Entry-level. Cheapest. The baby of the range. Usually by-words for disappointment and a plethora of cost cutting plastics, underwhelming performance and blank covers on the dashboard that would usually house a button for something exciting. However, when the manufacturer in question is Ferrari, sometimes the
cheapest least expensive car they produce can, in the real world, turn out to be the best of the range.
These days Ferrari is synonymous with an illustrious motorsport heritage, flamboyant aerodynamic styling and the most exotic of supercars with screaming V8 engines and more race technology than you could ever need. Yet for many years some of their most iconic models have been about quite the opposite; comfortable cruising. The 250 GT California of the 1960’s, the 365 GTB Daytona of the 70’s and the less iconic but largely heralded 575M Maranello and 612 Scaglietti of the early 2000’s were built for the sole purpose of luxury driving and ‘grand touring’. Since 2008 Ferrari returned to the luxury GT market with the highly successful California, a car that reinvented the California name for the brand and one that remains very popular on the used Ferrari market.
In 2017 Ferrari replaced the California with their latest take on the grand touring sports car, the all new Portofino. Specifically buying a Ferrari for its ability to cruise long distances in comfort may seem a little counter-intuitive, but Ferrari know this car is an invaluable addition to their range. Ferrari state that 70% of buyers who opt for the California/Portofino model are new to the brand, and that owners drive these particular models 50% more than those who own a mid-engined Ferrari. So a comfortable, easy to use, fairly practical Ferrari might not sound like an oxymoron after all.
The Portofino does Grand touring very well indeed. A stunning car to look at, and perhaps more crucially, be seen in, a sumptuous interior that is both comfortable, well built and well equipped, and a driving experience that brings you every type of car you could possibly need. On a long journey the Portofino is happy to cruise at motorway speeds, is quiet, refined and limousine comfortable. However, feel the need to push on down a country lane and you will find that the motorsport heritage is still ready to be exploited to the full.
With a 3.9 litre turbocharged V8 engine producing 592 bhp, the Portofino can accelerate from 0-62 mph in just 3.5 seconds and onward to a top speed of 199 mph. The ever-present Manettino switch obviously has Comfort mode but also features Sport and Race modes, not very ‘luxury cruising’ at all. The engine certainly has the power but it’s efficiency and meticulous engine management means that not only does it produce peak cylinder pressure at 10% higher than the California, at 7,500 rpm, but the powerband lasts for a very impressive 4,500 rpm meaning the engine is comfortable at almost any speed and situation you throw at it.
For some, owning a Ferrari as a car that you intend to use frequently must be a case of ‘never meet your heroes’. Incredible to look at, more than impressive performance and immense to test around a racetrack. But every day when you just want to get from A to B, or to drive to the South of France for the weekend or when the weather is anything but sunny, and you might wish you’d bought something more usable. The Portofino is, in the real world, the perfect solution to Ferrari ownership. It appeals as a car that can be used every day, a comfortable, luxurious car with stunning looks and the most comfortable of interiors. The traditional Ferrari characteristics are there should you need them, but are so well hidden that they don’t intrude when you don’t.
Our 2019 Ferrari Portofino 3.9 V8 Convertible is finished in Rosso Corsa with full Nero leather interior with Filo Speciale Rosso stitching. The car comes with an abundance of optional features such as 20” forged alloy wheels, Magneride dual mode suspension, extensive carbon fibre trim to the interior and exterior, passenger display, high power JBL hi-fi system, full electric seats, Scuderia Ferrari wing shields and much more. The car has covered just 750 mile and comes with the remainder of Ferrari’s 7-year maintenance plan until July 2026 and a Ferrari manufacturer warranty until July 2023.
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