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The Ferrari Portofino had its virtual covers whipped off overnight, with the new convertible hardtop set to replace the California T.

Under the bonnet, the Portofino uses a heavily revised version of the California T’s 3.9-litre turbocharged V8, which now develops 441kW of power at 7500rpm, and 760Nm of torque between 3000 and 5250rpm.

That’s an increase of 29kW and 5Nm over the California T. Changes to the engine include recalibrated software, an exhaust header cast as one piece, and new designs for the intake, pistons and con-rods.

All this firepower is channelled to the rear wheels via the company’s new third-generation electronic differential. Other changes include the adoption of electric power steering, and a magnetorheological damping system with new dual-coil technology.

Ferrari claims the Portofino can blast through the 0-100km/h standard in 3.5 seconds, and hit a maximum speed of over 320km/h. By comparison, the Handling Pack equipped California T had a 0-100km/h time of 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 316km/h.

With the Portofino, Ferrari is sticking with the California’s folding hardtop formula, even as the concept is being dropped by other manufacturers, such as the next-generation Z4, which will come with fabric top.

The Portofino’s new body measures 4586mm long, 1938mm wide, and 1318mm tall. Underneath, Ferrari says the chassis is all new, with production techniques resulting in a stiffer car that also has a “significant weight saving”, although numbers have yet to revealed.

We do know, though, the Portofino has a 46:54 front-to-rear weight distribution.

On the inside, the Portofino features 10.2-inch main touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard, and a partially disguised touchscreen infotainment interface ahead of the front passenger. There’s also 18-way electronic adjustment for the front seats, and redesigned air deflector and air conditioning systems.

The Portofino makes its in-the-flesh debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September.


UPDATE: The Portofino is expected to make its way to Australia in the first quarter of 2018, with first deliveries to begin in the third quarter.

Local pricing will be confirmed closer to launch, but we would not expect the new roadster’s price to move far beyond the California T’s $409,888 starting figure.

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