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Ferrari debuts new faster Portofino M

Ferrari upgrades Portofino to create Portofino M, the new brand entry

17 Sep 2020

IF YOU thought the Ferrari Portofino was lacking in the performance department and could have done with an extra ratio in its transmission, then despair no more because the Prancing Horse has taken its most affordable model back to the drawing board for a rethink and addressed those concerns with the Portofino M.


According to Ferrari, M stands for ‘Modificata’, the nomenclature given to a model that has “undergone an evolution” resulting in “significantly boosted” performance.


In the case of the Portofino, the M badge marks the extraction of an extra 15kW from the now familiar twin-turbocharged 3.9-litre V8 petrol engine – pushing peak power to 456kW while maximum torque holds firm at 760Nm – and the addition of an extra gear ratio courtesy of an all-new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.


As before, drive is still sent to the rear wheels, helping to provide a point of difference – besides the metal folding roof – between it and the more upmarket Roma (AWD).


The other big change of note is the inclusion of the Roma’s ‘Race’ driving mode – a first for a convertible Ferrari GT car.


As one would expect, the increase in power has yielded some notable improvements in performance, especially in the dash from 0-200km/h, with the Portofino M stopping the clock in 9.8 seconds, a full second faster than its predecessor.


The landmark 0-100km/h time of 3.5 seconds remains unchanged however, as does the 320km/h top speed.


More than just a performance upgrade, Ferrari is also claiming the Portofino M boasts a “significant reduction in fuel consumption in urban and motorway contexts” however the Prancing Horse is yet to provide an official figure.


To match the enhanced performance and differentiate it from the outgoing Portofino, the new M brandishes a couple of its own unique styling cues designed to subtly up its sense of aggression and sportiness.


The grille features new aluminium slats with contrasting faceted tips.


At the front, the only noticeable difference are the reshaped air intakes flanking the main grille and subsequently reshaped chin elements linking the grille to the integrated front splitter.


A small vent has also been added to the front of the wheelarch in a bid to reduce aerodynamic drag, with Ferrari saying the feature also complements the body sculpting down the flanks of the car.


Unlike the front, the changes at the rear of the Portofino M have been a little more drastic, headlined by a completely redesigned diffuser, now fitted completely independently of the rear bumper allowing.


Not only does this up the visual ante, but it also allows customers to specify a new carbon-fibre unit for an even more aggressive look.


The rear bumper itself meanwhile has been made more compact courtesy of a new exhaust system devoid of any prominent silencing assemblies, also helping to up the aural stakes when driving.


The whole package then rolls on new 20-inch diamond-finish alloy wheels.


Only one notable change has been made inside the cabin besides the new Portofino M badging adorning the trim, that being revised seat padding density and an “ultra-compact seatback” designed to increase comfort and create more room for rear seat occupants.


Standard equipment also goes unchanged and includes a digital instrument cluster based around an analogue tacho, multifunction steering wheel and a touchscreen infotainment system with split screen functionality.


Luxuries and driver assistance systems like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, adaptive cruise control, predictive emergency braking system, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, automatic high beam, traffic sign recognition, surround-view monitor and rear cross-traffic alert are all available as optional extras.


According to a Ferrari Australia spokesperson, the Portofino M is due to arrive in in local showrooms in the third quarter of next year however pricing is yet to be announced.


The brand has sold 133 cars so far this year ending August, 49 units down on the 182 units it managed over the same period last year.


For comparison’s sake, Aston Martin has shifted 58 vehicles so far this year while Lamborghini has sold 73, 31 of which were the Urus SUV.

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