From the Italian town of Maranello, Naza Italia has officially introduced the brand new Ferrari Portofino M to the Malaysian market as the latest convertible sports car for the prestigious brand. However, make no doubt that it is a Ferrari through and through. Even though it’s not mid-rear engine Ferrari, the engine is mounted behind the front axle, technically making it a front-mid engine sports car.
Despite the Portofino name being around since 2017 succeeding the California T, the new Portofino M comes in as an evolution of the original Portofino. The ‘M’ moniker in the Portofino M stands for ‘Modificata’ or ‘modified’ referring to the boost in performance of the engine. Though, to the untrained eye, the M may just seem like an ‘ordinary’ Portofino.
Fitting to the picturesque town in northern Italy that the Portofino M is named after, the Prancing Horse’s 2+ GT spider retains the Retractable Hard Top (RHT) as well as the 3.9-litre twin-turbocharged V8 from its predecessor. That being said, Ferrari has updated the Portofino M with new improvements.
The Stable of Horses
To start off, the Portofino M’s engine now pumps out 612hp. Around 20hp more compared to the previous Portofino’s 591hp thanks to new camshaft profiles as well as a higher rev limit on the turbochargers. On the Portofino, it managed the 0-100km/h in just 3.5s while the M does it in 3.45s. However, the top speed remains unchanged at 320km/h as well as the torque figures at 760Nm.
Even the gearbox has been swapped out for an 8-speed F1 Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) borrowed from the Roma sibling instead of the previous 7-speed DCT. The gearbox too features variable boost management to match the torque output of the selected gear sending all the power to the rear wheels.
Most of the ‘modificata’ part of the M comes from the engine and gearbox improvements. Though, the brakes too have been improved to provide less travel, meaning they’re easier to modulate. While it all sounds fine and dandy, stricter pollution emission standards have forced Ferrari to include a Gasoline Particulate Filter in the exhaust system of the Portofino M. That being said, the sound coming from the exhaust has not been compromised as Ferrari have eliminated the rear silencers.
Looks That Compliment The Italian Riviera
The general outlook of the Portofino M still resembles the Portofino from 2017 but with new subtle changes. The car shown is painted in Ferrari’s historic Grigio Ferro Met, reminiscent of the Ferrari 275 from the mid 70s. The front bumper has been resculpted, the lower portion has been sharpened including a more aggressive vent on each side of the bumper. There is now also a channel on the bumper which flows the air from the bumper through the fenders.
Ferrari has also introduced a new diamond-finish wheel which were designed specifically for the Portofino M. The wheels are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires with 245/35R20 on the front while the rears are 285/35R20. Tucked behind the wheels are the carbon ceramic brakes that come as standard on this car painted in Glossy Black.
The rear diffuser has also gotten a makeover with a more curvy yet aggressive design which compliments the front end nicely. Though it wasn’t offered on the previous Portofino, owners of the Portofino M can now opt for a full carbon rear diffuser direct from Ferrari. While the Portofino M looks much more aggressive than its predecessor, it will only be noticed by Ferrari aficionados or enthusiasts as just like any other Ferrari, there isn’t a model nameplate displayed on the exterior.
A Symphony Of Leather And Carbon Fiber
That being said, Ferrari does display their model emblem on the leather dashboard of your car. To be honest, it is pretty nice to be reminded you’re driving something special every now and then. Though, the biggest change in the cabin is Ferrari’s ‘Manettino’ dial. While the Manettino was already on the Portofino, the Portofino M’s 5-position Manettino dial has been enhanced which now includes a race mode. The Portofino M’s all-new “Race” mode “maximizes driving pleasure,” according to Ferrari.
Though, the interior remains the same as the Portofino. However, the front seat now gets heating and ventilation which wasn’t available on the Portofino and the option of carbon trim on the center console and the steering wheel. While there are seats in the rear, the Portofino M is classified as a 2+ Grand Touring spider which means it won’t really fit fully grown adults but rather kids or possibly luggage for your grand touring adventures.
The Ferrari Portofino M’s HMI (Human-Machine Interface) are featured on the dual TFT display next to the analogue rev counter. The infotainment system functions are controlled via the 10.2-inch touchscreen which features both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Another optional equipment on the car is the 7-inch full HD passenger display on the dashboard which provides information on the Portofino M’s speed, RPM as well as the current selected gear.
While these are not seen physically, among the things that are new with the Portofino M is the optional Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) which includes adaptive cruise control with Stop&Go function, Predictive Emergency Brake System, Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Departure Warning, Automatic High Beam, Traffic Sign Recognition, Surround View and lastly the Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
The Portofino M also now includes Ferrari’s Side Slip Control (SSC) which integrates the E-Diff, F1-TCS, SCM-E Frs and the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer (FDE) control system. While the SSC coordinates all of the vehicle’s dynamic systems, the FDE is designed to make the car’s lateral dynamics more predictable as well as exciting. However, the software only kicks in when the Manettino is set to Race mode.
Entering The Realm of Ferrari
Naza Italia currently offers the Portofino M from a base price of RM 998,000.00 (before duties, customization, options, taxes and insurance) with the inclusion of a 7-Year Maintenance programme. Regular maintenance at either 20,000km or once a year with original parts and meticulous checks carried out by the dealer.
Written by | Danial Malek
Images by | NoEqual.co & Naza Italia