The interior layout, fit and finish
Even if somebody removed that rearing stallion from its steering wheel, there’s an exceedingly good chance you’d still recognise that you were sitting in a Ferrari. For a start, there are no stalks for the lights or wipers; instead, the controls for the indicators, main beam and wiper speed can be found on the face of the steering wheel.
You’ll also find the starter button, damper control, and ‘Manettino’ dial (this selects the drive modes) there, while the gear shift paddles, a volume control for the stereo and a scroll wheel for the driver’s display are mounted behind the wheel. It might sound like a confusing mess, but after an hour or two’s familiarisation, you’ll be able to navigate all the controls with confidence.
However, you might not be quite so confident when placing the Portofino on the road if you’re under a certain height. Its steering might offer great accuracy but, even with the driver’s seat in its highest position, the high window line, long bonnet and tall rear haunches make judging its width tricky if you’re short in stature. It can mean that, even when you feel like you’re in danger of curbing one of the wheels when parking, you might still need a gangplank to bridge the chasm between car and footpath. Mercifully, front and rear parking sensors are standard, with front and rear cameras on the options list. While a 360 degree camera would be jolly handy, there isn’t one available.
We’ve no complaints regarding the clarity of its instrumentation, though. The driver faces a large central rev counter that’s flanked by two smaller screens that can show a variety of information with the twist of a dial. If you’re a particularly keen driver, you can add a Formula 1-style steering wheel with shift lights at the top to augment the rev counter.
Look around and you’ll find plenty of rich leather and tactile metal trims, but there are areas where the material quality disappoints. It might feel like natural hide conceals everything that’s plastic, but the knobs and buttons below the infotainment screen feel more Fiat than Ferrari. The air vents, too, feel a bit lightweight and cheap when you adjust them.
And, seeing as we mentioned infotainment, there’s good and bad news for tech fans. The good is that you get a sharp-looking 10.2in touchscreen with sat nav as standard. The bad is that it’s mounted distractingly low in the dashboard and that Apple CarPlay costs around ten times more than it does in any other car. Considering this is standard on many sub-£20,000 cars these days, that seems more than a little extortionate.