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Ferrari Portofino M, Open-top grand tourer with powerful V8 engine and cutting-edge technology

BY: TAREK HAWCHAR



Unveiled in late 2020, the Ferrari Portofino M is more than a facelifted version of the standard Portofino

Just three years after the launch of the California T’s successor, the grand tourer Portofino, Ferrari felt it was time to offer an updated version of its front-engined convertible, and it didn’t forget to add the usual “M” (short for Modificata or modified) suffix at the end of the “facelifted” model’s name—a suffix that indicates a significant boost in performance and extensive updates.


Unveiled in late 2020, the Ferrari Portofino M is more than a facelifted version of the standard Portofino, thanks to significant updates inside and out, a more powerful twin-turbo V8 engine, and its brand-new, eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.



Luckily, we had the chance to explore the full potential of the all-new Ferrari convertible on Dubai’s roads, as Ferrari Middle East kindly allowed us to drive its newest iteration when we stayed at the luxury Bvlgari Resort Dubai—located on a seahorse-shaped island in Jumeira Bay.


Cruising the urban highway roads of Dubai, the all-new Ferrari convertible handled with excellent agility while trotting at high speed—surely a memorable experience and a breathtaking ride, well beyond anything we expected. So, let’s find out more about the new Ferrari Portofino M.



The new exterior updates are not a massive deviation from that of the standard Portofino, and customers would need a good look to notice the changes!

Exterior


Visually, the all-new Ferrari Portofino M is unmistakably a Ferrari. To be honest, the new exterior updates are not a massive deviation from that of the standard Portofino, and customers would need a good look to notice the subtle changes!


Up front, there is a new front bumper with large intakes, and new aluminum slats with contrasting faceted tips on the grille. For a more aggressive and masculine look, there is a revised air vent at wheel arch height, mainly designed to reduce the overall drag.



Moving further back, there are dedicated diamond-finish wheels, a redesigned rear diffuser, and a more streamlined rear bumper. Overall, the new Prancing Horse model looks a lot like the outgoing Portofino.


Dimensionally speaking, the new front-engined convertible has an overall length of 4594 mm and measures 1938 mm and 1318 mm in width and height, respectively, with a 2670 mm long wheelbase.



For a stunning and memorable open-door driving experience, you can turn the new Portofino from a coupe into a convertible in a few seconds

Interior


While the new Ferrari Portofino M’s interior is almost identical to the standard Portofino’s, the former’s does look like a better place to sit than the outgoing model, thanks to the updated materials and new color combinations.


Customers can now choose leather and/or Alcantara, along with carbon-fiber and aluminum trim, making the materials used in the facelifted Portofino’s cabin one step above the competition.


Like most supercars, the sport seats are very comfortable and offer solid lateral support, even for longer trips and a few hours behind the wheel. Isn’t the Ferrari Portofino M a grand tourer after all?


For a stunning and memorable open-door driving experience, you can turn the new Portofino from a coupe to a convertible in a few seconds, as it comes with a retractable hard-top roof that can be raised or lowered in around 15 seconds.


Likewise, we can see the “M” badge on the dashboard, a three-spoke steering wheel with a race-inspired style, and there is also a new option for ventilated and heated seats. The one feature that we really hoped to find inside the new Ferrari convertible is the Roma’s vertical dashboard layout. It is really disappointing not to find it here!


On the technology front, the 2021 Ferrari Portofino M comes with new ADAS systems as standard, such as Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop&Go function, Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Departure Warning, Predictive Emergency Brake System, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Traffic Sign Recognition, and Surround View with 3D Display.



The new Ferrari convertible retains the same twin-turbo, 3.9-liter V8 engine as the outgoing Portofino with some of the same technical tweaks as the Roma unit’s

Engine and Performance


Under the hood, the new Ferrari convertible with the “M” badge retains the same twin-turbo, 3.9-liter V8 engine as the outgoing Portofino with some of the same technical tweaks as the Roma unit’s. Revised cam profiles have led to an increase in valve lift and optimized combustion chamber filling.



The result is an output increase from 600 to 620 hp, that’s an increase of 20 hp over the Portofino, while the peak torque is identical at 760 Nm. Hooked to a new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission sending power to the rear wheels, the eight-cylinder unit enables the Portofino M to go from zero to 100 km/h in 3.45 seconds before hitting a top speed of 320 km/h.

The Maranello-based carmaker also developed a five-position Manettino with Race mode—a first for a Ferrari grand tourer.


Aside from adding a particulate filter to the exhaust system, Ferrari was also keen to provide a host of advanced and innovative gadgets to the facelifted Portofino, including the sixth-generation Side Slip Control (SSC). The latter system is integrated with the E-Diff, F1-TCS, the magnetorheological suspension (SCM-E FRS), and the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer (FDE) control systems.




Our verdict


By any measure, the Ferrari Portofino M is a better supercar than the standard Portofino. Its softened edges, driving comforts, sharpened looks, and freshened tech make the new Prancing Horse model perfect for leisurely trips and daily errands.


Needless to say, the new Portofino is quicker and more performance-oriented than the standard, outgoing Portofino. Thanks to a good weight-to-power ratio of 2.49 kg/hp, and a high-revving 620 hp V8 engine that is more efficient, the new Ferrari convertible has everything it takes to provide a thrilling open-door driving experience, leaving the competition in the dust!


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