Why Ferrari fans should be excited for the Portofino
New “entry” level Ferrari model is a refined replacement for the California grand tourer.
Ferrari fans in Australia will no doubt be enlivened about the prestige sports car maker’s latest offering. Already released in some international markets, Australian prancing horse enthusiasts can expect the $398,888 (plus on-road costs) roadster to start fulfilment this month.
The Portofino replaces the successful California T convertible, which secured more than 11,000 orders in ten years. The model also netted the famed sportscar maker with a host of first-time buyers, poached from rival brands like Mercedes AMG and Porsche.
Let’s see why Ferrari buyers and drop-top owners will love the new Portofino.
The most useable Ferrari yet?
First off, the Portofino is pitched as a daily driver Ferrari. Switching the Manettino (Italian for "little lever") dial to comfort, motoring journalists found the ride was supple and wonderfully smooth. Apparently, the Portofino even manages to handle potholes and broken road-surfaces with poise, setting it apart as the perfect everyday Ferrari.
Another factor making this Ferrari more drivable is a slightly increased ride-height over its predecessor. This means that a driver doesn’t need to fret over their low hanging front bumper when traversing speed bumps or multi-story parking ramps.
Just because this Ferrari is graceful around town doesn’t mean it’s a slouch though!
A proper Ferrari should tick three boxes: It should handle beautifully, it should have a high-revving, superbly engineered power plant and it should come in red. The Portofino ticks all those boxes, the powerhouse being a mid-mounted, turbocharged, 3.9-litre V8.
This award-winning engine produces a startling 441kW at 7,500rpm and almost double the torque of your average ute, with 760Nm of mechanical grip! There’s a nifty electronically controlled exhaust bypass valve system too, that enhances the note of the thunderous V8. Translating the forces the engine blasts out to the tyres is a seven-speed, dual clutch gearbox.
Ferrari engineers shed 80kg from the car’s mass and made it 30% more rigid to improve handling, also aided by a new aluminium architecture.
The result is a hardtop that will surge from zero to 100km/h in 3.5 seconds, eventually topping out at 320km/h. You won’t be able to hit that kind of speed with the roof down though, as the hood must be closed over 40km/h.
Looking through the spec list, it seems everything the engineers at Ferrari could re-work, they did. The air conditioning now wafts drivers with air 25% faster, while generating half the noise levels of the California’s climate control system.
Rear passengers now enjoy an extra 50mm of legroom. When not occupied, the rear seats can be dropped down to create extra space for luggage. Reviewers loved the high-def, jumbo infotainment screen. Up front, passengers can tailor their seating-position thanks to 18-way adjustment. The car even has Apple CarPlay and all-round parking cameras.
Looking to purchase a Ferrari Portofino?
You'll need to enquire about procuring a Portofino via the Ferrari Australia site.
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