x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 25 November 2017

Ferrari's new Portofino makes its first bow outside Europe, in Dubai

The V8 grand tourer, which produces 600hp, was unveiled at the One&Only Royal Mirage

The Ferrari California T’s replacement, the Portofino, has made its bow in the UAE ahead of the Dubai International Motor Show, the first time it has been presented anywhere outside of Europe.

The 600hp V8 grand tourer, which is named after the iconic Italian fishing port, was unveiled at the One&Only Royal Mirage hotel in Dubai, in its convertible Spider form – a coupé model will also be available.

With a new aluminium chassis that aids a weight loss of 80 kilograms, plus a lower stance and more aggressive styling than its predecessor, the Portofino is, on one hand, a more thoroughbred proposition than the California. Although with a larger boot, its practicality is increased, making it more of a daily driver.

It is pitched at tempting more first-time Ferrari buyers to the brand, after the best-selling California and California T attracted a client base that comprised 70 per cent new customers.

“The Portofino is a very beautiful addition to the model range,” says Dieter Knechtel, chief executive of Ferrari Far East and Middle East.

Other new models could follow during the course of next year.

“Every year we promise to have a new model, so next year let’s see, hopefully there’s going to be a few good surprises,” Knechtel says.

And as Lamborghini readies its “super SUV”, the Urus, Knechtel says that Ferrari’s long-mooted contribution to the sector won’t be an SUV in the traditional sense.

“We shouldn’t expect an SUV from Ferrari as you have seen it from other brands before,” he explains. “It’s more about how can we further develop a concept based on the idea of the GTC4Lusso. Something very Ferrari, something very different, something that you haven’t seen before. It’s not going to be a classic SUV as you know it.”