A Dubai weekend in “affordable” Ferraris – Part II | The Portofino M

A continuation on yesterday’s article on the battle of the “affordable” Ferraris – Roma v Portofino M. Which one wins? Gulf Insider seeks to find out.

By Charlie Cooksey

Day 2 was for the Portofino M, which again was delivered by flatbed truck, and I took this on quite an adventure. I set off with a crew of content creators and Nadia Sultan (@nadiasultanx) and headed for the ‘Half Desert Road’ about 45 minutes outside of town.

The ‘half desert road’ is a long, straight, and mostly empty highway with nothing or nobody around, and is probably the best place to have some serious fun (other than a track of course). It’s even more enjoyable when you take the roof down to feel the wind and speed. However, when I did so, I was quickly asked to put the roof back up by Nadia as she had made great efforts with her hair for the photoshoot and didn’t want it messed up.

There were hardly any other cars around, other than the occasional car being pushed to its limits (or rather the limits of its driver). This included a Lamborghini driver who challenged me to a drag race, which I wisely declined.  

The Portofino M is everything a Ferrari should be: sexy, powerful, and fast. Its twin-turbo V-8 churns out 612 horsepower and hit’s 100 kph in the low-three-second range. The small back seat and trunk won’t fit much, but practicality has never been a Ferrari selling point. It’s an authentic coupé with its top closed and a genuine spider when it is open, thanks to its Retractable Hard Top (RHT).

In case you’re wondering, the ‘M’ stands for ‘Modificata’, which in Ferrari nomenclature refers to cars that have undergone an evolution that has boosted their performance.

So which car do I like best? For me it’s the Portofino M. I have driven both the Portofino M and Roma each perhaps half a dozen times and they both impress me equally with how they perform, drive, and handle, but what makes the Portofino M win for me is the exterior and interior design of the car and of course that it is convertible.

Both are aimed to appeal to those looking for a Ferrari that can be a daily drive so are prepared to trade some of the brand’s legendary hyper performance for a bit of extra comfort and practicality. That said, and regardless how comfortable these cars are to drive as daily’s, I don’t think I could ever drive a Ferrari as a daily because I feel they are too special for that!

Both offer beautiful design and stunning performance. They share the same drivetrain and transmission. The Roma has the same 2+2 configuration as the Portofino M, but it is almost three inches longer and about two inches wider. The Roma is also 200 pounds lighter.

The base price of the Roma is slightly less expensive than the comparable Portofino M, although the Roma’s available functional and visual options can launch the price up considerably.

I personally prefer the wheel and cockpit set up to that of the Portofino M, but they both enable the most exhilarating drives in even the most mundane of environments. 

Portofino M starting price: BHD 96,999

For more information, and to arrange a test drive of the Roma or Portofino M in Bahrain, contact EuroMotors on +973 17 734 734. 


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