2021 Ferrari Portofino M launched in Malaysia, priced from RM998,000 before taxes, options and insurance
Naza Italia has a new Prancing Horse among its ranks of local offerings, and it’s called the Ferrari Portofino M. The M in the name of the updated convertible supercar does not stand for Maranello, Monza or even Malaysia. Instead, it means ‘Modificata’, which Ferrari has historically used to denote ‘cars that have undergone an evolution that has significantly bolstered their performance’.
For starters, Ferrari’s award-winning turbocharged V8 engine has been updated to produce 620PS at 7,500rpm – 20PS more than what the original Portofino had at its disposal – and 760Nm of torque that gushes in from as early as 3,000rpm. These improvements come from a combination of new cam profiles, a speed sensor that raises the turbocharger turbine’s maximum speed to 5,000rpm and a gasoline particulate filter that helps the powertrain comply with Euro-6D standards.
The bigger mechanical change, however, comes in the form of a new eight-speed dual clutch transmission, which replaces the old seven-speed DCT. The oil bath architecture (wet clutch) gearbox is not exactly the same unit as the one in the SF90 Stradale, with longer ratios and a mechanical reverse gear. But the new clutch module is nevertheless 20 percent smaller than before, all while being able to deliver 35 percent more torque, with up to 1,200Nm of dynamic torque transmissible during gear shifts.
In a straight line, the Portofino M’s updated powertrain helps it to 100kph from a standstill in 3.45 seconds – 0.05 seconds quicker than the outgoing Portofino. Zero to 200kph is done in 9.8 seconds, which is a full second quicker than before, while top speed is rated above 320kph. On top of the headier stats, Ferrari claims its renewed front-engined convertible supercar is more efficient and easier to drive as a result of its powertrain enhancements, with improved clutch control making low-speed drives in traffic a smoother affair.
Adding to the dynamic repertoire of the Portofino M are modern-day Ferrari staples such as Side Slip Control (SSC), which is now in its sixth generation, and a five-position Manettino which offers driving presets for Wet, Comfort, Sport, Race and ESC-Off conditions. The Italian supercar also gets a healthy dose of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), which includes adaptive cruise control, AEB, automatic high beam and lane departure warning, among others.
Inside, things are largely the same as before, with a centralised rev counter flanked by dual TFT screens making up Ferrari's 'Human Machine Interface (HMI)' in the Portofino M. The 10.25-inch touchscreen that takes centre stage in the dash supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto while an extra seven-inch display keeps the passenger entertained with performance figures and quick access to music and sat-nav settings. This is Ferrari's way of allowing the passenger to be more involved as a 'co-driver' of sorts.
As for the Portofino M's defining party trick, the retractable hard top is the same bit of showy kit as before, with the full folding up/down cycle taking just 14 seconds upon the press of a button. Despite adding a bit of bulk and weight to the car, Ferrari has managed to maintain a pretty useable 292 litres of space in the boot. But that matters little when you're going for the wind-in-hair moment, unfiltered V8 symphony blaring straight into the back of the skull. Ferrari says that each one of its engines has a unique soundtrack by tradition. And the Portofino M gets its original sound from a new exhaust geometry and the elimination of two rear silencers, boosting sound and reducing backpressure in the tailpipes as a result.
Naturally, all of this comes at a cost befitting a full-fledged Prancing Horse. In Malaysia, the Portofino M is priced just below the million-Ringgit mark – RM998,000 to be precise – before factoring in duties, customisation options, taxes and insurance. On-the-road prices in the peninsula would easily cost at least twice that figure, but it includes genuine maintenance by the brand's certified professionals for seven years, at intervals of either 20,000km or once a year with no mileage restrictions.
Tempted? Or would you ditch the allure of top-down driving and go for the more evocative Roma instead?