Less than a year after its debut, the Ferrari Portofino M is now available in Malaysia. According to Naza Italia, the official importer and distributor of the Ferrari brand in Malaysia, the Ferrari Portofino M is available from a base price of RM998,000 (before duties, customisation options, taxes and insurance).
The ‘M’ in its name stands for ‘modificata’ or ‘modified’, which signifies an evolution of the Prancing Horse’s 2+ GT spider – the Portofino. It has a sportier character than its predecessor, delivering superior handling and with enhanced comfort. The mods to the Portofino M include a redesigned powertrain, a brand new 8-speed gearbox, and a 5-position Manettino that includes Race mode, a first for a Maranello GT spider. Thanks to its retractable hard top (RHT), the Portofino M is also likely the only car in the market to genuinely claim to be an authentic coupé with its top closed, and a genuine spider when opened.
The engine in the Portofino M comes from the V8 turbo family that has been voted “International Engine of the Year” for 4 consecutive times i.e. 2016 – 2019. This 3,855 cc engine has been modded to produce 620 cv (612 hp) @ 7,500 rpm, 20 cv (~20 hp) more than the Portofino’s.
To get the extra bump in power, 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.
Additionally, the 8-speed gearbox is completely new (the previous Portofino had a 7-speeder) 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 installation in the car.
Like all turbo cars in the range, and in line with the “zero turbo lag” concept, the Portofino M delivers instantaneous throttle response throughout the rev range. The car boasts a Variable Boost Management software developed by Ferrari that adjusts torque delivery to suit the gear selected. The result is increasingly powerful pick-up as revs rise, whilst optimising fuel consumption. As the car goes up through the gears, from 3rd to 8th, the amount of torque delivered by the engine increases all the way up to 760 Nm in 7th and 8th gear. This has allowed Ferrari to use longer gear ratios in the higher gears, which helps keep fuel consumption and emissions down, whilst also adopting a steeper torque curve through the rev range in the lower gears for a feeling of smooth and powerful pick-up.
The introduction of the 8th gear and the improvement in transmission efficiency have also resulted in a significant reduction in fuel consumption in urban and highway driving, in addition to noticeably improving performance under sportier driving. Moreover, the new clutch module is 20% smaller but delivers 35% more torque, with up to a maximum 1,200 Nm of dynamic torque transmitted when shifting gears.
Lastly, particular attention was focused on gear change strategies 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 in urban settings during start & stop cycles. This guarantees that the car is smoother to drive at low speeds in traffic, as well as delivering a more intuitive experience and improved responsiveness.
The car’s exhaust line geometry has been changed to provide a unique soundtrack. The 2 rear silencers have been eliminated (which in addition to boosting sound also significantly reduces backpressure in the tailpipes), and the bypass valves are now oval in shape to enhance the exhaust sound. Another notable modification is “proportional” bypass valve control, which is continuous and progressive depending on the driving situation.
For more precise driving control, the Portofino M’s Side Slip Control (SSC) incorporates an algorithm that delivers an estimate in real time of the side slip angle to all the various on-board control systems. The SSC coordinates all the vehicle dynamics interventions as the systems are all integrated using shared data. The 6th generation SSC integrates E-Diff, F1-TCS, SCM-E Frs and the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer (FDE) control systems.
The FDE is a lateral dynamics control system that uses Ferrari software to adjust the hydraulic brake pressure at the callipers on all 4 wheels. Available only when in Race mode, the FDE is designed to make the car’s lateral dynamics more predictable both through and exiting corners by ensuring the steering wheel and throttle are more intuitive for the driver to use. However, the FDE is not a stability control system and flanks rather than replaces the traditional VDC and stability control system (ESC).
Another noteworthy factor is the more modulable brake pedal pressure which, when combined with a reduction in pedal travel of around 10%, delivers more precise, instantaneous responsiveness to inputs during braking.
Of note is the 5-position Manettino i.e. Wet, Comfort, Sport, Race, ESC Off, a first on a Prancing Horse GT spider. This allows for a wider range of settings to take advantage of the Portofino M’s capabilities.
Optional for the Portofino M is the advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) which includes:
- Adaptive Cruise Control with stop & go function
- Predictive Emergency Brake System that can alert the driver to potential collision risks readying the car to lessen the consequences of a frontal impact
- Blind Spot Monitoring
- Lane Departure Warning with acoustic and/or visual alert that the car has strayed out of its lane
- Automatic High Beam
- Traffic Sign Recognition, which displays the speed limits on the particular road
- Surround View with 3D display
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert
The Portofino M’s styling is a reworking of the successful Portofino design. Ferrari Styling Centre’s designers had made very precise, targeted adjustments to highlight the model’s characteristics and underscore its sportiness. For instance, the wraparound front bumper incorporates imposing, sculptural air intakes that lend a decisive, aggressive look to the front of the car. It also features a new air vent at wheel arch height, added to reduce the car’s overall drag.
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 bumper is now more streamlined. Visually, the form gives a lighter look to the car. Further, the rear diffuser has been completely redesigned and is now separate from the bumpers. This allows clients the option to specify it in carbon fibre.
The interior features a multi-level dashboard structure with an intermediate gap designed to lighten the perceived mass of the lower half. This splitting of the dash allowed designers to organise the technical elements and in-car devices to very rational effect. 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.
Additionally, 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 3-level ventilation for the seat and backrest, and the popular neck warmer for the colder climate. 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.
Another key feature in the cabin is the HMI (Human-Machine Interface) which centres on a digital cluster with dual TFT displays arranged around the analogue rev counter in a generous circular, anti-glare binnacle. Located on exactly the same axis as the multi-functional steering wheel, this cluster allows the driver to interact more intuitively with the car.
The infotainment system functions are controlled via the touchscreen that is within easy reach of both driver and passenger. The full HD multi-touch capacitive screen with Split View allows different types of content to be viewed simultaneously. Both Apple Car Play and Android Auto connectivity are also available.
The passenger also has an optional dedicated capacitive display on the dashboard. It is directly linked to the main screen providing all information relating to car speed, rpm and the gear. This 7” colour full HD and Full Touch display also allows the passenger to interact with the car’s on-board systems. For instance, the passenger can select music, view sat nav information or select a new point of interest (POI), such as a restaurant, which is then automatically integrated into the route.
Ferrari Portofino M’s owners will see an extended 7-year maintenance programme offered by Ferrari Malaysia which covers all regular maintenance. This scheduled maintenance programme for Ferraris is an exclusive service that allows clients the certainty that their car kept at peak performance and safety over the years. This special service is also available to owners of pre-owned Ferraris.
Regular maintenance (at intervals of either 20,000 km or once a year with no mileage restrictions), original spares and the most modern diagnostic tools available are just some of the advantages of the Genuine Maintenance Programme. Technical staff are trained directly at the Ferrari Training Centre in Maranello.
“The ongoing challenges and restrictions our nation has been experiencing made delays of launch plans inevitable, so we are thrilled to now have the opportunity to introduce the Ferrari Portofino M to the local market and have it join Ferrari Malaysia’s stable of Prancing Horses. Our clients have already shown keen interest in this versatile model and have been waiting in anticipation for the perfect evolution of the Portofino, which holds the promise of 2+ GT spider excellence with distinct progressions in character, design, performance and everyday adaptability. As a true coupé with its top closed and a genuine spider when it is open, the Portofino M offers an enhanced driving experience that is ideal for all occasions and settings,” said Dato’ Nik Hamdam Nik Hassan, Group CEO, Automotive Group, Naza Corporation Holdings Sdn Bhd.
For further details, contact the Ferrari Malaysia Showroom.