Australia gets a touch of Riviera in Ferrari's Portofino

Portofino brings a touch of Riviera glamour to town

THE red silk was ripped off a sexy new Ferrari during Australian Grand Prix week when the V8 Portofino Grand Tourer was revealed in all its finery. The curvaceous convertible was unveiled during a glamorous celebratory function opening the Italian marque’s latest dealership in the Victorian capital’s CBD, the first of three new Ferrari-only showrooms planned for Australia this year.

The Portofino was the centrepiece of many firsts for Ferrari Australasia this year, with qualifying for the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli Asia Pacific Series taking place for the first time on the Albert Park Grand Prix circuit.  

There’s a lot to admire about the elegant and versatile Portofino, named as it is after one of the more picturesque villages on the Italian Riviera. It replaces the not-too-shabby California T, though it’s lighter and more powerful than its predecessor and gets the benefit of electric power steering for the first time. And its award-winning V8 engine continues Ferrari’s zero-turbo-lag tradition, with instantaneous throttle response in under a second. 

Ferrari Australasia’ CEO, Herbert Appleroth, says the Portofino is the most-powerful convertible to combine the advantages of a retractable hard-top, a generous boot and spacious cockpit complete with two rear seats (though you wouldn’t force anyone to spend too much time in those). 

“This stunning new V8 2+2 Grand Tourer is already being touted a Ferrari classic around the world, and we expect that Australian audiences will respond just as positively,” he says.

It certainly looks a treat. The Portofino unveiled this week wore Grigio Titanio paintwork with Italian leather interior in Bordeaux. It will cost $A398,888 plus on-road costs.

Appleroth says the expansion of the Australian dealer network with state-of-the art showrooms in Melbourne, Sydney, and the Gold Coast take to nine the total number of Ferrari dealerships across Australia and New Zealand.

“We expect that the addition of the Ferrari Portofino to our already strong product range will continue to see Australian audiences drawn to our brand … than ever before,” he says.

Ferrari Gold Coast’s Chief Operating Officer, Rebecca Frizelle, says she’s “proud and incredibly excited” to be the sole representative of Ferrari on the Gold Coast. Her team will work towards maintaining strong sales results for the area, with local client orders per capita among the highest for Ferrari in the country.

“Our showroom will be a world-class automotive facility and the Ferrari Atelier will allow us to provide our clients with an exceptional level of service, accessing state-of-the-art technology and equipment,” Frizelle says.  

Ferrari first established an office in Australia in 2014, since which time the Prancing Horse brand reports having enjoyed “unprecedented growth and consecutive years of record sales".