a real Ferrari. The Portofino also gets electric power steering, always a controversial move among car enthusiasts because of its reputation for erasing steering feel. Ferrari says the system will be more responsive, though.

The Ferrari Portofino makes its public debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show next month, with deliveries likely to start sometime next year. Pricing and a specific U.S. launch date will be announced at a later time.

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