Featuring insights from Aurelien Sauvard, Head of Marketing, Ferrari Middle East
Ferrari has finally launched their V8 GT flagship sports tourer – the Portofino in India. The much-awaited convertible coupe was officially launched on 28 September 2018 at the luxurious Shangri-La’s – Eros Hotel, New Delhi. And I was fortunate to witness the world’s prettiest four-wheeler in production, up close.
The official importer of Ferrari in New Delhi - Select Cars Pvt. Ltd., launched the latest model from the iconic Ferrari stable. The Portofino arrived in the market in September 2018 showcasing perfect combination of outright performance and versatility in addition to a level of driving pleasure and onboard comfort unparalleled on the market.
Priced at Rs. 3.5 crores (ex-showroom, India), the Portofino takes the coveted place of the California T, which happened to be the Italian brand's most affordable in the luxury sports segment.
Named after one of Italy's prettiest coastal towns, the Ferrari Portofino is a convertible with a hard-top.
The launch event was attended by Aurelien Sauvard, Head of Marketing at Ferrari Middle East, YadurKapur, Dealer Principal at Select Cars, New Delhi and further executives and Ferrari team members joined by respected media representatives.
Amid all the buzz, I found an opportunity to catch up with Mr Aurelien Sauvard, in-charge of marketing at Ferrari Middle East, for a one-on-one interaction.
Here’s a download of the brief interaction I had with him:-
Q. How is the Portofino going to be a game changer in comparison with its predecessor - the California T?
A: The Ferrari Portofino is a great step-up compared to the California T, not only in terms of performance but also in terms of onboard comfort and versatility. Speaking about technology, of course, I’d first mention about the engine – it’s the very famous V8 twin turbo engine with absolutely zero turbo lag, an engine that won ‘best international engine of the year’ for three consecutive years. It has got 600 horsepower with instant throttle response, it’s linked to a 7-speed dual clutch gearbox which is straight derived from Formula One. And on top of that, there are a lot of electronic controls which have been added, in order to guarantee a greater response of the engine and a great performance. And on top of this, I’d mention about the weight – there’s a great weight reduction of around 80 kilos compared to the California T. And this helps a lot, adding a beautiful design, a beautiful and efficient aerodynamics, it gives the car a whole different level than the California T was at the time. In addition, the interior has also been redesigned with much more comfortable cockpit with a new steering wheel, new big touch-screen infotainment system in the middle and also the amazing passenger display – which is a small screen in front of the passenger which he can play around with, for radio, navigation or just to see the performance of the car.
Q. What’s unique about the Portofino in terms of tapping the urban market and not just being an outlandish sports tourer?
A: Well it’s what we call the GT car. So it’s something we launched in 2008 with the California T which had the key objective to create and launch a car which of course had a great performance, which was a true Ferrari but also which could guarantee comfort on board, space and easy drivability. So this car is perfect for the city because it is drivable every day and it has got great performance and sound which you can enjoy when the roof is down and of course it has got a great passenger space but also two small seats in the back to carry children.
The convertible with a hard-top gets its name from an Italian fishing village. The latest Ferrari machine houses a 3.9-litre twin turbo V8 engine as on the California T but it has got an overall update. The Portofino engine churns out about 600 bhp at 7,500 rpm and has a peak torque output of 760 Nm at 5,250 rpm. The top speed of the Portofino is rated to be 320 kmph and does the 0-100 kmph sprint in 3.5 seconds.
In Mumbai, the Ferrari Portofino will be sold through the company's dealership - Navnit Motors.
Ferrari has chosen a particularly evocative name for this exceptionally versatile drop-top car. Portofino is renowned for its charming port and, over the years, has become internationally synonymous with elegance, sportiness and understated luxury. The launch colour of the new Ferrari has also been dedicated to this marvellous town: Rosso Portofino.
Capable of unleashing a massive 600 cv and sprinting from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.5 seconds, the Ferrari Portofino is the most powerful convertible to combine the advantages of a retractable hardtop, a roomy boot and generous cockpit space plus two rear seats suitable for short trips.
The Ferrari Portofino’s all-new chassis features a significant weight saving over the California T it replaces. Thanks to the extensive use of modern production technologies, all the chassis and body-in-white components have been redesigned with a consequent reduction in weight despite an increase in torsional rigidity.
The Portofino is a Ferrari designed to be driven every day that also effortlessly converts from an authentic ‘berlinetta’ coupé to a drop-top capable of delivering a unique Ferrari soundtrack and superb driving pleasure even in day-to-day situations.