Life seems better when seen through the prism of a convertible Ferrari and perfect weather. You soak up the scenery and revel in the V8 soundtrack which is a constant but pleasing companion on the drive. The Portofino comes across as a Ferrari with a more relaxed ethos and having less of a burning desire to lap a racetrack, but the Portofino ‘M’ does have a rebellious side to it. Having suitably been given a thorough workout, the Ferrari 2+ GT Spider is now angrier, more lethal, and more of a blue-blooded Prancing Horse. In Ferrari speak, the ‘M’ represents ‘Modificata’ which includes several performance and visual upgrades.
My first look reveals a sharper nose and bigger intakes while the lines are chiseled with more muscle being unearthed by the designers. It’s slightly lither and less of a cruiser with a brooding stance which is typical of new-age Ferraris. The side scallop connects with the line on the front bumper above the sculptured breathing area of the car. There are slimmer headlamps, larger tail-lamps along large dual exhausts poking out from the back- no doubt ready to assault with a rich V8 melodious roar. The key to the Portofino M is still an old-fashioned one- something which I like more!
The interior on the other hand is a riot of Italian flamboyance and cutting-edge technology. Your mind scampers to take it all in but the new Ferrari interface is quite intuitive while the steering wheel is modeled on the same which its F1 racing car drivers use. Even the passenger gets a display to no doubt appreciate the sheer speed which it picks up nonchalantly. The quality of materials is exquisite with a whiff of hand-made luxury vibe about the cabin while being less serious than its more racecar-focused siblings like the SF90 or even the F8 Tributo. Of course, standard luxury and driver assistance features are all there including a few being useful like a neck-warmer or even ventilation for the seat/backrest.
Speaking of which, the Portofino M will turn into a coupe within a few seconds with its folding metal roof and you can do it on the move too- hence, sudden downpours will no longer be a bane.
Pushing the bright red starter button eggs, you on immediately, the Portofino M shows its intentions with a louder V8 noise than many of its more laidback rivals. While it can perfectly cruise at sedate speeds and allows one to embrace the convertible lifestyle; there is a wilder side to this car too. The 3855cc engine belongs to the V8 turbo family which won the “International Engine of the Year” on four consecutive occasions. A simple prod of the throttle shows why. The engine delivers the buzz and the heady rush of power that one expects from a Ferrari but also has enough torque to effortlessly munch on the miles if needed. It all depends on your mood. Cruising done; I was keen to find out more about the dynamic facets of this supercar/GT.
The power unit belts out 620 cv at 7,500 rpm- 20 cv more than the Ferrari Portofino. There is also a new 8-speed dual-clutch automatic and the introduction of the five-position Manettino that also includes a Race mode. Suddenly the ‘Modificata’ in its name makes a lot of sense. Keen drivers will appreciate the harder response from the engine and the louder exhaust while the whole car feels more settled along with being sharper around the bends. The steering is incredibly detailed but very sensitive to throttle inputs while ‘Race mode’ suitably reveals a thrilling side to this car. The Portofino M also benefits from the latest Ferrari arsenal of race car trickery including Side Slip Control (SSC) amongst other features. Hence, you can literally drive it by the scruff of its neck, and it obliges.
Priced at $226,000 (without options) the Portofino M is a lovely GT on one hand but dig deeper and it bleeds Ferrari DNA from its heart. It’s by far the most involving along with being the most exciting convertible on sale. The fact that it wears a Prancing Horse badge is therefore not a surprise at all.