Ferrari's Portofino Is A Drop Dead Gorgeous GT Convertible Pumping 600 Horsepower

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It’s hard to think of “Ferrari” and “entry-level” in the same sentence, but you have to start somewhere when climbing up the ranks of the Italian marque’s riproarious supercars. The new Portofino — named after the coastal city of Portofino, Italy — replaces the unloved California/California T as the company’s least expensive model (well, relatively speaking, of course).

The Portofino is still a 2+2 convertible — although the rear seats are best reserved for children or luggage — and retains the crowd-pleasing retractable hardtop mechanism. This transforms the attractive convertible into a menacing coupe with the press of a button. The gaudy and awkward lines of its predecessor have been placed with more flowing curves, tight creases, and a much-improved rear design. Up front, the headlights and central grille echo styling themes that are found on more expense Ferrari models like the GTC4Lusso.

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A Ferrari just wouldn’t be a Ferrari without a screaming, high-revving engine, and there are no disappointments on that front. The turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 generates 598 horsepower (an increase of 40 horses) and a hefty 560 lb-ft of torque. Boasting a front/rear weight distribution of 46/54, the Portofino uses Ferrari’s Variable Boost Management system to keep the rear-wheel drive chassis in check under hard acceleration.

The Portofino also has the distinction of being the first GT car in Ferrari’s lineup to adopt electric power steering (EPS), while a third-generation electronic rear differential is included along with a suspension that incorporates magnetorheological damping system (say that five times fast).

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When it comes to performance, the Portofino, which actually weighs less than its predecessor, will go from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 198 mph. Ferrari hasn’t announcing pricing for the vehicle yet, but you can expect it to hone closely to the $200,000 price tag of the California T.