The Ferrari California has always been the odd model in Ferrari’s lineup mainly because quite a few number of petrolheads think the styling and driving experience of the California was never up to par with Ferrari standards, the Italian manufacturer did try to rectify this with the California T but the new twin turbocharged engine meant it lost a lot of the driving drama and magic that Ferrari’s are known for with their high reviving naturally aspirated engines. But now it finally seems that Ferrari are done with the California nameplate altogether for now and the California T has since been discontinued and recently been replaced by the brand new Ferrari Portofino.
While the name may take some getting used to but the styling definitely won’t. The old California/California T may have been the best selling car in the brand’s 70-year history but the styling of the California lineup was never a strong point, it didn’t ooze out the same sense of theater and excitement if you were near it like other Ferrari models too. But with the Portofino Ferrari really outdid themselves, the shape is much more aggressive and elegant when compared to the slightly odd proportions of the California T. The front end houses headlights that are very similar in design to the headlights we’ve seen on the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta as is the front air intake. The rear end houses the now signature Ferrari round taillights that we now see on every model in the range. The Portofino is a proper Ferrari that would look at the home whether it be tearing around the Nürburgring or cruising the streets of California, and look stunning while doing it whether it has it’s hard top roof up or retracted.
Ferrari have even used a brand new aluminum chassis for the Portofino that has been developed using a new manufacturing technique that reduces the complexity of the process while cutting weight and improving torsional rigidity. Under the hood you get the same 3.9 liter twin turbo V8 engine that we found in the California T but in the Portofino we have revised pistons and con rods with tweaks to the engine management software that now allows the 2+2 convertible Ferrari to develop 591bhp and 560 lb-ft, power figures that are on par with the Ferrari 458 Speciale, a car now worth nearly a million dollars in today’s market. There’s also a brand new exhaust system that will not only improve efficiency but also deliver a much sweeter soundtrack when compared to the California T.
Ferrari has also updated the interior with the Portofino, it now includes the brand new 10-inch touch screen infotainment system that we first saw the Ferrari GTC4 Lusso, the updated steering wheel, brand new controls for the center console, updated climate control system, and a passenger display screen. Other tweaks include a newer version of the electronics that control the rear differential, electric power steering that’s now even quicker and if the 812 superfast electric power steering is anything to go by it should be spectacular, and upgraded magnetorheological dampers. What do you think of the brand new Portofino? tell us by leaving a comment down below.