When you are handed the keys to a Ferrari for a day – especially one with 620 hp – your first instinct is probably to drive it like you stole it and pin your right foot down into the accelerator at every chance you get. Or at least, that’s what we’d do… normally.
But oddly enough, when we were given the chance to sample the new Ferrari Portofino M recently, all we wanted to do was to take it easy and, well, savour the experience with the top down.
Don’t get us wrong – the new Portofino M is more than happy to oblige with your every input, be it chucking it into corners on your touge runs, or mashing the pedals whenever the traffic light turns green; for the laymen drivers, the car’s limit depends only on the size of your own cajones.
And that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. The ‘M’ suffix in its name – which stands for Modificata – is essentially Ferrari’s way of saying that the car has received a ‘significant boost to their performance’. And it certainly feels that way too, not just in its updated powertrain, but also its chiselled chassis.
Even reading the spec-sheet alone is enough to tell you what the car can do: 620 hp and 760 Nm from its 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8, new eight-speed DCT gearbox, and a new Manettino switch that now comes with the balls-to-the-wall Race mode – there are no doubts that this car is fast.
And heck, the car even looks the part too, with the ‘M’ treatment bringing along the sportier bumper and larger air intakes up front, alongside a significantly more aggressive diffuser at the rear.
But it’s when you slide into the driver’s seat and set off for the first time – preferably with the top down – that you truly understand what this car is about.
Yes, it can bite. But unless you specifically asked for it, the Ferrari Portofino M will just happily cruise along in utmost comfort (and speed, of course). Because even though it’s now got a lot more grunt, it hasn’t forgotten that it’s still a topless grand tourer – and Ferrari has made it even better in that aspect, too.
The seating position is spot on, giving you just enough of the “sporty” feel without sacrificing comfort on long journeys. And it’s even offered with seat ventilation and neck warmers too, if you so choose.
And the Ferrari Portofino M now even comes with an advanced driver assistance systems suite, with features including adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, rear-cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, adaptive high beam, and a 3D surround-view monitor – all to make driving it around other people easier.
But most importantly, it’s the way it drives. In comfort mode, the retuned adaptive suspension just soaks up all of the bumps that the Malaysian paved highways can offer. And with the top down, overtaking is as easy as it is fun, as the roar from the engine just engulfs your senses.
A full review will be coming very soon for the Ferrari Portofino M, so keep your eyes peeled. But for now, we’ll let the photos do the talking…