Ferrari Portofino M launched in Malaysia – fr. RM998k

Ferrari Portofino M launched in Malaysia – fr. RM998k

Naza Italia has officially launched the Ferrari Portofino M in Malaysia, exactly a year after the car made its official debut. The F164 BCB, which takes over from the Portofino as the brand’s starting point model, goes on sale here priced from RM998,000 (before duties, customisation options, taxes and insurance). That makes it RM50k more than the Portofino when it went on sale here in 2018.

Essentially, the M – which stands for ‘Modificata’, a term the company says is used for its cars that have undergone a performance evolution – is very much a facelift, but while exterior changes are subtle, the car features an increase in power output, a new transmission as well as fresh equipment.

Revisions at the front are made up of a new bumper, which has redesigned side intakes and adds on a new air vent at the wheel arch height to improve aerodynamic efficiency. Elsewhere, there are new aluminium slats on the outer edges of the grille.

The rear end has also been re-sculptured, with the removal of the silencer assembly as a result of a new exhaust system allowing for a more streamlined bumper assembly, lending to a more visually integrated tail end. There’s a new diffuser as well, and the strikingly pronounced unit can be dressed in carbon-fibre as an option.

Rounding off the exterior revisions is a new, specific diamond-finish, five-spoke 20-inch wheel design, and these are dressed with 245/35 front and 285/30 rear rubbers.

As for the car’s powertrain and drivetrain, the combination from the automaker’s Roma finds its way on to the M. The 3.9 litre F154 BB twin-turbo V8 has been reworked to a BE specification, with power going up by 20 PS (19 hp) to 620 PS (611 hp) at 5,750 to 7,500 rpm. Maximum torque continues on at 760 Nm from 3,000 to 5,750 rpm.

The car also gets a new gearbox, with the previous seven-speed F1 dual-clutch transmission being replaced by an eight-speed F1 dual-clutch unit, as seen on the Roma. The transmission is derived from the SF90 Stradale and Spider’s eight-speeder, but incorporates a mechanical reverse gear and longer gear ratios.

Performance numbers for the 2+ GT spider include a 0-100 km/h time of 3.45 seconds and a 0-200 km/h time of 9.8 seconds, with top speed rated at 320 km/h. The improvement in 0-100 km/h time from the Portofino is marginal (the previous car managed it in 3.5 seconds), but the M is a full second faster than the old car in hitting the 200 km/h mark.

The braking system has also been given a performance upgrade; it now has more modulable brake pedal pressure and pedal travel has been reduced by 10%, resulting in a quicker, more precise response to braking input. As for the new exhaust system, a new geometry of the entire exhaust line sees the two rear silencers on the Portofino being omitted, reducing backpressure in the tailpipes and improving tonality.

No visual revelations inside the cabin – the Portofino’s interior has essentially been carried over to the M, and so you’ll find the same layout as before. The instrument cluster with dual TFT displays arranged around the analogue rev counter, the 10.25-inch central touchscreen, the central console configuration, it’s all as it was. Even the retractable hard top is familiar ground, still opening and closing in 14 seconds.

New features come in the form of a Race setting on the manettino switch, giving the car a fifth drive mode, as well as ventilation and heating for the seats. The biggest inclusion, however, is tucked away from sight – an advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) suite can now be specified for the car.

This adds an array of safety and driver assist components that were previously unavailable. Items in the pack include adaptive cruise control with Stop&Go function, predictive emergency brake system (AEB), blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, traffic sign recognition, automatic high beam and a 3D surround view camera.

Speaking of ADAS, the entire bag of tricks is to be found on the launch unit, a LHD example finished in a Grigio Alloy exterior shade. It’s also specified with an assortment of cost options, from gloss black brake calipers, a matte black/satin grille and adaptive headlights with static bending light function to a neck warmer system, ventilated full electric seats and Magneride dual-mode suspension.

Incidentally, the RM998k price is for the base car, which comes with a short list of standard equipment (but includes Xenon headlamps and carbon ceramic brakes), meaning there will be no shortage option boxes for customers to tick. As for deliveries, the first cars will get to Malaysian buyers only next year.

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Anthony Lim

Anthony Lim believes that nothing is better than a good smoke and a car with character, with good handling aspects being top of the prize heap. Having spent more than a decade and a half with an English tabloid daily never being able to grasp the meaning of brevity or being succinct, he wags his tail furiously at the idea of waffling - in greater detail - about cars and all their intrinsic peculiarities here.




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