In the motor industry, the name Ferrari conjures up magic motor racing moments and with so many epic wins on the race track, this company really has some heritage to be proud of.
With that kind of heritage, it’s no wonder that owning or wanting to drive a Ferrari is something so many people would love to do.
Enzo Ferrari, the company’s founder, initially worked in the family carpentry business. Thankfully for all of us car nuts, the business collapsed and Enzo was forced to look for a job.
He initially looked for a job in the motor industry and tried to get an unpaid job at Fiat but unfortunately, he wasn’t given the chance to work for them.
Luckily, he finally managed to get a job with a small company, CMN, as a test driver and quickly worked his way up to become a racing driver. He went on to become a driver for Alfa Romeo and that’s where he won a few Grand Prix.
When two of his close friends and fellow drivers sadly passed away, he carried on driving but said that his heart wasn’t in it, and when his son Dino was born he decided to spend more time in the management and development of the team.
In 1929, Enzo started his team, which was called Scuderia Ferrari, and acted as a racing division for Alfa Romeo. The team was extremely successful thanks to the excellent cars.
The now famous prancing horse was used as a memory of Enzo’s friend who was a fighter pilot in the war – his friend wore a prancing horse necklace which his mother gave to Enzo when he died.
This brings us to the Ferrari Portofino that I had the absolute pleasure of driving thanks to Alexanders Prestige.
This stunning car is the entry model to the Ferrari range and it replaces the California which sold extremely well for Ferrari.
Three out of ten buyers of the California are existing Ferrari customers, the rest of the buyers were previously Mercedes, Aston and Bentley drivers.
The Portofino is fitted with a twin-turbo V8 3.9lt engine, which gets the car to 62mph in 3.5 seconds, and the car’s top speed is 199mph. While the California’s engine produced 552bhp, the engineers have managed to increase this to 592bhp for the Portofino.
They have also managed to make the car a third stiffer and 80kg lighter.
One area where Ferrari hasn’t been able to improve on the old model is the speed at which the roof folds – both models take 14 seconds.
The steering wheel is a bit daunting at first, with buttons and dials all over the place and unlike most cars, the indicators aren’t on a stalk; instead there are two buttons at the top of the wheel. The engine start button is on the wheel along with the damper button.
At the bottom left of the wheel, the Manettino dial controls the sport and comfort setting and you can also switch off the car’s traction control.
In sport mode, the car is as you’d expect, it is just waiting to have its power unleashed – you can really feel the car wanting you to put your foot down.
In comfort mode, the car is easy and relaxing to drive – you would never know that you were driving a supercar. Plant your foot to the floor and the car reaches scary speeds in absolutely no time whatsoever.
The car’s interior isn’t as plush as a Bentley’s. The dash is dominated by a rev counter and there are two other screens; one screen controls your phone information and the other screen shows you any trip information and other driver info.
In the middle, a 10.2-inch touch screen dominates the dash.
A seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox is controlled via buttons in the middle of the dash or by using the beautiful carbon paddles behind the wheel.
As you’d expect, options are extremely expensive. For example, a carton cup holder and mats are an eye-watering 2k and if you opt for lightweight alloys and a personalised paint colour then that will cost you around 25k!
Saying that, if you can afford the £179,000 required to buy a basic Portofino then the costs above shouldn’t worry you.
The car that I was lucky enough to drive had only done just over 3,000 miles. To be able to buy one of these beauties straight away rather than having to wait years for one makes total sense, as it was in better condition than when it left the factory.
This is the car for anyone looking for something that is a rare sight on the roads.
Driving in comfort mode, it is one of the easiest cars in the world to drive. If you are looking to treat yourself, then this is one of the most beautiful looking 4-seater coupe/ convertibles that you can buy.
Car courtesy of Alexanders Prestige