Not all Ferraris are mid-engined, track-shredding missiles. The Prancing Horse also builds fast, sexy front-engined grand touring sports cars, and the Portofino is the latest V8 GT from Maranello.
The Portofino, named for a sunny Italian vacation destination, replaces the California T, named for another sunny vacation destination, as Ferrari's entry-level GT car. As before, the Portofino is a folding hardtop convertible, but now its 592-horsepower twin-turbo V8 engine makes an additional 40 horsepower and its chassis is both lighter and stronger than before.
The new car's aluminum sheetmetal and folding roof are sleeker than those of the California T, especially with the roof raised.
This new roadster makes it public debut at next month's Frankfurt Motor Show, but Ferrari has released photos and is teasing us with some specifications.
That stronger, lighter chassis should translate into better ride and handling, and the stopwatch confirms that the Portofino is quick, with a 3.5-second 0-62 mph acceleration time and the top speed is stated as "greater than 199 mph."
The engine's added power is the result of refinements that include new pistons and connecting rods and a one-piece cast exhaust header that feeds the turbos more efficiently for even less turbo lag.
The Portofino also enjoy advances to its electronic differential system, its magnetically adjustable shock absorbers and its electric power steering, all of which combine for still better agility.
Hopefully, we will be able to report to you just how well all these improvements work with a test drive soon.