Car Of The Week – Ferrari Portofino M

It’s a chilly spring morning on the snaking Col De Turini. As you make your way across the sparse 19-mile route, the baritone roar from your Ferrari Portofino M’s 3.9-litre twin-turbocharged V8 pierces through the air. Each downshift releases an electrifying howl that reverberates off the valley walls.

Charging from hairpin to hairpin, the ultra-direct steering and immediate acceleration courtesy of the Portofino M’s faster-spinning turbo allow you to attack the snaking tarmac with poise and aggression. Yet, as you drop down and make your way onto the autoroute, switching the steering wheel-mounted Manettino dial from “Race” to “Comfort,” the suspension softens, the engine settles down, and the auto box selects the top gear—the perfect grand tourer.

It is this dreamy day that Ferrari no doubt had in mind when developing their interim update to the successful Portofino –  their open-top grand touring sports car. The Portofino M (the M stands for Modificata, indicating those models which have been granted a mid-life refresh) is Ferrari’s way of instilling even greater Jekyll-and-Hyde qualities into this model. Power, for example, has been boosted to 612bhp due to the deletion of the rear exhaust silencers, uprated cam profiles, and a new turbo speed sensor, enabling the turbo to spin 5,000rpm faster than in the standard Portofino.

Aerodynamics have also been addressed, enlarging the front-end air vents and producing a more efficient rear diffuser for an engaging driving experience when the occasion arises.

Although subtle, these changes bring the Portofino closer to the likes of the Prancing Horse’s more driver-focused offerings without compromising on the comfort or convenience central to the Portofino’s USP. The bright minds at Ferrari have done their best to make it as exciting on an alpine pass as cruising along the autostrada.

Not only is the Portofino M rawer, more balanced and more dynamic on the edge, but it also retains its soft, chilled-out, easy-going character. The addition of an extra eighth gear allows the revs to drop below 2,000rpm at 70mph, ensuring a less arduous, more relaxing cross-continental grand tourer. It’s a winner.

View our Portofino M here