The Ferrari Portofino replaces the California as the entry-level car in the range. The phrase ‘entry-level’ seems a little strange for a car that boasts performance that would have made it a top off the range halo car only a couple of decades earlier. Never-the-less the Portofino is aimed at customers beginning their Ferrari experience and is a little less intense as other cars in the range. Despite this it is very much a proper Ferrari sports car with a beautifully balanced chassis giving great feedback of the road beneath.
The engine is related to both that in the California T and 488 models. A twin-turbo V8 that in this car red-lines at 7500 revs per minute. It is well rounded with no lag and brutal torque which needs to be electronically controlled in lower gears to keep the wheels from constantly spinning.
The folding hardtop style roof is carried on from the California but now integrates better with the design producing less clumsy lines. Ferrari insist that it adds little to the weight of the car and it certainly provides both the best of hardtop and convertible driving. For some, the small compromises to make the Portofino a more forgiving car to live with will be too much. Many more will appreciate a car that they can use more often and in more situations than one of Ferrari’s more focussed performance cars.
The California was one of Ferrari’s best selling cars and given the Portofino’s perfection of the package with improvements all-round, we can expect it to become a profitable model for the Italian car maker.