The Ferrari Portofino M, the evolution of the Prancing Horse’s 2+ GT spider, the Ferrari Portofino, was unveiled today. In a move unprecedented in the Maranello marque’s 70-year-plus history, the new car’s premiere took place entirely online.
The build-up to the unveiling included the sending out of a series of newsletters to clients over recent weeks at the end of which they were given access to a platform containing exclusive videos illustrating the concept behind the car, its restyling and main technical contents.
The Portofino M is the first Ferrari to be presented in the wake of the company’s temporary closure due to the Covid-19 crisis, making it the symbol of a voyage of rediscovery. It is the (re)starting point for Prancing Horse’s pursuit of innovation whilst fully respecting its heritage, passion and constant search for perfection. All of these values are reflected in the new Portofino M. In fact, the ‘M’ in its moniker stands for ‘Modificata’, which in Ferrari nomenclature refers to cars that have undergone an evolution that has significantly boosted their performance.
There is no shortage of technical innovation in the stunning new evolution of the Ferrari Portofino, the most notable being its redesigned powertrain, a brand-new eight-speed gearbox and the five-position Manettino that includes a Race mode, an absolute first for a Maranello GT spider. As a consequence of these and many other new features, the Portofino M guarantees an unprecedented combination of authentic GT performance, driving pleasure, agility and exceptional versatility in everyday driving contexts.
This latest design and engineering masterpiece from the Prancing Horse is the perfect evolution of the Ferrari Portofino. Sportier in character than its predecessor, it also delivers superior handling whilst not only maintaining but enhancing on-board comfort, courtesy of specific new optional features, such as ADAS, and ventilated and heated seats. The Ferrari Portofino M thus retains the Ferrari Portofino’s twin soul and is the only car on the market that can rightfully be described as an authentic coupé with its top closed and a genuine spider when it is open. This is thanks, of course, to the Retractable Hard Top (RHT), the signature feature of all the Prancing Horse’s convertibles.
The Portofino M’s compact dimensions also make it ideal for all occasions. In fact, its unparalleled versatility and on-board comfort turn every trip into a voyage of (re)discovery.
The Ferrari Portofino M’s 3855cc engine belongs to the V8 turbo family voted “International Engine of the Year” on four consecutive occasions (2016-2019). The power unit can punch out 620 cv at 7,500 rpm, 20 cv more than the Ferrari Portofino. To achieve these performance levels, the Ferrari engineers used new cam profiles to increase valve lift and optimise combustion chamber filling.
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.
Lastly, to comply with the strictest pollution emissions standards, a Gasoline Particulate Filter has been included in the exhaust system. The GPF allows the car to comply with the strictest European anti-pollution standards (Euro-6D) without compromising driving pleasure.
This result comes thanks to a control logic that continuously regenerates the filter, limiting the amount of accumulated particulate matter. This is achieved by using two dedicated sensors per cylinder bank to accurately measure differential pressure deltas up- and down-stream of the GPF.
The 8-speed gearbox is a completely new unit compared to the previous 7-speed version and is based on a dual-clutch oil bath architecture. It differs from the SF90 Stradale’s 8-speed transmission in its longer gear ratios and the introduction of a mechanical reverse gear. The new layout and integration of its components have also optimised the gearbox’s size and its installation in the car.
The fact that the Portofino M’s performance is more powerful than the Portofino resulted in the Ferrari Styling Centre’s designers making very precise, targeted adjustments to highlight the model’s characteristics and underscore its sportiness.
The wraparound front bumpers incorporate imposing, sculptural air intakes that lend a decisive, aggressive look to the front of the car. They also feature a new air vent at wheelarch height, added because of the need to reduce the car’s overall drag. Part of the air flow coming off the front radiating masses is directed towards the new vents and then accelerated up as it exits, boosting its extraction power. The resulting improvement in aerodynamic performance is underscored by a slash on the front bumper that flows into the design of the flanks, adding visual harmony to the side view of the car. Thus, the signature Portofino side scallop finds its visual counterpart on the Ferrari Portofino M’s front bumper, which has been sculpted to accentuate the car’s dynamic profile.
The grille features new aluminium slats with contrasting faceted tips that highlight this noble material.
At the rear, the new exhaust system has allowed the removal of the silencer assembly, making the Ferrari Portofino M’s tail more compact. The result is that the rear bumpers are now more streamlined and sculptural. Visually, their forms are lighter too and their styling more in harmony with the front bumpers, creating a much more coherent overall aesthetic.
The rear diffuser has been completely redesigned and is now separate to the bumpers. This allows clients to be able to specify it in carbon-fibre, which further underscores the car’s sporty character.
Specific diamond-finish wheel rims were designed for the Ferrari Portofino M. Their styling references that of the car’s flanks, a perfect marriage of elegance and sportiness. The unusually sculptural design of the spokes and their chiaroscuro look visually lightens the rim.
With the top down the Portofino M reveals its stylish GT soul and occupants will appreciate how compact and organic the whole car feels. There is exceptional design coherency in the development of the cabin, in fact. The Styling Centre team began by pinpointing certain specific prerequisites essential to the success of the design, the foremost of these being formal and functional coherency between the car’s exterior and its interior, weight reduction and more occupant space.
The crafting of the interior began with a multi-level dashboard structure comprising an upper half and then an intermediate gap designed to lighten the perceived mass of the lower half.
Obtained by subtracting rather than adding volumes, this breaking up of the dash into different levels allowed the designers to organise the technical elements and in-car devices to very rational effect while simultaneously defining its signature full-width architecture. A central horizontal aluminium blade divides the instrument panel, air conditioning vents and passenger display into separate areas in the upper section. The other control functions are located in the scooped section below, with a 10.25” touchscreen at the centre. This type of layout hints at flawless ergonomics and highlights the construction quality of every single detail through its seamless marriage of ultra-high-tech elements and materials with handcrafted assemblies and trims.
Seen in plan view, the cockpit’s symmetrical arrangement and the ample rear seat space are clear. From a construction perspective, the interior - and the dashboard architecture in particular - feature two shells incorporating all of the technical components and a bridge that visually connects the instrument panel area with the central tunnel.
This layout is designed to involve the passenger and is underscored in the styling of the door panels, handles and various controls and devices available, including the central and passenger touchscreens.
The seats are the product of a special research project and have an innovative magnesium structure. Different density padding and an ultra-compact seatback profile have freed up space for rear occupants too.
Also available is three-level ventilation for the seat and backrest, and the very popular neck warmer for use in winter months. The latter offers a choice of three heat levels and the system constantly adapts the speed of the warm air flow from the headrest to ensure it is proportional to the car’s speed, outside temperature and the position of the retractable top.