Faster, lighter, fancier
The Portofino - a head-turner on any road in any city of the world - replaces the very likeable California T. Maranello’s latest offering is an everyday Prancing Horse, yet a grand touring masterpiece. Offering a thoroughly enjoyable ride, the hardtop convertible shares the same engine as the GTC4Lusso T. Even a short ride in it makes abundantly clear the fact that the Portofino was crafted with the aim of delivering Ferrari’s trademark sporty performance, handling and just pure enjoyment all in an everyday car.
The Portofino has a new aluminium chassis reinforced with an alloy - created using 12 different metals – to improve structural rigidity while simultaneously shedding weight. Weight is also saved in the powertrain, electronics, seats and dashboard structure. At just over 1.6 tonnes, the Portofino is nicely weighted to achieve what it was built to do.
The engine is a reworked wet-sump iteration of Ferrari’s award-winning 3.9ltr V8 twin turbo that produces 592hp at 7,500rpm and a very impressive 760Nm of torque from 3,000 to 5,250rpm. The Portofino pulls away easily at low speeds in seventh gear, thanks to a very capable dual shift gearbox. While offering the option for more aggressive manual mode, it is also happy to drive calmly around in smooth comfort drive. The magnetic dampers in the Portofino are on the firmer side but still quite comfortable with very forgiving rebound action for an easy and leisurely drive. Its electric power steering – light and precise – offers great feedback making driving a rewarding and fun experience, while the brakes have just the right bite. In that sense, the brakes are confidence inducing. Variable exhausts handle the wondrous Ferrari soundtrack and let you choose how loud or soft you want the music.
The latest technological wizardry, with all the electronic controls, do a great job of directing all the power to the rear wheels and showing off the Portofino’s agile and stable handling. Great low-end torque implies even a gentle throttle input allows the GT to be effortlessly manoeuvred, making driving it even at low speeds pure bliss. But when a taste of Ferrari’s legendary performance is desired, it can be had with no extra effort as the car responds instantaneously for a fun, spirited drive up any road requiring very little driver inputs.
The interiors - all the way from the air conditioner vents to the switchgears – are made of only the finest materials. Even the floor mats are nicely cushioned! High-end quality leather is used and perfectly stitched. The cabin is comfortable and complemented by an excellent climate control system. The air conditioner is super quiet and capable of cooling the entire cabin in short notice. Adjustable front seats get you in the perfect seating position with great visibility to help read the car’s parameters and exploit its handling prowess fully.
The Portofino’s 10.2” HD touch-screen infotainment system is crystal clear and easy to operate and comes with a USB port. A 7” digital gauge cluster that sits directly in front of the driver displays the entertainment, navigation and useful vehicle information all at a quick glance so that you can enjoy driving the car rather than be distracted by trivialities.
The Portofino does have rear seats but are small and can accommodate children for short trips. Boot space is very reasonable for such a car, even with its hard top retracted.
Standard safety and driving assistance equipment include rear parking cameras and adaptive headlights that quickly adjust to the car’s speed and steering input. The auto-dimming mirrors that combat glaring SUV headlights are very useful.
The Portofino has done a great job of expanding its client pool. It’ll woo many enthusiasts to the Ferrari journey as it is a far more enticing prospect than just a pure sports car.