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Review: A day out with the Ferrari Portofino M

Charlie Cooksey takes the new Ferrari GT 2+ Spider for a spin around the island

I had the pleasure to visit Euromotors, Bahrain’s official Ferrari dealership, to collect the new Portofino M. The ‘M’ stands for ‘Modificata’, which in Ferrari nomenclature refers to cars that have undergone an evolution that has boosted their performance.

The Portofino M is everything a Ferrari should be: sexy, powerful, and fast. Its twin-turbo V8 churns out 612 horsepower—up from 591 in last year’s model—and it should hit 60 mph 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 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. 

Usually, I prefer my Ferraris in traditional red, but I must admit to being strongly drawn to the unique blue/grey paintwork of this particular car.

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 is an authentic coupé with its top closed and a genuine spider when it is open, thanks to its Retractable Hard Top (RHT). Despite the searing 100f heat I drove it for a while with the hood down – I couldn’t help myself; this car is special and driving it for me was a special occasion to experience. And with the roof down I was better able to bask in the beautiful sound made by the twin turbo V8 engine. 

The Portofino M created quite a stir among the students at AUBH (American University of Bahrain) for the photoshoot. 

This model is often called the ‘every day drive Ferrari”. Less ridiculously powerful than the likes of the 812 Super Fast – 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. 


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