The 2020 Ferrari Portofino allows drivers to soak up the sun and have fun chasing the horizon. With a body that looks seductive no matter if the retractable hardtop is up or down, this front-engine four-seater epitomizes the grand-touring ethos. The Portofino is also the least expensive way to get into the Ferrari owner’s club, but admission still costs a small fortune. Whether the twin-turbo V-8 is rocketing it around or emitting operatic sounds, this Italian-built speedster is a joy to drive and hear. We only wish its steering and brake pedal were as rewarding as the rest of its performance attributes. Its cabin is sumptuously crafted and customizable, but a small back seat and trunk diminish its practicality. Still, the 2020 Portofino emphatically honors the house of the Prancing Horse.
What’s New for 2020?
For 2020, Ferrari doesn’t make any significant changes to the Portofino lineup. Since the Italian convertible debuted as a replacement for the California T just a couple years ago, we don’t expect it to be altered much for a while.
While Ferrari offers a wide range of exterior and interior color options, the 2020 Portofino has few other options. Our ideal version would wear the gorgeous dark green Verde British paint, have the black Nero roof, and don the forged Matt Grigio Corsa wheels with yellow-painted brake calipers. We’d also opt for the exterior carbon-fiber components, black-chromed grille, and black ceramic exhaust pipes to further dress up our Portofino. The interior would feature the available diamond-stitched seats and flaunt the goldish Beige Tradizione color scheme. Our final touches include the carbon interior upgrade, yellow tachometer background, and the upgraded floor mats in the Castoro hue.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
A Ferrari is defined by its engine as much as its styling, and the twin-turbo 3.9-liter V-8 that hides beneath the Portofino’s elongated hood is excellent. The engine sends 591 horsepower and 561 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. But the claimed top speed of “over 199 mph” and estimated zero-to-60-mph time in the low three-second range aren’t what’s most impressive; it’s the unmistakable timbre that erupts from the exhaust tips as the Portofino’s tach needle charges towards the engine’s 7500-rpm redline. We last drove one in Italy, where the convertible provided a comfortable ride and remarkable body control; both were enhanced by the adaptive dampers. While its electrically assisted steering delivered satisfying feedback, the setup isn’t as engaging as what Porsche provides. Every 2020 Portofino also features carbon-ceramic brakes that ensure this hefty GT can quickly be hauled to a stop. However, we had to get used to the brake pedal’s initial softness before receiving the expected firmness.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Despite its very powerful twin-turbocharged V-8, the government predicts the 2020 Portofino is about as fuel efficient as many full-size SUVs. The EPA estimates the Ferrari will earn 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. Both figures fall short of V-8–powered rivals such as the Bentley Continental GT (16/26 mpg city/highway) and the Aston Martin DB11(18/24 mpg city/highway). Since we haven’t tested the Portofino or either of those alternatives on our 200-mile fuel-economy route, we can’t say how efficient they are in the real world.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Inside, the 2020 Portofino delights the eyes with a fabulous design and magnificent materials. Its varied surfaces are stitched together with handsome leather, and the 18-way power-adjustable front seats are sculpted to provide comfort and support. There’s also a handy wind deflector that helps keep the cabin quiet at speed when the top is dropped. With a pair of small bucket seats behind the front passengers, the convertible Ferrari can technically transport up to four people. However, we don’t recommend that anyone spend time back there. A useful tray is positioned at the front of the center console for storing small items, and there’s even a place to store a beverage nearby. Don’t expect to fit a golf bag or too many carry-ons inside the Portofino’s trunk, because it’s not very big.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The infotainment system on a Ferrari is like a spare tire on a Buick: it’s nice to have when you need it, but not something anyone will ask about. Still, the 2020 Portofino does include a 10.2-inch touchscreen that is mounted in the center of the dashboard. We found the unit to be responsive during our limited exposure, and the optional touchscreen that faces the front passenger lets them view performance data and even operate the car’s navigation system.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The 2020 Portofino hasn’t been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The sultry Italian convertible also eschews traditional driver-assistance technology to prioritize the purest possible driving experience. Who wants a Ferrari that stops itself or beeps when it clips an apex anyways?
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Ferrari’s warranty aligns with other high-end automakers such as Lamborghini, and the company also offers 15 years of extended coverage for extra coin. Ferrari boasts the best complimentary maintenance, too, with seven years of unlimited miles.
Price starts at $218,750