2019 Porsche 911 vs. 2019 Ferrari Portofino

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The 911 has standard head airbag curtains that act as a forgiving barrier between the driver and front passenger's upper bodies and the window and pillars. Combined with high-strength steel door beams and lower side airbags this system increases head protection in broadside collisions. The Portofino doesn't offer side airbag protection for the head.

The 911 offers optional Porsche Active Safe, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Portofino doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The 911 has a standard automatic post-collision braking system, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Portofino doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The 911 offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Portofino doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The 911 has standard Porsche Connect, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Portofino doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the 911 and the Portofino have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, front and rear parking sensors and available blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

The 911 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Portofino’s 3-year/100,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year sooner.

The 911’s corrosion warranty is 9 years and unlimited miles longer than the Portofino’s (12/unlimited vs. 3/100,000).

There are almost 5 times as many Porsche dealers as there are Ferrari dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 911’s warranty.

Engine

The 911 GT2 RS’ standard 3.8 turbo 6 cyl. produces 109 more horsepower (700 vs. 591) than the Portofino’s 3.9 turbo V8.

The flat cylinder configuration of the boxer engine in the 911 lowers its center of gravity, enhancing handling stability. The Portofino doesn’t offer a boxer engine configuration.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 911 S RWD Auto 3.0 twin turbo 6 cyl. (420 HP) gets better fuel mileage than the Portofino Auto (22 city/28 hwy vs. 16 city/22 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the 911’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Portofino doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The 911 GT2 RS’ optional fuel tank has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Portofino (23.7 vs. 21.1 gallons).

Drivetrain

All-wheel drive, available in the 911, provides the best traction for acceleration in wet, dry, and icy conditions. In corners, all-wheel drive allows both outside wheels to provide power, balancing the car. This allows for better handling. The Ferrari Portofino is not available with all-wheel drive.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the 911’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Portofino:

 

911

Portofino

Front Rotors

16.1 inches

15.4 inches

Rear Rotors

15.4 inches

14.2 inches

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The 911 has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Portofino doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the 911 GT2 RS/GT3 RS’ tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Portofino (F:265/35R20 & R:325/30R21 vs. F:245/35R20 & R:285/35R20).

The 911’s optional 305/30R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 30 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Portofino’s 35 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 911 GT2 RS/GT3 RS has standard 21-inch rear wheels. The Portofino’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Suspension and Handling

The 911 offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The Portofino doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The 911 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Portofino doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

Chassis

The Porsche 911 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 550 pounds less than the Ferrari Portofino.

The 911 is 3.5 inches shorter than the Portofino, making the 911 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the 911 uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Portofino doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Ergonomics

The 911’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Portofino does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The 911’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Portofino’s

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the 911 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Portofino doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

On extremely cold winter days, the 911’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Portofino doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the 911 offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Portofino doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The 911’s standard separate stalk mounted cruise control on/off switch is conveniently located with the rest of the cruise controls. The Portofino’s standard cruise control must be turned on with a hard to find switch on the dashboard.

Model Availability

The Porsche 911 comes in coupe and convertible bodystyles; the Ferrari Portofino isn’t available as a coupe.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Porsche 911, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The 911 Carrera GTS was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2018. The Portofino has never been an “All Star.”

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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