Ferrari introduced the Portofino more than three years ago as its entry-level car, replacing the California. Today, Ferrari unveiled a slightly better Portofino it’s calling the Portofino M. It has 20 more horsepower, another gear in its transmission and starts at the low price of $US244,000 ($AUD333,060).
Ferrari says the Portofino M will make 612 horsepower from its turbo V8, power that will be sent through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission replacing the current seven-speed transmission. The M, by the way, stands for Modificata, or Modified.
Here is way too much detail on that engine and transmission, courtesy of Ferrari:
The Ferrari Portofino M’s 3855cc engine belongs to the V8 turbo family voted “International Engine of the Year” on four consecutive occasions (2016-2019). The power unit can punch out 620 cv at 7,500 rpm, 20 cv more than the Ferrari Portofino. To achieve these performance levels, the Ferrari engineers used new cam profiles to increase valve lift and optimise combustion chamber filling.
A speed sensor was also added to the turbocharger assembly to measure the turbine revolutions. This in turn allowed the maximum revolutions per minute of the turbine to be increased by 5,000 rpm.
Lastly, to comply with the strictest pollution emissions standards, a Gasoline Particulate Filter has been included in the exhaust system. The GPF allows the car to comply with the strictest European anti-pollution standards (Euro-6D) without compromising driving pleasure.
This result comes thanks to a control logic that continuously regenerates the filter, limiting the amount of accumulated particulate matter. This is achieved by using two dedicated sensors per cylinder bank to accurately measure differential pressure deltas up- and down-stream of the GPF.
The 8-speed gearbox is a completely new unit compared to the previous 7-speed version and is based on a dual-clutch oil bath architecture. It differs from the SF90 Stradale’s 8-speed transmission in its longer gear ratios and the introduction of a mechanical reverse gear. The new layout and integration of its components have also optimised the gearbox’s size and its installation in the car.
Like all the other turbo cars in the range and in line with the “zero turbo lag” concept, the Ferrari Portofino M delivers instantaneous throttle response throughout the rev range. The car boasts Variable Boost Management, a control software developed by Ferrari that adjusts torque delivery to suit the gear selected. The result is increasingly powerful pick-up as revs rise, whilst optimising fuel consumption. As the car goes up through the gears (from 3rd to 8th), the amount of torque delivered by the engine increases all the way up to 760 Nm in 7th and 8th gear.
On the one hand, this has allowed Ferrari to use longer gear ratios in the higher gears, which helps keep fuel consumption and emissions down, while on the other, adopting a steeper torque curve through the rev range in the lower gears for a feeling of smooth and powerful pick-up.
The introduction of the eighth gear and the improvement in transmission efficiency have resulted in a significant reduction in fuel consumption in urban and motorway contexts in addition to noticeably improving performance even under sportier, more press-on driving.
The new clutch module is 20% smaller but delivers 35% more torque, with up to a maximum 1,200 Nm of dynamic torque transmitted when gear shifting. The transmission software strategy has also been evolved with a more powerful ECU.
The Portofino M will have driving modes, too, of course. Described this way, there’s seemingly no reason to ever choose anything other than “Race.”
Ferrari has made some other nips and tucks to the Portofino M (you can read about everything here), but overall they haven’t fussed with the formula too much. And Ferrari doesn’t have much reason to, as the Portofino is widely considered a success.
This is all seemingly a part of Ferrari’s strategy in recent years to expand its production volume. Ferrari sold over 10,000 cars for the first time in 2019, and it plans to introduce 15 new cars by 2022, including the five new models it introduced last year, the SF90 Stradale among those.
This means that 40 per cent of its sales are expected to be GTs by 2022, according to Bloomberg, 8 per cent more than what Ferrari sells now and a far cry from the days when Ferrari sold cars only to fund its racing ambitions.