Thegot a bad rap. As the least-expensive Ferrari available, it was typically derided as a thing of pure style and no substance, meant only for people who want to brag about a badge.
But the actual California, and the California T that came after, couldn't be farther from that stereotype. It was a good car,, and it came with a bit more grand-touring sensibility than the 458 or 488 GTB. But none of that matters anymore, because the California is gone, and the Portofino is here to replace it.
The Ferrari Portofino, named after an Italian fishing village, is the latest entry-level Prancing Horse. But its specs don't exactly sound like entry-level stuff. A 3.8-liter, turbocharged V8 puts out about 590 horsepower and 561 pound-feet of torque. Thanks to new pistons and connecting rods, as well as a new intake design, the engine puts out about 37 more horsepower than it did in the California T.
It'll hit 62 mph in 3.5 seconds and it'll keep going past the 200-mph mark. Yeah, this is totally some entry-level stuff.
Handling should be stellar thanks to an electronic rear differential that balances output between the two rear wheels. It also packs electric power steering, another first for Ferrari's entry-level vehicles. The magnetorheological dampers have been tweaked to further reduce body roll, as well.
The Portofino, like the California before it, features a retractable hardtop that doesn't eat up 100 percent of the trunk space when it's stowed. Hardtops are heavy, but Ferrari balanced that out by making the Portofino lighter than the California T.
Style-wise, the Portofino borrows the general shape of the California, but the front end and its LED headlights look far more aggressive than the California ever did. Out back, it's got a dash of 488 GTB thanks to its round taillights.
Inside, there's a new 10.2-inch infotainment screen, a revised air conditioning system and a new steering wheel. The 18-way power front seats have a slimmer back that improves rear-seat legroom, and a new wind deflector cuts in-cabin airflow by about 30 percent.
The 2018 Ferrari Portofino will make its official debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show in September, and it will likely go on sale some time in 2018.