• The Ferrari Portofino M – Taking On The Heavy Hitters With Italian Attitude

The Ferrari Portofino M was born to put the competition in check

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Despite very similar looks, the same engine, and similar pricing, Ferrari is cutthroat serious that the Portofino (and the new Portofino M) is not just a convertible version of the Roma. We could probably argue this point all day long, but we’re not here to argue today. Instead, we’re here to talk about why the Ferrari Portofino exists, and if you’re thinking that it’s to bring back customers of the Ferrari California and California T, then you’re only half right. So, what’s the Portofino M’s primary purpose then?

Replacing The California and California T is Only Half the Equation

The Ferrari Portofino M – Taking On The Heavy Hitters With Italian Attitude Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The Ferrari California and California T held a special position in Ferrari’s lineup – it was the cheapest model that you could buy. Consider the California as the entry-level Ferrari. The California, aka the Type F149, was discontinued after 2017, and the Roma was quick to follow a few years later as the brand’s new cheapest, entry-level model. The Portofino has been billed by the public as a convertible version of the Roma given the similarities between the two models, but that isn’t the case. It is, however, here to make up for the lack of a “cheap convertible,” the hole that was left when the California T was shelved.

And, that’s part of what the Portofino M is here to do – bring back customers that can afford entry level Ferraris, like current California and California T owners.

But, that’s not all it’s here for.

The Ferrari Portofino M Is Aimed At Spider Lovers In General

The Ferrari Portofino M – Taking On The Heavy Hitters With Italian Attitude Exterior Wallpaper quality
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In an interview with Automotive News, Ferrari’s Product Marketing Manager, Marco Bai, confirmed that Ferrari is hoping current California owners stop by to pick up the latest entry-level spider. But, the car is also aimed at “spider lovers” in general, a statement that makes a lot of since considering that Ferrari expects 50-percent of Portofino M sales to be made up by folks that have never owned a Ferrari before. It wasn’t explicitly implied but it seems Ferrari is hoping current Portofino owners are looking to trade in too.

After all, the 3.9-liter, twin-turbo, V-8 was the recipient of a revised camshaft, new fuel and air intake calibration, and a few other tweaks – a move that increased output from 592 horsepower to around 612 horsepower while torque remained that same at 561 pound-feet.

The seven-speed DCT was also swapped out with an eight-speed DCT to improve fuel economy in both city and highway driving scenarios. It’s a win-win regardless of how you look at it.

The Ferrari Portofino M – Taking On The Heavy Hitters With Italian Attitude Exterior
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So, if current California and Portofino owners are expected to make up some 50-percent of Portofino M sales, where is the other 50-percent coming from?

Well, Ferrari doesn’t expect those buying the Portofino M to be brand-loyal and if they are, Ferrari is expecting to steal that brand loyalty away from the competition – that’s where the “spider lovers” bit I mentioned earlier comes from. The Portofino M competes directly with the Aston Martin DB11 Volante, Bentley Continental GT Convertible, and the Jaguar F-Type SVR Convertible. Can Ferrari steal customers from the hard hitting competition? Without a doubt – at least to some extent, anyway, but it will all boil down to pricing, which is a big mystery at this point. The Portofino M should start out at around $225,000 give or take, here in North America, but is that reasonable enough?

Ferrari Portofino M vs. The Competition
Ferrari Portofino M Aston Martin DB11 Volante Bentley Continental GT Convertible Jaguar F-Type SVR
Engine 3.9-Liter, Twin-Turbo, V-8 4.0-Liter V-8 4.0-Liter, Twin-Turbo, V-8 5.0-Liter, Suprcharged, V-8
Horsepower 611 Horsepower 503 Horsepower 542 Horsepower 575 Horsepower
Torque 561 LB-FT 513 LB-FT 568 LB-FT 516 LB-FT
0-62 MPH (100 KM/H) 3.5 Seconds 4.1 Seconds 4.1 Secpmds 3.5 Seconds
Top Speed 199 MPH 187 MPH 203 MPH 200 MPH
Price $225,000 (est) $220,900 $225,085 $126,700

If you look at the chart that I’ve posted above, you’ll see that the Portofino M, should it be priced right around $225,000, will make a strong case for itself. It will be equally priced with the Continental GT, some $5,000 more expensive (pocket change once you enter six-figures) than the DB11 Volante, and almost double the price of the Jaguar F-Type SVR. It is also the most powerful of the bunch with the F-Type coming the closest, which – ironically – is the only car that can run nose-to-nose up to 62 mph from a stand still. In the long run the Portofino M is also 4 mph slower than the GT and one mph slower than the F-Type, but it does beat out the DB11, which maxes out at 187 mph.

The Ferrari Portofino M – Taking On The Heavy Hitters With Italian Attitude Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Is the Portofino M a better deal? Well, it’s certainly the newest of the bunch, but the F-Type SVR which is significantly cheaper was also updated for the 2021 model year, and it’s hard to look away from a car that’s just as capable at half the price.

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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