Car ReviewsUAEMotors

Italian style, luxury, and speed in Dubai with the Portofino M

Gulf Insider’s Charlie Cooksey goes to Dubai to experience a very special drive...

I recently went to Dubai to experience the latest Ferrari Portofino M.

Ferrari booked me into the beautiful Bulgari Hotel which was quite possibly the most stunning and luxurious hotel I have ever stayed in… residing on its own private island in Dubai. The Bulgari hotel is an excellent match to the luxury standard to that of Ferrari.

The next morning, the Portofino M was delivered to me – loaded onto a flatbed truck. Usually, I prefer my Ferraris in traditional red, but I must admit to being strongly drawn to the unique dark grey paintwork of this particular Ferrari. After it was unloaded and I had signed the relevant paperwork accepting responsibility for it, the car was mine for the day to take wherever I wanted to go.

I always enjoy cruising and driving around Dubai, up and down Sheikh Zayed road, and in the cool winter sunshine, it’s even more enjoyable to take the roof down to feel the speed, wind and the sun… However, when you start climbing over 120kph it can mess up your hair style! It was a working business day for me, getting around Dubai for a day of meetings in a Ferrari once seemed like a crazy idea, but the Portofino M was so smooth and comfortable, I occasionally forgot I was behind the wheel of one.

The Portofino M is everything a Ferrari should be: sexy, powerful, and fast. Its twin-turbo V-8 churns out 612 horsepower—up from 592 in last year’s model—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.

So, how else does the new Ferrari Portofino M differ from its predecessor? Well, it has a redesigned powertrain, a new eight-speed gearbox and a five-position Manettino that includes a Race mode.

The ‘M’ stands for ‘Modificata’, which in Ferrari nomenclature refers to cars that have undergone an evolution that has boosted their performance.

The exterior is also subtly changed and looks even sportier and more aggressive than the previous model, with a new design of the front of the car – the bumpers in particular. 

This is an authentic coupé with its top closed and a genuine spider when it is open, thanks to its Retractable Hard Top (RHT). With the roof down, I was better able to bask in the beautiful sound made by the twin turbo V8 engine. 

Ferrari claims that the new model delivers both superior handling whilst enhancing on-board comfort, courtesy of specific new optional features, such as ADAS, as well as ventilated and heated seats. 

This model is often called the ‘every day drive Ferrari”. Less ridiculously powerful than the likes of the 812 Superfast – power can never be utilized on roads anyhow. But the Portofino M has far more power than you can use on public roads no matter how advanced a driver you are, and is as manageable when driven around town as much as it is on the race track. This car enables the most exhilarating drive in even the most mundane of environments. 

For more information, and to arrange a test drive in Bahrain, contact Euromotors on +973 17 734 734. 


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