Ferrari launches new Portofino roadster

Posted on Aug 23, 2017 by

Maranello replaces front-engined V8 California roadster with new droptop worth 600 horsepower. May be heading to UAE this Dubai motor show

2018 ferrari portofino 6

New Portofino gains new pistons and con-rods, and a new intake and exhaust system for its 600 horsepower 3.9-litre V8

First launched back at the 2008 Paris motor show, the Ferrari California has now been around for nearly a decade in more or less the same form, even though the model’s mid-life update constituted an update from a 4.3-litre naturally aspirated V8 to modern, turbocharged power and a 3.9-litre engine.

When released the California was Maranello’s first V8 front-engined, rear-drive, two-seater convertible, and now that its time is due Ferrari has revealed an all-new successor due for its first public outing at next month’s .

2018 ferrari portofino 6

As for the badge, the Italians went back from America’s west coast to their home country, this time going with the name Ferrari Portofino after the glamourous Mediterranean destination, lined with cobbled streets and Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Dolce Gabbana boutiques. Ferrari it seems still doesn’t mind batching its front-engined V8 roadsters in with the term ‘boulevard cruiser’, as with the California and now the Portofino targeting the nouveau riche, customers new to the brand, and women buyers.

But then you look at the specs of the company’s new entry-level sports car, and shopping trips will be the last thing on your mind behind the wheel of the 2018 Portofino — the car develops more than 40 horsepower over the California, for a 600hp total thanks to the latest development of Maranello’s 3.9-litre twin-turbocharged V8. Peak power is at 7,500rpm and maximum torque of 760Nm  comes on from 3,000rpm.

2018 ferrari portofino 6

Despite all that extra grunt Ferrari claims it’s the chassis that’s received most changes, with promises of significant weight savings (the California weighed over 1.6-tonnes) and rear-biased 46:54 weight distribution.

Slightly longer than the California, and also wider and lower, the Portofino additionally betters its predecessor by two tenths of a second in the sprint from zero to 100km/h, completing the run in 3.5 seconds and going on to a top speed of 320km/h, a 4km/h increase.

The big deal in the Portofino is additionally the new inclusion of Ferrari’s trick electronic differential which wasn’t available in the California, and new electronic power steering with a seven percent quicker ratio.

2018 ferrari portofino 6

Designed entirely in-house, the Portofino seems way better executed than the California which looked slightly awkward form the beginning — this time the car looks good with the fast-back shaped hardtop down or up. Ferrari says designers and aerodynamicists enlarged the front grille opening, now stretching along the width of the car, and designed the full-LED headlamps with leading edges that act like air intakes.

New interior features for the occupants include a 10.2-inch touchscreen, new air-conditioning system, new steering wheel, 18-way adjustable seats, and a new deflector that cuts wind buffeting in the cabin by 30 percent.

Auto Middle East has reached out to local Ferrari reps, and although it’s too early to confirm you can expect the 2018 Ferrari Portofino to make its first regional public appearance at November’s Dubai motor show after its global premiere in Frankfurt. When it goes on sale around the GCC next year the Portofino will be priced from the range of AED850,000 to AED900,000.

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