The go-faster Portofino packs more power and gets a new eight-speed automatic transmission
It's time for Ferrari enthusiasts to rejoice again as the brand has unveiled its first new offering in the wake of long months of lockdown that made the Italian carmaker temporarily halt production and operations. The Portofino M is the new go-faster version of the car we drove two years ago and it comes with a host of upgrades under the skin.
Aesthetically, the only significant change is of a redesigned bumper that makes it look slightly more aggressive. Although, major upgrades are under the hood. For starters, the 3.9-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine that holds the accolade of being the ‘International Engine of the Year’ for as many as four years, pumps out 612bhp (+20bhp) in the Portofino M. Ferrari engineers achieved this power by using new cam profiles to increase valve lift and optimise combustion chamber filling. To comply with the strict Euro-6D emission standards, a new gasoline particulate filter (GPF) has been added as well.
Power gets transferred to the rear wheels through a new eight-speed dual clutch transmission as opposed to the previous seven-speed unit. Ferrari says it’s the same unit as the SF90 Stradale however it differs with longer gear ratios and the addition of a mechanical reverse gear. There’s a new clutch module as well that’s 20 per cent small in size but delivers 35 per cent more torque while the transmission software also gets evolved thanks to a more powerful ECU. Thanks to the added power and the additional eighth cog, the sprint to a 100kmph is slightly quicker, from 3.5 seconds to 3.45 seconds while 200kmph comes in a whole second faster.
The Portofino M promises to be a drift lover’s fantasy thanks to Ferrari’s Side Slip Control feature that it borrows from more expensive Ferraris like the 488 Pista. SSC lets you burn some rubber by sliding the tail out in a controled manner, however, the system has been calibrated in an way that it intervenes the moment it senses loss of control, ensuring optimum safety as well. The five-position Manettino now also includes a Race mode that dials performance up to its maximum. Race Mode also activates Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer that adjusts brake pressure at all four wheels in a way that makes the car’s lateral dynamics more predictable.
And lastly, Ferrari has introduced more optional features like advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and cooled and heated seats to make the Portofino M safer and more comfortable. The Ferrari Portofino M is priced EUR 206,000 that translates into Rs 1.79 crore, excluding Indian taxes and duties. There’s no word on India launch yet, but in international markets deliveries are expected to commence by mid-2021.