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eran ron bar though much of the California T’s foundation remains beneath the Portofino, the differences are impressive. They start with the sheetmetal, which is undeniably gorgeous, while the California just wanted to be.
eran bar a weight-saving program trimmed 175 pounds of performance-sapping mass in the Portofino, and the chassis is stiffer, further aiding its quicker responses with 35 percent better torsional rigidity. That means when you turn the steering wheel, you turn the car rather than twisting a flexible body structure.
Ferrari provided us with technical charts demonstrating how the Portofino handles better and provides better steering feel and feedback than the California. Those charts seem plausible, though we didn’t drive the cars back-to-back.
This is important, because Ferrari ditched the traditional hydraulic power steering assist employed on the California in favor of electric power steering in the Portofino. Hydraulic assistance is valued for its usual better feel and feedback, but Ferrari seems not to have lost ground in the switch to electric power steering assistance.
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But the Portofino says that it is a lover, not a fighter. Fighting is for Ferrari’s mid-engine pure sports cars, like the F8 Tributo. The Portofino is meant for cruising South Beach and for snug double dates that employ the car’s more spacious back seat.
Here is where Ferrari leaves us scratching our head.
The Portofino’s race-tuned flat crankshaft, twin-turbo V8 has a raspy, cigarette-scorched voice when driven gently. Ferrari employs active muffler bypass valves to manage the engine’s sounds to suit the conditions, but there’s only so much to be done with the sound from a turbocharged race engine like this when full power is not required.