23rd August 2017, Maranello, Italy
Ferrari has a new entry-level Portofino V8 GT model to replace the Ferrari California as the most-affordable model in its brochure. Named after a fishing village and holiday resort in Italy, famous for its picturesque harbour and history of celebrity visitors, the Ferrari Portofino can reach speeds of over 320 km per hour (199 miles per hour), and accelerate from 0 – 100 km per hour (0 – 62 mph) in just 3.5 seconds.
Portofino village is associated with elegance, sportiness and understated luxury. The launch colour of the new Ferrari is also dedicated to this celebrated village: Rosso Portofino.
Tricked out with an electronic differential that’s integrated with Ferrari’s F1-Trac to give drivers legendary turn-in, balance, and grip, the new car will make its global debut at the Frankfurt International Auto Show in September 2017.
Lighter chassis, more powerful engine
The Ferrari Portofino is the most powerful convertible to combine the advantages of a retractable hard top, a roomy boot and generous cockpit space plus two rear seats suitable for short trips or small animals.
The all-new aluminium chassis provides significant weight saving over the Ferrari California T that it replaces, as well as an increase in torsional rigidity. Drag is reduced by air intakes on either side of the LED headlights that vent into the front wheel arches, causing air to exit along the side of the body.
The superb Ferrari V8 turbo, nominated International Engine of the Year in 2016 and 2017, now delivers 40 cv more than the old power unit because of new components and calibration tweaks of the engine management software for variable boost. The characteristic Ferrari V8 sound has been enhanced and is the raison d’etre of driving topless.
In case you are wondering, a ‘cv’ is “cheval vapeur” or the same as one horsepower.
This means “How it drives, Mister.” Ferrari Portofino’s vehicle dynamic characteristics have been completely revised with new technological solutions. For the first time on an entry-level Ferrari, the 3rd-generation electronic rear differential (E-Diff3) has been integrated with the F1-Trac, improving both mechanical grip and the control of the car on the limit.
The Ferrari Portofino is also the first Ferrari GT fitted with EPS (Electric Power Steering) for more responsive steering. The magnetorheological damping system (SCM-E) was uprated with dual-coil technology to reduce roll and improve absorption of road surface unevenness.
Bottom Line: More dynamic, responsive car with superior ride comfort.
Design & Aerodynamics
Ferrari Design Centre achieved aggressive styling with a two-box fastback configuration – unprecedented in a coupé-convertible with a retractable hard top – for extra sleek silhouette and sportier character.
Ferrari Aerodynamics department and Ferrari Design collaborated for maximum efficiency in surface treatment development. At the front, the large radiator grille opening that stretches from edge to edge of a contoured nose, is enhanced by a full-LED headlight assembly with a more horizontal shape. The outside edge of the headlight hides an innovative air intake which vents into the front wheelarch and exits along the flank to reduce drag.
The tail design emphasises the sporty stance with tail lights placed further apart. This also conceals the rear volume housing the all-new RHT (retractable hard top) which features a more lightweight design and can be raised or lowered at low speeds.
Comfort on board
“What can I touch, Mister?” Replete with comfort features like an infotainment system with 10.2” touchscreen display, a new air-conditioning system tto improve occupant comfort both with the top up or down, a new steering wheel, 18-way electrically adjustable seats with a new backrest design that boosts legroom for rear seat passengers (or small animals), and the passenger display.
The neat wind deflector cuts air flow inside the cabin by 30% and also reduces aerodynamic noise, when the top is dropped.
Technical Specification Ferrari Portofino
Type V8 – 90°
Overall displacement 3855 cm3
Maximum power output * 441 kW (600 cv) at 7500 rpm
Maximum torque * 760 Nm from 3000 to 5250 rpm
* In 7th gear
Weight and Dimensions
Length 4586 mm
Width 1938 mm
Height 1318 mm
Weight distribution 46-54% front/rear
Maximum speed >320 Km/h (199 mph)
0-100 km/h 3.5 sec
The price is not yet announced but expect to start from $200,000.
All things considered, it closer resembles a proper Ferrari than its predecessor.
Previously, AlphaLuxe featured:
Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He is also a moderator on PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).