Portofino is a little village on the Italian Riviera which is steeped in Italian history and is a bit of a celebrity haven. A rather perfect name then for Ferrari’s newest considering its cars are often the cherished transport of choice for the rich and famous. However the Portofino is a new kind of Ferrari for a car-maker which has seen a lot of change over the past few years. More so recently its sales have sky rocketed and its brand value is at an all-time high especially with its IPO, a roaring success.
So it seems the future of the prancing horse is indeed secure. The Portofino is also currently its best-selling car and has opened doors to a new clientele plus it will ensure the accountants at Ferrari are kept happy.
However a background to the Portofino is important to grasp the significance of this car. Typically a Ferrari is always envisioned as a low-slung road-going missile with either being mid-engined or having a massive V12 up-front and a penchant for tearing up racetracks. This is not that Ferrari and that is a good thing. The Portofino is a grand tourer with the ability to cross vast distances in comfort and style yet still being sprinkled with a little bit of Ferrari magic to keep the tifosi happy. The Portofino is the successor to the much controversial California which was shrugged off by Ferrari loyalists as an un-welcome brand extension. This time, Ferrari listened and has completely overhauled the recipe for a luxurious supercar that becomes a boulevard cruiser with a touch of a button.
The Portofino is edgier, lighter and is injected with more Ferrari DNA but still at heart stays true to being a beautiful everyday supercar. Thus more than its ability to go from 0 to 200 km/h in 10.8 seconds (courtesy a 3.9l twin-turbo V8), it is its sheer use-ability and compliant ride that blows the mind.
The interior similarly is the most luxurious yet from Ferrari with fragrant leather draped everywhere and fitted with all the modern amenities. It is spacious and will accommodate four easily plus its controls are more relaxed and as a cabin it is less intimidating from Ferrari’s other more hardcore supercars.
More so with a touch of a button it turns from a svelte coupe to a convertible. With the top down, wind noise is kept remarkably low and yet the sensation of roofless motoring is transmitted to perfection. You caress the steering and soak in the environment. This is a new kind of Ferrari experience. However arm chair pundits and traditional brand loyalists, fret not as the Portofino is a proper Ferrari when duly provoked. The V8 sounds raucous and it gathers speeds with a ferocious intent.
More so over the California, the stiffness and the agility is downright spooky with Ferrari engineers messing with physics and getting away with it. You do not drive it around corners as much as you pour it and with the V8 belting out a sonorous sound track, the driving experience is everything you would and should expect from a Ferrari. It feels more alive than the California or for that matter any convertible supercar with a distinct personality layered with utmost grace of a proper grand tourer.
The 2019 Ferrari Portofino launched at an entry-level price of Rs. 3.5 cr. and is available for bookings across India.
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