It’s also fantastic at coping with lumpy roads. Yes, it has three different driving modes which change the way the power train, suspension, skid control and steering work, but the really clever part of this car is the damper button on the steering wheel. Push that and, whatever mode you’re in, it will put the dampers into the softest mode, so you can push on hard and ride the bumps softly.
Its body control is so good that we could comfortably fling it through a series of corners, though which and the car hunkered down and blasted through effortlessly. Around town, the turning circle is conveniently tight. And the sound is amazing, despite what people say about turbos having diminished the exhaust note of naturally-aspirated engines. The Portofino sounds just fine.
In short, you can’t disrespect this car. It might be the least-expensive of the Ferrari line-up but you can’t think if it as “just the base model”. Overall, the Portofino gives almost super car performance without being an angry, aggressive beast that throws you around. And it doesn’t come with the increasingly hefty price tags that the 488 or 812 command. Before on-road costs, it’s priced about $400,000 (though the one we tested carried an extra $81,400 worth of options). Overall, that’s probably a bargain for a car that looks, feels and drives every bit like a Ferrari. And surely that deserves a smile.