The Ferrari Portofino replaces the California T as its ‘everyday’ supercar. Named after the exclusive Italian resort, it combines sophistication with thrills, but some think it has a split personality.
For example, Ray Massey in the Daily Mail says, “in one moment it’s an easy-going grand tourer with impeccable manners, but the mere flick of a switch turns it into a full-blooded performance machine that’s powerful enough to rearrange your internal organs,” and has labelled it the ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ Ferrari.
Continuing on this theme, it also has two sides to its looks: on the one hand it is a sleek, berlinetta coupe, and on the other is a rather more rakish drop-top Spider, and you only have to push a button to switch between the two. From this perspective, the Ferrari Portofino is likely to appeal to both men and women equally.
The guys at Maranello have also most definitely improved on the California T by all accounts and have succeeded in designing a supercar that is comfortable enough for the driver who is unaccustomed to handling a supercar, while still having the power and versatility demanded by more experienced drivers.
The numbers are mouth-watering as well. Powered by an uprated 3.9-litre twin-turbo 600 horse-power V8 engine (40hp more than the California T) linked to a seven-speed F1 dual-clutch transmission, the Portofino accelerates from rest to 62mph/100kmh in just 3.2 seconds. And, it only takes just over 10 seconds to reach 124mph/200kmh. It has a top speed of 200mph/322kmh for when you’re really in a hurry.
The Ferrari Portofino is also 10 percent lighter than the California T, which makes for lower CO2 emissions and better fuel consumption, although at around 26 miles per gallon, it is exactly cheap to run. Ray Massey estimates that if you drive conservatively, you should be able to do 458 miles/ 737 km on a full tank.
Calling it the Portofino is also interesting an interesting move away from California. Apparently, the team drew up a list of Italian coastal towns and Portofino won. Perhaps in future we will see Rimini or Amalfi on a Ferrari.
Inside the cabin is temperature controlled and there are three buttons on the central console indicating R for reverse, A for Auto and L for launch – the latter isn’t about attempting to emulate SpaceX and Tesla – it’s the quick getaway button, but the car definitely stays on the ground. Adults will struggle to fit in the back, but there are mounting points for a child’s car seat. The leather is pretty plush though and the driver and front passenger will feel cosseted. Ferrari marketing chief Nicola Boari said of the new Portofino: “This is the most everyday Ferrari we have ever created. But it also offers high-speed stability when accelerating or cornering. You feel in control at all times.”