Riviera Roots: The new Ferrari Portofino

A faster, sleeker, lighter convertible replaces the three-year-old California T

Ferrari has surprised fans by unveiling its new Portofino supercar, a direct replacement to its drop-top California T that went on sale just three years ago. The Portofino, which is due to appear in the metal at the Frankfurt motor show next month, will sit at the bottom of the company's range.

The name "Portofino" derives from a "glamorous town on the Italian Riviera", says Evo, bringing an end to the traditional California name that has been handed to Ferrari's drop-top supercars since the 1950s.

Much of the Portofino's styling comes from the 812 Superfast grand tourer and the GTC4 Lusso shooting brake, including the thin headlight design and wide front grille. But its styling is significantly less aggressive than Ferrari's other cars, indicating that it's the entry-level car in the Italian firm's lineup.

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Under the bonnet sits a 3.9-litre turbocharge V8 engine from the 488 supercar, says AutoExpress, which produces 592bhp – around 40bhp more than the old California T. Ferrari has achieved this boost in performance by fitting "new pistons, con-rods and a redesigned intake system."

Peak power comes in at around 7,500rpm, reports Autocar, while the car's 561lb-ft of torque becomes available between 3,000rpm and 5,250rpm. This helps the supercar go from zero to 62mph in 3.5sec and on to a top speed of "more than 199mph".

The new supercar comes with an "all-new aluminium chassis" that goes alongside a "new manufacturing technique" that reduces the complexity of car production and helps reduce its weight, says Top Gear.

There's a host of updates on the inside, too, as the website says Ferrari has tweaked the air conditioning and improved the ergonomics of the cabin. A large touchscreen infotainment system sits at the top of the centre console, while the steering wheel appears to have come from the 812 Superfast.

Details such as pricing and delivery dates are expected when Ferrari shows the car to the public at the Frankfurt motor show, which runs from 14 to 27 September.

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