The new Portofino may be practical – but it's still a Ferrari
The new Portofino may be the most approachable of Ferraris – but that doesn't mean it's a soft touch
Practicality has never exactly been high on the average Ferrari buyer’s checklist.
But the new Portofino is certainly the most approachable of the Italian marque’s line-up.
It has more space in the back, a larger boot, a big ol’ touchscreen and better air conditioning.
None of this is to say the replacement for the 10-year old California is soft, though. Far from it.
Powered by Ferrari’s sublime 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8, it will hit 62mph in 3.5 seconds, aided by a dual-clutch F1 gearbox that can shift between gears faster than before.
When it comes to top speed, it only falls short of the magic 200mph mark by 1mph. It’s the finest of lines between GT and supercar. That said, with a 0-124mph time of less than 11 seconds, and 591bhp in its arsenal, this surely falls in the latter category.
For similar money you can have an Aston Martin or a McLaren. But if you’re in the market for a Ferrari, nothing else will really do
Part of this performance comes from the Portofino’s diet: it’s dropped 80kg on its predecessor. Its new magnesium-framed seats play a part here. But the numbers only tell part of the story.
The boys in Maranello have worked hard on the chassis, steering and suspension to make the Portofino as engaging as possible, without scary the living daylights out of you.
The electronic suspension helps iron out any bumps in the road or the Daylesford car park. Around the corners it enjoys 10% more downforce than the Cali, courtesy of that low, sweeping nose. The wind-tunnel may not always lead to the prettiest results, but my word is this car aerodynamic.
Around the corners it sticks like glue. The new electronic steering system has suffered about the only criticism about this car so far – taking a little too much feel from the driver. But given the Portofino will be more at home on B roads than Brands Hatch, we doubt this will be an issue for most owners.
Ultimately, buying the Ferrari will be buying into the Prancing Horse. For similar money you can have an Aston Martin or a McLaren. But if you’re in the market for a Ferrari, nothing else will really do.
Model: Ferrari Portofino
Engine: 3.9-litre V8, twin-turbo petrol
Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch auto, rear-wheel drive
0-62mph: 3.5 seconds
Top speed: 199mph
On sale: Now