Cars

Ferrari Unveils the Portofino M, A Sportier Version of the Original Convertible

Plus: A tip on how to get your wife to say yes to buying the car.
IMAGE Courtesy Ferrari
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Ferrari unveiled the Portofino M Wednesday (September 16) in Maranello. Italy, the latest in the evolution of the Prancing Horse’s 2 + GT Spider.

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Media from all over the world viewed the launch entirely online, a first in Ferrari’s over seven decades of existence.

The Portofino M is the first Ferrari to be launched after the company was shut down briefly due to the global pandemic, making it the symbol of a new starting point in its history. M stands for “Modificata,” which refers to cars that have been upgraded significantly, boosting performance.

The most notable innovation is its redesigned powertrain, a brand-new eight-speed gearbox and the five-position Manettino that includes a Race mode, the first for a Maranello GT spider. This gives the Portofino M driver pleasure, agility, and authentic GT performance on the road every day.

Sportier character

The M is sportier in character than the Ferrari Portofino, but retains the soul of its earlier iteration. It has the dream feature of all Ferrari convertibles, a retractable hard top to leave down for beautiful sunny days. On cool rainy days, when its top is closed, it is an authentic coupe with optional features such as heated seats, and an advanced driver assistance system.  

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Its compact dimensions also make it ideal for city driving, especially navigating your way through a traffic jam.

The 3855cc engine belongs to the V8 turbo group voted “International Engine of the Year” on four consecutive occasions, from 2016 to 2019. Its power unit can generate 620 cv at 7,500 rpm.

A speed sensor was also added to the turbocharger assembly to measure the turbine revolutions. This in turn allowed the maximum revolutions per minute of the turbine to be increased by 5,000 rpm. A gasoline particulate filter has been added to the exhaust system to comply with the strictest pollution emissions standards.

The 8-speed gearbox is a completely new unit compared to the previous seven-speed version and is based on a dual-clutch oil bath architecture.

Like all the other turbo cars in the range and in line with the “zero turbo lag” concept, the Ferrari Portofino M delivers instantaneous throttle response throughout the rev range. The car boasts Variable Boost Management, a control software developed by Ferrari that adjusts torque delivery to suit the gear selected. The result: increasingly powerful pick-up as revs rise, while optimizing fuel consumption. As the car goes up through the gears (from third to eighth), the amount of torque delivered by the engine increases all the way up to 760 Nm in seventh and eighth gears.

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The introduction of the eighth gear and the improvement in transmission efficiency have resulted in a significant reduction in fuel consumption in city and highway driving, in addition to noticeably improving performance even under sportier driving.

The new clutch module is 20 percent smaller but delivers 35 percent more torque, with up to a maximum 1,200 Nm of dynamic torque transmitted when gear shifting. Gear change strategies were aimed at improving the power unit’s fuel consumption and emissions levels. Due to more efficient clutch torque control, the car is now also easier to drive at low speeds in traffic.

Sporty and elegant

Design-wise, the team adjusted the design to highlight the model’s sportiness. Wraparound front bumpers add an imposing look. They also feature new air vents to reduce the car’s overall drag. A slash on the front bumper flows into the design of the flanks.

The grille features new aluminum slats with contrasting tips. The rear bumpers are more streamlined and sculptural; diamond-finish wheel rims make the car both sporty and elegant.

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Inside, the layout is designed to involve the passenger, seen in the styling of the door panels, handles and various controls and devices available, including the central and passenger touchscreens.

The passenger has an optional dedicated display on the dashboard, directly linked to the main screen providing all information relating to car speed, rpm and gear engaged. This allows the passenger to interact with the car’s on-board systems. Your wife can, for instance, select music to listen to or even select a new point of interest, such as a restaurant, or the mall,  which is then automatically integrated into the route. This way, the passenger becomes a co-driver, another way to get your wife to say yes, you can buy this car.

 

 

 

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Yvette Fernandez
Yvette Fernandez is the editor in chief of Esquire Philippines.
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