After nine years of gracing Ferrari’s entry-level V8 convertible, the California nameplate bids farewell as its successor, the Ferrari Portofino, is unveiled ahead of its world premiere at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. Named after the Italian seaside resort town, the new model is a significant redevelopment of the California T, featuring a bold new look, greater performance and more advanced technologies on board.

At its heart lies the same 3.9 litre twin-turbocharged V8 as before, but it’s been fettled with new pistons and conrods, plus a redesigned intake and exhaust system. The latter incorporates a new one-piece-casted exhaust header that reduces losses, thus cutting turbo lag.

Together, these tweaks provide quicker acceleration in all gears in conjunction with Variable Boost Management, which adjusts torque delivery depending on the selected gear. More importantly, outputs have swelled by some 40 hp to a heady 600 hp at 7,500 rpm and 760 Nm from 3,000 to 5,250 rpm. Ferrari also claims fuel consumption has been reduced to 10.5 litres per 100 km combined – not like you’d bother.

Of course, this being a modern Ferrari, the engine is only part of the story. Under the skin, the Portofino benefits from Maranello’s third-generation electronic differential (E-Diff3) first introduced on the 458 Italia, which is integrated into the F1-Trac system to improve mechanical grip and control at the limit.

Also introduced for the first time on a Ferrari GT is electric power steering, which works together with the E-Diff3 to maintain stability even with the 7% quicker steering ratio. The SCM-E magnetorheological dampers have also been uprated with the use of dual-coil technology, reducing roll while improving bump absorption.

Despite all the new additions, the Portofino is lighter than the California T thanks to the extensive use of modern production technologies. All chassis and body-in-white components have been redesigned with a corresponding reduction in weight, even though torsional rigidity has actually increased.

Visually, the Portofino has been completely redesigned with new, more curvaceous sheetmetal, with the front end dominated by a massive front grille and LED headlights with a more horizontal design, as seen on the GTC4Lusso. Those lamps feature air inlets on the outer edges, which direct air into the front wheel arches and out along the flanks to reduce drag.

At the rear, the more widely-spaced round tail lights reduce the visual bulk created by the high bootlid, necessary to fit the folding hardtop. Speaking of which, the roof is all new and features a sleeker design that gives the Portofino a fastback look; it is also lighter and can now be raised and lowered at low speeds. The gorgeous new red hue you see here is called Rosso Portofino – again, like the town.

Step inside and you’ll find a cabin that’s reminiscent of the GTC4Lusso, complete with a huge 10.2-inch touchscreen display for the infotainment system and a secondary screen ahead of the front passenger. The multifunction steering wheel design is also new, as are the backrests for the 18-way power-adjustable front seats, which make more room for those at the back.

Comfort is improved via a new air-conditioning system with better performance both with the roof up or down, as well as a new wind deflector. The latter reduces wind noise and cuts air flow inside the cabin by as much as 30% with the top dropped.