For those of you who may not know, the Ferrari Portofino is the Italian automaker’s most affordable vehicle in the Indian market. The standard version – which, in itself, is no doubt a very special car – has been around in the global markets since 2017. It only took Ferrari a year to debut its Portofino in our market in 2018.
It is, essentially, the entry-ticket to the Ferrari nameplate in the Indian market and the spiritual successor to the California, which, as critics have said in the past, was a deviation from the idea of a true Ferrari. Therefore, it would be most likely the bread and butter for Ferrari in our country. It may seem like an entry-level product, but the Portofino packs a lot of punch and is still one of the most desirable cars in our market.
Speaking of the punch, the standard Portofino is fitted with a 3.9-litre bi-turbo V8 engine, which is good for 591bhp and 760Nm of torque. It just takes 10.8 seconds to reach 200km/h from a standstill. That’s impressively quick. Moreover, the V8 engine under the hood of the Portofino is also the recipient for the coveted ‘International Engine of the Year’ award, for its just one-tenth of a second slower than its V12 counterpart.
We drove the Ferrari cars Portofino – alongside the GTC4Lusso T – earlier this year and were completely impressed by the performance and the way everything was built to perfection. One more impressive bit was that this one had a bit extra functionality as opposed to the Ferraris of yore thanks to the use of an infotainment screen taking the centre stage on the dashboard. The GTC4Lusso T, on the other hand, proved to be a fast and practical machine altogether, plus it now looked way better than its erstwhile siblings.
Now, in what would like to be a very short span for a luxury sportscar, the Ferrari Portofino has received a slightly updated version in the form of the Portofino M. The Portofino M or Modificata (used historically by the brand to designate an evolution in performance) includes a host of technical enhancements over the standard model. It would also be the first Ferrari to roll out of the Maranello factory after the whole nation went into a pandemic. And, moreover, it also is the first Ferrari to be unveiled and sold purely online, given the new social distancing norms.
So, how does it differentiate itself from the standard Portofino? There are only a few external changes to the Portofino M over the standard model if any. You see, the only major change is the revamped front bumper, which now appears to be slightly more aggressive and racier than its standard sibling. Rest of the design is virtually identical to the abovementioned.
However, the Portofino M now gets a few more tricks up its sleeve as opposed to its standard derivative. For instance, it now gets full five-position manettino driving mode switch from pricier Ferraris, a welcome change from its standard derivative’s three-mode item. That means it gets a Race mode that, in combination with Ferrari’s Dynamic Enhancer (which subtly uses the brakes to keep slides under control), is said to boost driver involvement.
Besides that, Ferrari has also included some new optional features as standard with the Portofino M such as more advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and comfort features, including ventilated and heated seats.
The most important change of all, however, lies under the hood. While it still comes powered with the same 3.9-litre twin-turbo unit as with its standard derivative, it has been completely redesigned for the Portofino M. This means the engine now churns out 611bhp (20bhp more than the Portofino) at 7,500rpm and 760Nm of torque (the same as before). This puts it directly in the league of the Ferrari Roma. Moreover, the old seven-speed DCT gearbox of the standard Portofino is replaced here with an improved eight-speed DCT transmission, which is originally taken from the SF90 Stradale. All improvements considered, the Portofino M now posts a 0-100km/h time of 3.45 seconds (for reference, the standard model does the same in 3.5 seconds) and a 0-200km/h time of 9.8 seconds (as opposed to 10.8 seconds from the standard Portofino). Also, grab the latest info on the upcoming cars, only at autoX.