Ferrari’s most affordable model, the Portofino, has been upgraded with the introduction of a more powerful, re-engineered M variant.
The Portofino M (standing for Modificata, used historically by the brand to designate an evolution in performance) includes a host of technical enhancements over the standard model. It’s the first Ferrari ever to be unveiled purely online, and the first to launch since the storied Italian brand shut down during the Italy’s pandemic lockdown.
Priced from €206,000 (£188,000), the Portofino M is just under £24,000 more expensive than the standard Portofino. Deliveries are due to commence in mid-2021.
Externally, the new model has been lightly redesigned over the standard Portofino. Changes are focused on the front end, with a new bumper design for a “sportier and more aggressive” look.
Top of the billing of the technical changes to the Aston Martin DB11 Volante rival is the powertrain. The Portofino’s 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 has been boosted from 592bhp to 612bhp. More significant than that, however, is that a new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox replacing the old seven-speed unit.
The first eight-speeder in a Ferrari drop-top, the gearbox features a 20% smaller clutch module and can deliver 35% more torque than the old unit. The extra power and eight ratio means a very slight improvement in the car’s 0-62mph time – down from 3.5sec to 3.45sec 0 but a more substantial 1 sec improvement on the 0-124mph time, down to 9.8sec.
The Portofino M also brings in the full five-position ‘Manettino’ drive mode switch from pricier Ferraris, replacing the three-mode switch of the standard model. That means it gets a Race mode which, in combination with Ferrari’s Dynamic Enhancer (which subtly uses the brakes to keep slides under control), is said to boost driver involvement.
Furthermore, new optional features have been made available in the form of more advanced driver assistance tech (ADAS) and comfort features such as ventilated and heated seats.