An opportunity to review Italian finery within a more common daily routine
It is always a pleasant surprise to receive a call from Ferrari. On this occasion it was an invitation to join the team for lunch, with a nice twist of course, the drive to lunch would be in the GTC4Lusso and the return in the new Ferrari Portofino.
Having recently driven the 812 Superfast, a firm favourite, it had been some time since we last drove the Lusso. The recent facelift of the car has improved its looks greatly and with the increased power, now 681 bhp and four wheel steering it has become even more purposeful. Spending an hour on the urban roads of Bahrain certainly did not give us a chance to test the 208 mph top speed, but the huge acceleration certainly made our progress through traffic much more fun and ultimately faster than a lesser car; at just under three and a half seconds to 100 kph, this car is quick! Even after this short time with the car, it has most definitely warmed our hearts and is possibly one of the most exhilarating ways for four adults to travel comfortably across any continent.
Lunch was a seemingly never ending delivery of exotic flavours at Jumeirah Royal Saray’s Play restaurant. The highlight, an exquisitely present duck salad, provided the fuel for the return journey to the Euromotor’s showroom in the new Portofino.
We recently reviewed the car in the mountains of UAE, but driving the car through the afternoon traffic of Bahrain provided a different experience which did alter our view of the new entry level Ferrari. This much needed replacement for the California has a more aggressive styling and has certainly gone a long way in placating the critics of its predecessor. In the mountains, at speed, we commented that the electronics within the car seemed to disconnect us somewhat from what was going on underneath.
However, our more mundane drive and possibly more common daily experience, of, arguably, a daily-drivable Ferrari, has altered this view somewhat. In traffic the car is most manageable and arguably a more relaxing drive than it’s more highly tuned and more powerful siblings. We took the opportunity, despite the August weather, to drop the roof down; it is too hard not to enjoy the wonderful sound of the twin turbo V8’s exhaust symphony, regardless of being fried!
Certainly a day of pleasant surprises. Both cars provided an exhilarating drive in the most mundane of environments, that in itself would be perhaps enough reason to purchase either of them. Of course, on open roads and in more normal temperatures, either will provide an exceptional drive.
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