Testing the new Ferrari Portofino in southern Italy

The replacement for the California T is the Italian carmaker's "everyday" model

The National has been in Italy this week to test drive Ferrari's new "entry-level" model, the Portofino.

A few days after the company's charismatic founder Enzo Ferrari would have celebrated his 120th birthday, we took the hardtop convertible around the rural roads of Puglia, in the south of the country, to get to grips with the replacement for the top-selling California T.

The Portofino, which takes its name from a picturesque fishing village on the Italian Riviera, has more power, faster acceleration and is lighter than its predecessor.

For a car that has almost 600hp and will hit a top speed of 320kph, it still stacks up well for everyday driving, feeling manageable and comfortable, even on wet, wintry tarmac, and also wields a claimed range of 740 kilometres.

It has been a busy week for Ferrari: it has also just unveiled the 488 Pista, which carries on a lineage of special track-focused incarnations of its V8 sports cars, such as the 360 Challenge Stradale, 430 Scuderia and 458 Speciale.

Check back next week for our full review of the Portofino in The National and online at www.thenational.ae.

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