Ferrari has built a new home for the 3.8-liter biturbo V8 that’s won the last four Engine of the Year awards and counting. The Portofino M is a 620-horsepower evolution on the “entry-level” convertible released back in 2017.
It’s a pretty decent upgrade for the throaty, front-mounted engine, taking peak horsepower from 561 up to 612 with the help of new cam profiles and a speed sensor on the turbo assembly to allow it to push more air with finer fueling control. The exhaust gets a particulate filter to comply with Euro-6D emissions rules, and the gearbox is a completely new 8-speed dual-clutch paddle shift unit with longer ratios than those in the Stradale.
Peak torque, at 760 Nm (561 lb-ft), is only available in the top two gears, which are particularly tall in search of fuel economy. The remainder of the gears have their torque curves tuned for quick response, quick acceleration and “zero lag” using Ferrari’s Variable Boost Management system. There’s a new clutch, 20 percent smaller than the old one but capable of delivering 35 percent more torque during shifts, so gear changes should do a decent job of whacking you back in the seat. Ferrari says it’s also better in stop-start traffic, where realistically it’ll spend a lot of its time.
Electronically, it gets plenty of goodies, including Side Slip Control for computer-controlled drifting when you select Race mode on the Manettino switch, and the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer, which quietly modulates the brakes to help get you through corners when you start challenging the limits of traction. There’s adaptive cruise, auto emergency braking, auto high beams, traffic sign recognition (it displays the speed limit for the current zone on the dash) , rear cross traffic alert when you’re backing out and surround view to help with parking.
The styling will be very familiar if you’ve spent any time with the standard Portofino, which itself was near as damn to the old California convertible it replaced. There are numerous little tweaks, but they’re mild, not wild, and at a glance the little indicator gaps in front of the wheels, as well as the new rims, are about the only thing that stand out. Those are nice details though, giving the top of the car a feeling like it’s sort of floating on top of the chassis.
The interior, with its two seats in the front and two tiny torture chambers in the back that are solely for kids and emergencies, has also allegedly been re-done, but again it comes across as minor tweaks on the 2017 design, except with the lower half of the dash a different color. The old one looked nice and this one does too.
As usual, Ferrari’s not giving out prices. But the regular Portofino starts at US$215,000 and this one’s sixty horses betterer. So it’ll be more than that. Check out a video below.
A voyage of rediscovery: the Ferrari Portofino M is unveiled
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