Ferrari Portofino: The Prancing Horse stable showcases an Italian Grand Tourer par excellence

The Ferrari Portofino is the new V8 GT set to dominate its segment thanks to a perfect combination of outright performance and versatility in addition to a level of driving pleasure and on-board comfort unparalleled on the market. Capable of unleashing a massive 600 cv and sprinting from 0 to 200 km/h in just 10.8 seconds, the Ferrari Portofino is the most powerful convertible to combine the advantages of a retractable hard top, a roomy boot and generous cockpit space complete with two rear seats suitable for short trips. 

The new car, which takes its name, Portofino, from one of the most charming villages on the Italian Riviera, an eponym for stylish elegance, is the most versatile model in the range. A Ferrari designed to be driven every day that also effortlessly converts from an authentic ‘berlinetta’ coupé to a drop-top capable of delivering a unique Ferrari soundtrack and superb driving pleasure even in day-to-day situations.

The retractable hard top (RHT) has been completely redesigned and can now be opened or closed in just 14 seconds on the move at lower speeds, making the car even more practical. Careful modelling of the RHT housing now allows the luggage compartment to hold two cabin trolleys with the roof down and three with the roof up. Ideal for any occasion, the Ferrari Portofino represents the perfect combination of design, performance and technology.

 The Ferrari Portofino delivers a significant weight saving with the adoption of new components using innovative designs made possible by the use of cutting-edge production techniques.

The importance of the Middle Eastern Ferrari connoisseur in Maranello’s illustrious history and the passion shown for the marque in Dubai was eloquently underlined with the presentation of a ‘Passione Rossa’ video by Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer, Mr. Enrico Galliera. His powerful speech highlighted the emotional parallels between Ferrari’s track pedigree and rich heritage and the Middle East’s world-class driving environment and love of luxury.

Creating exquisite local Ferrari experiences through events and digital content are a sentiment of the brands commitment to the region. The activations started two years ago, with an exploration of the ‘Deserto Rosso’ in the Liwa desert, before evolving into the ‘Passione Rossa’ campaign. Key to the Ferrari DNA is the Ferrari lifestyle, and allowing clients access to a full spectrum of exhilarating experiences and emotions.

ENGINE

Starting with the V8 power unit, Ferrari’s engineers worked on several different fronts to deliver a power output of 600 cv at 7500 rpm, the equivalent of 156 cv/l, introducing new mechanical components as well as specific engine management software.

Maximum mechanical efficiency is guaranteed by the use of high-resistance aluminium alloy pistons and con rods with innovative geometries and specially-shaped high-tumble intake manifolds.

Mechanical efficiency is further optimised by a variable-displacement oil pump that reduces hydraulic power requirements by up to 30% compared to a conventional pump. The adoption of a new intercooler to simultaneously minimise fluid-dynamic losses and increase air cooling also contributes to the engine’s performance. 

The Portofino’s engine continues Ferrari’s zero turbo lag tradition, with instantaneous throttle response in under 1 second.

In line with long-standing Ferrari tradition, every single Prancing Horse engine has its own particular soundtrack that makes it unique. This is also true of the Ferrari Portofino.

Aside from a new exhaust line, electronically-controlled by-pass valves have been adopted in a first for Ferrari, delivering improvements in actuation speed and precision.

ARCHITECTURE AND WEIGHT REDUCTION

One of the Ferrari Portofino’s most impressive features is that it is significantly lighter than the California T. To achieve this, the Prancing Horse engineers worked extensively on every aspect of the car.

 All the body-in-white and chassis components were redesigned and integrated to an even greater extent. The A-pillar, for example, now consists of just 2 pieces compared to 21 different components in previous models. Modern production technologies, most notably sand-casting which allows the creation of hollow components, allowed designers to create innovative forms that are lighter.

The car’s interior was also subject to meticulous research. The structure of the seats was completely redesigned and constructed in magnesium alloy to cut weight and the new air conditioning system is more compact and efficient. All these solutions combine to lighten the car yet simultaneously improve occupant comfort.

Other areas on which weight was shaved off were various components of the electronics, engine and exterior.  The result is that the car is 80 kg lighter than the California T.

VEHICLE DYNAMICS

Much honing was also done on the both the Ferrari Portofino’s basic running gear and its components and their electronic control systems.

 The car’s vehicle dynamics were optimised by working on its suspension set-up through the introduction of stiffer springs (+15.5% at the front and +19% at the rear) and by adopting the latest evolution of the magnetorheological damping system (SCM-E) to guarantee superb ride comfort. The Magnaride system has been uprated with dual-coil dampers to improve the precision and speed of adjustment of the magnetic field as well as a new ECU (Gen3) which implements control algorithms developed by Ferrari, in particular those relating to vertical dynamic control of road input frequencies.

The result is improved body control and reduced roll, enhancing the sporty driving feeling, particularly when the Manettino is in ‘Sport’ mode. In ‘Comfort’ mode, on the other hand, ride comfort is superior to the previous model on rough or uneven road surfaces.

 The Ferrari Portofino is the first Prancing Horse GT to boast Electric Power Steering which plays a pivotal role in the feel of the car in the driver’s hands. Steering wheel responsiveness has been improved with a smooth, natural feel to the assistance and feedback, while re-centring of the wheel is dynamic and consistent with the speed of the car when the manoeuvre is being executed. 

Lastly, thanks to the steering wheel’s dynamic performance and its integration with the E-Diff3, the steering ratio (steering wheel angle/wheel angle) has been reduced by 7%.

STYLE AND AERODYNAMICS

The Ferrari Design Centre-penned Portofino is an aggressively-styled car with a two-box fastback configuration – unprecedented in a coupé-convertible with a retractable hard top – that adds extra sleekness to its silhouette, lending it a sportier character without impinging on its elegance and dynamism.

As is always the case in Ferrari, the aerodynamic development process involved every single area of the car and its development, from the initial layout choices to the management of the flows involved in heat dissipation, and the definition of every single detail of the underbody and bodywork. The Aerodynamics department and Ferrari Design collaborated on a day-to-day based on the latter in particular.

INTERIOR

While the Portofino’s exterior exudes a stylish compactness and instantly marks out its GT vocation, its cabin too has also been carefully designed and developed. The Ferrari Design team pinpointed certain specific essential requirements, the foremost of these being formal and functional coherency between the car’s exterior and its interior, weight reduction and creating more space for occupants.

Seen in plan view, the cockpit’s symmetrical arrangement and the improved rear seat space are clear. The dashboard architecture in particular features two shells, which incorporate all of the technical components, and a bridge which visually connects the instrument panel area with the central tunnel which, itself, was clearly conceived to act as a divider between driver and passenger.

One signature characteristic of any Ferrari car is the meticulous care lavished on the selection of the materials, trims and assembly procedures. The Ferrari Portofino’s sporty yet elegant character highlights these aspects of the creative and design processes demanded to hone every last detail, marrying high-tech elements and materials with manual assembly and handcrafted finishes.

The optional 18-way adjustable electric seats ensure that even longer journeys are exceptionally comfortable and relaxing.  Aside from longitudinal seat and backrest adjustment, the seat height and angle can also be adjusted, as can the side cushions and the central and lumbar regions of the backrest. The new Comfort button on the side of the front seats brings up on the infotainment display the controls for the adjustable-length seat cushion (which provides under-thigh support for even taller drivers), seat and backrest side and back support air cushions and heated seat.

In line with Ferrari’s other GTs, the Portofino’s HMI (Human-Machine-Interface) includes an instrument panel and dual TFT displays arranged around the rev counter in a generous circular anti-glare binnacle on exactly the same axis as the multifunctional steering wheel.

The passenger has a dedicated capacitive display. Directly linked to the main screen, it provides all information relating to car speed, rpm and gear engaged. Lastly, the infotainment system functionalities are controlled via the 10.25” touchscreen located at the centre of the dash within easy reach of both driver and passenger.

One of the contributors to improving in-car comfort is the impressive progress made in the efficiency of the air conditioning system with a 20% increase in air capacity and a contemporaneous reduction of 8dB in noise levels. Lastly, when the top is down, the new wind deflector cuts air flow over the body by 30%: -17% over the head and -40% over the chest. This results in an appreciable reduction in aerodynamic noise in the cabin. 

Ferrari Portofino: Technical Specifications

Engine                                              

Type                                                   V8 – 90° turbo              

Total displacement                             3855 cc                

Bore and stroke                                  86.5 mm x 82 mm

Max. power output *                          441 kW (600 cv) at 7500 rpm       

Maximum torque *                760 Nm between 3000 and 5250 rpm

Max. engine speed                              7500 rpm

Compression ratio                              9.45:1

Weight and dimensions

Length                                                4586 mm

Width                                     1938 mm

Height                                                 1318 mm

Wheelbase                                          2670 mm

Front track                                         1633 mm

Rear track                                           1635 mm

Kerb weight**                                    1664 kg

Dry weight**                                     1545 kg

Weight distribution                           46-54% front/rear

Boot capacity                          292 l

Fuel tank capacity                              80 l

Tyres

Front                                                  245/35 ZR20; 8J x 20”

Rear                                                    285/35 ZR20; 10J x 20”

Carbon-ceramic brakes

Front                                                  390 mm x 34 mm

Rear                                                    360 mm x 32 mm

Transmission and gearbox F1 dual-clutch transmission, 7-speed

Electronic controls                          ESP, ESC, with F1-Trac, E-Diff 3, SCM-

                                                            E with twin solenoid

Performance

Maximum speed                                 >320 km/h

0-100 km/h                                         3.5 sec

0-200 km/h                                        10.8 sec

100-0 km/h                                        34 m