Ferrari California T was often called a “budget Ferrari”. While it still cost a large pile of money, it was certainly cheaper than all other cars in the range. However, it was also quite old – the same basic chassis has been used for almost a decade. And now it is time for a new “budget Ferrari” – Portofino.
Ferrari Portofino is a new four-seat convertible, sitting at the bottom of Ferrari range. It features a completely new lighter chassis, but the same 3.9 litre engine. Of course, in Portofino it is a little bit more powerful, producing 441 kW and 760 Nm of torque. This is enough to propel the car to 100 km/h in just 3.5 seconds and onto its top speed of more than 320 Km/h. Of course, the engine has been reworked and now has new pistons and con-rods, new intake system design, new one-piece-cast exhaust header and many other improvements. Ferrari says that the sound of V8 has also been tuned to perfection, which is not easy to do with two turbos strapped to the engine.
To keep all this power on the road Ferrari fitted Portofino with the latest generation of electronic rear differential, which improves grip and stability in, let’s say, enthusiastic driving conditions. Purists will not be happy to know that Portofino has Electric Power Steering, which may reduce the feedback. However, it is now a little bit quicker, which is a nice trade off.
Obviously, a lot of people are buying such cars for how they look more than anything and Portofino delivers in this area as well. It has an aggressive face, which is recognizably Ferrari, a sleek silhouette, wide side skirts and sculptured vents in fenders. The roof is still metal, which helps keeping the car safe and isolating the cabin from the outside noise. Ferrari Portofino was mostly shaped by aerodynamics – it is smooth and glides through the air as a sports car should.
Interior is redesigned as well. The most prominent feature is an infotainment system with 10.2” touchscreen display. Air conditioning is also more powerful, while the front seats are slimmer to allow for more legroom for back passengers. There is a certain focus on comfort in the new Ferrari Portofino. It is a GT car and it should cruise across continents with style and ease.
So what about that “budget Ferrari”? While it is the cheapest car in the manufacturer’s line-up, it is certainly not cheap. Tick a couple of options and you’re looking at a 200 thousand euro car. Is it worth it? It certainly looks amazing, but many more popular rivals are significantly cheaper. On the other hand, Ferrari is on a class of its own and we have no doubt the new Portofino is going to sell like hot cakes.
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