Horse Play
Gulf Business|Gulf Business April 2018

Putting Ferrari’s macho new Portofino to the test

Gautam Sharma

FERRARI’S FOLDING-HARDTOP

California won a whole new set of customers for the marque following its 2008 launch, with 70 per cent of buyers having never previously owned a Maranello-built car.

In that sense it was an unadulterated success, but there was just one problem: the Ferraristi diehards were adamant it wasn’t a true Prancing Horse. Yes, it had the right badge on the grille and rump, as well as a free-revving V8 (turbocharged in the California ‘T’ that replaced the original), but it somehow never got the blood coursing in the way its stablemates did.

The remedy, Ferrari says, comes in the form of its all-new Portofino successor, which we find ourselves in Puglia – nestled in the southeastern tip of Italy – to sample. As per the outgoing California T, the newbie packs a 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 and electric folding hardtop, but pretty much everything else has been revamped.

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