2018 Ferrari Portofino
Better than Better
Replacing an established model with a new car is always something of a gamble. There’s always a chance that fans of the old model will find something disagreeable in the changes wrought and that can lead to a poor reception in the showroom. And when the model in question is the most accessible model in the range, then you know the engineers and designers will be on their best behaviour.
Improving and Reducing
And so it was when, in 2018, Ferrari replaced the California T with this car, the Portofino. Although it shared some hardware with the outgoing California, the Portofino looked new and fresh on its release and still does. Crucially, it was an improvement under the skin, too, with Ferrari paying close attention to the concept of adding strength (critical in any convertible car) while also pulling off the trick of decreasing weight. By using 12 different types of alloys in the chassis and adding a huge, aluminium undertray as a stressed member, Ferrari managed to improve torsional rigidity over the California T by 35 per cent yet, at the same time, reduced weight by a full 80 kg.
Stepping it Up
Combined with a revised engine that now made 29 kW more and included an active exhaust system, performance claims included a nought to 100 km/h figure of just 3.5 seconds and a top speed of more than 320 km./h. Handling was also stepped up a notch with a revision to the magnetically-adjustable dampers, while electric power-steering in the Portofino was a first for Ferrari road-cars.
The Complete Picture
This car has covered just over 4,000 km and was heavily optioned by its original purchaser. Carbon-fibre abounds in the interior and on the exterior, 20-inch alloy wheels are fitted, a reversing camera was specified and black exhaust tips complete the picture.
Features include: Rosso Scuderia paintwork, Nero leather interior, carbon-fibre interior package, carbon-fibre air ducts, wheel caps and front spoiler, yellow tachometer, reversing camera, adaptive dampers, selectable drive modes, active exhaust, black exhaust tips, paddle-shifters, navigation, Bluetooth connectivity.