The new Ferrari Portofino M gets a 20bhp power boost, a new eight-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox and more aggressive styling
This is the Ferrari Portofino M, an evolution of the Italian supercar brand’s folding hard-top GT designed to offer a wider band of performance and handling features, as well as a smoother experience at lower speeds.
The M in the new car’s name stands for Modificata, described by Ferrari as “nomenclature which refers to cars that have undergone an evolution that has boosted their performance”. That’s certainly true of the Portofino M, which gets a revised twin-turbocharged V8 engine and a new eight-speed automatic gearbox instead of the old seven-speed unit.
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The 3.9-litre motor now produces 612bhp at 7,500rpm, a gain of 20bhp over the original Portofino’s output, although torque remains the same at 760Nm. As a result of this increased power and the slicker transmission, the Portofino should be around a tenth of a second quicker to 62mph; Ferrari quotes a time of 3.45 seconds, along with a 0-124mph (200kph) figure of 9.8 seconds and a top speed in excess of 199mph.
The new dual-clutch transmission could be one of the biggest gains in everyday use; closely related to the SF90 Stradale gearbox, it’s the first eight-speed set-up to be fitted to an open-top Ferrari. Its first seven ratios are all shorter than the old gearbox’s, allowing punchier acceleration, while the overdrive eighth should help cruising refinement.
In addition, the new gearbox is 20 per cent smaller than the old unit, and it is able to be positioned lower in the car, helping the centre of gravity.
The Portofino M also gets an additional mode on its steering wheel-mounted Manettino control, thanks to the addition of Race. This setting uses the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer, previously seen on the 488 Pista, which uses brake modulation to improve the car’s on-the-limit handling and stop you having to saw at the steering wheel to correct slides.
The Portofino M’s styling is a mild evolution of what’s gone before – typically so for a mid-life refresh. There are sportier and more aggressive bumpers at the front and rear, along with a slightly different look overall at the front of the car. Inside, Ferrari has added a few choice options to what was already an extensive list; heated seats are now available, making open-air driving more feasible in cooler climates such as the UK’s.
The Portofino M is available to order now, with the first deliveries expected in the second quarter of 2021.
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