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News / 09-13-17

2017 Ferrari Portofino debuts at 67th International Motor Show 2017

By Carl S. Cunanan


Ferrari at 70, and at Frankfurt

There is a plethora of color at the Ferrari stand in Frankfurt today, at the opening of the 67th International Motor Show 2017 (Internationale Automobile-Ausstellung now more popularly known as the IAA Cars 2017). The Maranello marque presents the soul and color palette of a different and more relaxed Italian town for the presentation of their new car, the Ferrari Portofino. The charming seaside town of film and fashion lends its name to the versatile car in the family. The Portofino replaces the California model, and is designed to be the Ferrari that can be driven everyday. It is powered by the Turbocharged V8 that taps into the award-winning International Engine of the Year powerplants. One car on displays proudly shows the new Rossi Portofino color, different from what you might consider the more traditional Ferrari Red. Another car is shown in a matte Grigio Alluminio Opaco livery that is meant to call to mind the lightweight material used all over in the new car. Also on display are a GTC4Lusso in Blu America livery, an 812 Superfast that uses a new triple-layer gray paint available from the Tailor Made program and a 488 GTB in Rossi Formula 1. A 488 Spider in the Tailor Made area draws inspiration from the Pinin Farina-bodied 1954 500 Mondial Spider once owner by Dominican gentleman driver and gentleman Porfirio Rubirosa.

All the color celebrates the passion that has for seventy years driven the company created by Enzo Ferrari, a man once famously known for telling the world he only made road cars so he could go racing. The new Ferrari Portofino has an all-new chassis that is significantly lighter than the California model it replaces. The Turbocharged V8 that powers the car doesn’t merely rely on the weight savings to make things move, it now produces more than the unit that powered the California through the use of new components and special calibration of the engine management software. New pistons and con-rods and a new intake system design help to make everything more efficient, and a one-piece-cast exhaust header helps to reduce any losses. This allows the powerful V8 Turbo to operate with almost non-existent lag but still be calm enough to drive around the quiet (sometimes) seaside town that lends its name to the new car without disturbing the neighbors.

The design for the new car came from the Ferrari Design Center, and the close collaboration between the artists and the Aerodynamics engineers that made the 488 produce so much downforce and stability without the use of (they really used these words) big ugly wings continues with the Portofino. But while the 488 is skewed for bleeding-edge performance, the Portofino aims at comfortable luxury. A new air conditioning system, for example, is meant to improve the well-heeled driver’s experience whether the top is up or down. If it is down, a new wind deflector cuts disruptive cabin airflow by around 30%, and also cuts the noise levels. A new backrest design allows a little bit more room for passengers that may sit in the back, though what it probably does really is allow space for more shopping. The new Portofino is a GT car, with the emphasis more on the Grand Touring of the Italian coast than the screaming GT cars you normally associate with what comes out of the Fiorano testing grounds. It is the first GT in the range that is fitted with Electric Power Steering, which allows a wider range to play with between comfort and serious sport. The magnetorheological damping system uses improved dual-coil technology to do something similar by allowing both improved roll characteristics while also allowing better absorption of different road characteristics.

The new Ferrari Portofino is sure to be, like the California it replaces, the car that will be driven more often than the other more sport-oriented stallions, and will be the right car for more of the Ferraristi than ever.