Cars

<em>Photo: Kimio Ng</em>

Fine, Refined, Portofinesse

Juno Mak, ground-breaking musician and director, reveals in his native Hong Kong how the Ferrari Portofino mixes urban chic with peak performance
Words

Chris Rees

If there is one Ferrari that truly captures the carefree spirit of youthfulness, it is the Ferrari Portofino. With its sleekly aerodynamic shape, it has allure, sass and an urban chic that is elegant yet forceful, refined yet dynamic. And with its folding hardtop retractable roof, it is literally open to a new generation of drivers who are discovering its uniquely multi-faceted character. The Portofino takes its name from one of the most beautiful little fishing villages on the Italian Riviera. But it is just as much at home in the world’s most thrilling urban environments. None more so than Hong Kong, whose intensely vibrant vibe perfectly matches the car’s character.

Portofino owner, Juno Mak, knows both car and city intimately. The popular Hong Kong-based movie director and musician recently directed a spectacular sequence for his upcoming film, Sons Of The Neon Night, which stars a spectacular Ferrari 275 GTB/4 and a LaFerrari. His choice of a Portofino as his everyday car shows he truly appreciates the Prancing Horse. “Ferrari appeals to me as such a testament to its history and commitment to craft – it just gets better with time,” says Mak. “The Portofino fulfills what I need and I genuinely enjoy being in it regularly.”

Comfort and high performance go hand-in-hand in the open-roof Portofino<em> Photo: Kimio Ng</em>
Comfort and high performance go hand-in-hand in the open-roof Portofino Photo: Kimio Ng

No surprise there: this beauty is designed to be driven every day. Its retractable hardtop effortlessly converts the car from an authentic ‘berlinetta’ coupé to a drop-top in just 14 seconds – even when you’re on the move. And, no question about it, top down is the best way to enjoy its unique soundtrack. The Portofino may be open to the sky, but there’s no compromise on comfort. The infotainment system, with its 10.2-inch touchscreen display, allows you to navigate both the urban jungle and your music collection with ease.

The sophisticated air-conditioning system regulates the ideal cabin ambience, top up or down, whilst the clever wind deflector keeps the airflow pleasant and refinement levels high. There’s time to enjoy the 18-way electrically adjustable seats and info-packed passenger display – and there’s even space to share the enjoyment, with two rear seats, too. Make no mistake, this is a true Ferrari with all the performance and driving pleasure you would expect. Its potent, charismatic 600hp V8 twin-turbo engine (part of the family that won the International Engine of the Year Award in 2016, 2017 and 2018) delivers effortless urge.

Musician and movie director Juno Mak says the Portofino is perfect for his native Hong Kong<em> Photo: Kimio Ng</em>
Musician and movie director Juno Mak says the Portofino is perfect for his native Hong Kong Photo: Kimio Ng

And the car is perfectly controlled thanks to state-of-the-art electric power steering and the latest in highly sophisticated electronic chassis systems. Performance is something that Juno Mak knows all about. “Most people know of Hong Kong’s dense urban landscape – our skyscrapers and neon lights,” he explains, “but many may not know of our large national parks and protected nature reserves. The Portofino is agile enough to navigate the city streets daily, but for the moments when I want to get away from the concrete jungle and enjoy some peace and quiet out in the greenery, it has the comfort and power that allows me to get there in a blink of an eye. ‘Balance’ is the key to living comfortably in a place like Hong Kong, and the Portofino represents this well.”

Ferrari