Ferrari Introduces Portofino: Bye Bye California
Over the past few years, I have been in the minority of people who liked the Ferrari California: I thought that as a ‘softer’ Ferrari, it served its purpose perfectly with its forward-mounted engine and folding hardtop roof. However, Ferrari repeatedly had to listen to media and customers complain that their Grand Tourer was too soft, and as such, the California and California T’s replacement is sharper both in looks and promised performance.
Called the Portofino, Ferrari looks like it is fully shedding the ‘California’ moniker and any softness associated with it. Despite this, the Portofino is a direct descendant of the California and California T, and as such nothing will seem out of the ordinary. The general layout—engine in the front, seats for four, and a power-folding hardtop—has remained the same, with the name change being the largest feature change: everything else has been updated rather than replaced.
The California T’s has been updated to make 591hp and 561lb-ft of torque, giving a 0-60 time of 3.5seconds and a top speed “greater than 199mph”. Why not say ‘over 200mph’ Ferrari? Scared? To handle this power, Ferrari has made the Portofino more agile than its predecessor, with an electronic rear differential like you’ll find in the 488 GTB and dual-coil magnetorheological dampers that promise reduced body roll without sacrificing ride quality.
Ferrari knows that many of their customers will spend a lot of time sitting in their car and not necessarily driving 10/10ths, and as such updated the cabin with a 10.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a new steering wheel, and 18-way electrically adjustable seats. The A/C system has also been updated to cope with a warm day while the top is down, ensuring all-weather comfort.
Look for the Ferrari Portofino to make its official debut next month at the Frankfurt auto show. Pricing has not yet been announced, but expect it to start a little over $200,000 like the California T.
Fiat Chrysler in Crisis? Or Sergio being Sergio…
Over the past few days, Fiat Chrysler has been awash with news regarding various bits of it being broken off and purchased by other companies, or even the whole of FCA being up for grabs. Well, to add to the confusion, Bloomberg reports that Maserati, Alfa Romeo, and the entirety of their operations may soon split from the rest of FCA, allowing the remaining companies to focus on selling mass-market vehicles. The reasoning behind this split may be to make either FCA or the two companies in question more attractive to a potential buyer. As FCA has been hemorrhaging ‘news’ these past few days, I feel it is best to wait and see what actually happens.
One day, Sergio will find someone to help him retire. One day.
Audi Seeks to Confuse Customers; Adopts New Nomenclature for Engine Size
I will be honest, and say that Audi’s new badging scheme for its engines is utterly confounding to me. Because of that, I don’t think I would give it justice with my explanation; as such, I shall show and link to Motortrend.com’s explanation:
“Have you had your morning coffee yet? Because this will take some brain power to understand. Every Audi model from A1 to Q7 will get a two-digit number relaying power output in kilowatts. But the number won’t directly correspond to a car’s output. Instead, the number represents a range. For example, a “30” designation would be used on cars producing between 81 and 96 kW (110-131 hp), and a “45” would be used on cars that make between 169 and 185 kW (230-252 hp). The numbers increase in increments of five until you reach the very top of the hierarchy–the “70” badge, which can be found on vehicles that make 400 kW or more (544 hp and up). S, RS, and R8 models will be excluded from the new naming scheme, and will continue to just wear model badges.”
I already miss the 2.0T and 3.0T badges, even when the T on 3.0T lied, when they were supercharged.
I recently recieved a degree in History from the University of Nevada, Reno.