Entry-Level Ferrari Portofino Redefines Entry-Level Supercars
Ferrari Portofino Feels More Like a Supercar Than the California T Ever Did
Published August 28, 2017
Named after a picturesque tourist city in Italy, the newest Ferrari to hit the production line comes to replace the infamous California T. This is the Ferrari Portofino – an entry level Ferrari which you should not be ashamed of owning or driving. After all, it is a 598hp monster.
Ferrari owners have long complained about the California being too basic, pedestrian or downright slow. Ferrari worked to address these complaints when the T came into play almost three years ago, sporting a turbocharged engine slightly retuned compared to the 488 GTB. Now, with a new generation sporting a new chassis, exterior, and interior, it seems that the prospects of the entry level Ferrari are looking better than ever.
Ferrari Portofino is a Baby 812 Superfast
The exterior closely resembles all that we have seen with cars such as the GTC4 Lusso, and even more prominently with the 812 Superfast. The front end employs angry L-shaped headlights with small intakes nearby. These actually channel the air to the sides to create an “air bubble” effect. Ferrari learned that trick when they produced the stunning F12berlinetta. Even though aerodynamics cannot be the first priority when designing a convertible, it seems that Ferrari managed to make the Portofino reasonably advanced in that department as well. After all, take a look at all those intakes at the front and intricate design of the rear end (especially around the exhaust). The roof and the shape of the rear decklid are also redesigned giving the Ferrari Portofino a somewhat more natural side profile compared to that of the California.
Obviously, the car looks lavish, but not as amiable as before, but that’s actually a good thing. We want our Ferraris to look like Ferraris, and not like bubbly, out of place grocery-getting mid-life crisis mobiles.
Portofino gets Updated Engine, Suspension, and New Cabin
Making the Portofino a true Ferrari, engineers in Maranello sourced some of the most advanced tech from the higher-end models and adapted it. For starters, the 3.9-liter bi-turbo V8 with 39 hp and 3 lb-ft of torque more clearly gave the Portofino an edge compared to a few cars, actually – from the R8 V10 to 570S. In order to improve power, Ferrari included new connecting rods, pistons, and a new intake system.
To manage the power, the car received the Variable Boost Management system. This thing actually limits the amount of torque available for distribution in the lower gears. In return, the tires have more traction off the line, providing better acceleration. When up to speed, the system lets loose all 560 lb.-ft. of torque to the rear wheels.
The interior has been upgraded as well. It looks more advanced than before and features a more modern 10.2-inch display. Ferrari even provided a special wind deflector, new, a completely redesigned air-conditioning system and a lot of style, obviously.
Then, there is the E-Diff3 electronic differential managing power between the wheels and giving the Portofino true supercar dynamics. The California didn’t have this system, nor did it have the Portofino’s electronic servo steering assistance. Ferrari is confident the new system provides sharper and faster steering.
Considering that the Portofino comes loaded with new options, more power and, apparently, weighs less than the California T, it is only logical to conclude that it is seriously fast. Officially, it will do a 62 mph run in 3.5 seconds and the updated engine will drive the car up to 199 mph. Bear in mind – this is an entry-level Ferrari. It’ll still set you back a solid six figures but nonetheless, good job, Maranello.
Categories: New Cars