Ferrari updates its hard-top grand tourer with more powerful V-8 and new eight-speed automatic

The 2021 Ferrari Portofino M is an updated version of the Portofino grand tourer. Unveiled in 2020, three years after the Portofino arrived to replace the California T, the 2021 Portofino M features mild upgrades inside and out, but it also comes with a more powerful V-8 engine and a brand-new transmission.

The 2021 Portofino M also marks the return of the "M" badge. Short for Modificata, which indicates extensive updates, this badge has been used on a few Ferraris in the 1990s and 2000s. Notable examples include the 575M Maranello from 2002 and the F512 M, the third iteration of the Testarossa, in 1994. Let’s find out more about the 2021 Portofino M in the review below.

  • 2021 Ferrari Portofino M
  • Year:
    2021
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Transmission:
    Eight-speed Automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    611
  • Torque @ RPM:
    561
  • Displacement:
    3900 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.4 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    199 mph
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:

What makes the 2021 Ferrari Portofino M special?

2021 Ferrari Portofino M
- image 939063
While the Portofino was a notable change compared to the California, the M facelift doesn't bring that many updates on the outside.

Not surprisingly for a mid-cycle refresh, Ferrari changed only a handful of features on the outside, just enough to keep the grand tourer crisp for a couple more years.

Up front, only one modification sets it apart from the outgoing model. I’m talking about the side bumper vents that are wider at the bottom. Ferrari says the grille features new aluminum slats, but that’s barely visible unless you look really close. The front bumper also features new small vents toward the front wheels, which match the outlets that extent from the other side of the wheel arch into the doors.

2021 Ferrari Portofino M
- image 939065

The profile carries over unchanged save for a set of diamond-finish rims that are unique for this model. However, they do look similar to the old wheels, featuring a similar five-spoke design with "twisted" spokes.

The rear fascia also looks very familiar because Ferrari revised only the exhaust pipes and the diffuser.

The Italians claim that the diffuser was redesigned, but visual changes are far from dramatic. Overall, the Portofino M looks a lot like the outgoing Portofino, but the front fascia looks a bit crisper than before.

Just like the exterior, the interior of the Portofino M carries over mostly unchanged. Updates are actually even smaller inside the cabin, limited to just an "M" badge on the dashboard and a new option for ventilated and heated seats.

But I can’t say this is an issue. The Portofino’s interior still looks fresh and the materials used by Ferrari are on par or even superior to similar offerings. You can still pick from a choice of leather and Alcantara (you can have both if you want), as well as carbon-fiber and aluminum trim.

2021 Ferrari Portofino M
- image 939064

The seats offer solid lateral support like any sports car out there, but they’re also very comfortable for long trips. The Portofino M is a grand tourer, after all.

The steering wheel, which features a race-inspired design, includes buttons to make things easier on the road, while the infotainment display is big enough to ensure easy access to its functions.

Like most luxury cars, the Portofino M is fitted with loads of driver-assist systems. Highlights include Adaptive Cruise Control, Predictive Emergency Brake, Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Departure Warning, Traffic Sign Recognition, Surround View with 3D Display, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

The grand tourer continues to feature the retractable hard-top roof, so you can turn it into a convertible in a matter of seconds to enjoy limited headroom and the growl of the V-8 engine.

The "M" badge starts to make sense when we look at the car’s performance sheet. The Portofino M retains the twin-turbo, 3.9-liter V-8 of the outgoing model, but Ferrari developed new cam profiles for increased valve lift and optimized combustion chamber filling.

The result is a power increase from 592 to 611 horsepower.

That’s an extra 19 horsepower. Torque remains unchanged at 561 pound-feet of torque, but it’s enough to push the grand tourer from 0 to 62 mph in 3.5 seconds. The sprint is identical to the old Portofino, as is the top speed at 199 mph.

The engine isn’t the only drivetrain components that was upgraded.

The V-8 mates to a brand-new eight-speed automatic gearbox, which replaces the previous seven-speed gearbox.

It differs from the SF90 Stradale’s eight-speed transmission in its longer gear ratios and a mechanical reverse gear. Ferrari says the new layout and integration of its components have also optimized the gearbox’s size and its installation in the car and it also helps reduce fuel consumption.

Ferrari Portofino M Specs
Engine  3.9-liter, twin-turbo V-8
Horsepower 611 horses
Torque 561 pound-feet
Transmission Eight-speed F1 dual-clutch automatic 
0-62 mph 3.45 s
0-124 mph 9.8 s
Top Speed 199 mph

The Maranello-based company also developed a new clutch module that is 20-percent smaller but delivers 35-percent more torque when gear shifting and a five-position Manettino with Race mode, a first for a Ferrari grand tourer. To comply with the most recent Euro-6 emissions standards, Ferrari added a particulate filter to the exhaust system.

2021 Ferrari Portofino M
- image 939062

The rest of the drivetrain carries over unchanged, which means that the Portofino M comes with Ferrari’s dynamics control system called Side Slip Control. It incorporates a complex system that delivers an estimate in real-time of the sideslip angle to the on-board control systems, and the computer acts accordingly to improve stability and performance.

Now in its sixth generation, the SSC includes the E-Diff, F1-TCS, SCM-E FRS, and the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer (FDE) control systems. The FDE is a lateral dynamics control system that uses software to adjust the hydraulic brake pressure at the calipers on all four wheels, but only when the Manettino is in Race mode.

Pricing information is not available, but expect the Portofino M to cost well in excess of $200,000.

Ferrari Portofino M Dimensions
Length 4594 mm
Width  1938 mm
Height  1318 mm
Wheelbase  2670 mm
Front Track  1633 mm
Rear Track  1635 mm
Curb Weight  3668 pounds
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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