Ferrari knows exactly who is going to buy the Portofino M
There is little differentiating it from the Roma
When you have a modern-age, brand-spanking-new grand tourer with an all-new design language, would you bother with a modified version of an existing model? Ferrari buyers might face a similar situation when a customer has to decide between the Roma and the Portofino M. Though a Ferrari official claims the Portofino M has a distinct customer base.
Ferrari product marketing manager Marco Bai told Automotive News Europe that the Portofino M is expected to lure customers who would’ve gone for the California, Portofino’s predecessor, along with “spider lovers” or convertible takers. Though, Bai believes around 50 per cent of Portofino M’s sales could expectedly comprise first-time Ferrari customers.
If you’re thinking there isn’t much differentiating the Portofino from the Portofino M, you’d be mistaken. The M variant, which stands for Modificata, carries both cosmetic as well as mechanical upgrades. The latter consists of a 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8, same as the standard Portofino, but with a modified camshaft and tweaked calibration, resulting in a slight power bump of around 21hp to put out 612hp. The gearbox sees a massive switch from the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission in the standard car to an eight-speed dual-clutch unit in the M variant, improving fuel efficiency.
Cosmetically, the Portofino M sees minor tweaks on the front end as well as the cabin. One could argue why the updated drop-top coupe doesn’t share any modern technology, such as manual-gated-style toggle controls for the gearbox from the Roma instead of conventional buttons, even though the former got released almost a year later. Bai states, “It made no sense to transfer hi-tech touch elements in an environment very different from the Roma”.
Apart from the similar retail price, the Portofino M shares its mechanicals with the new-age Roma (same engine and gearbox with similar performance figures). However, the Italian carmaker remains adamant that the Portofino M isn’t just a drop-top iteration of the Roma. Instead, Ferrari believes the coupe and the convertible buyers form two distinct groups, and they won’t clash amongst themselves.
Moreover, Ferrari is aware that buyers of the Portofino M would be first-time Ferrari owners and won’t be big on brand loyalty. Especially when considering the competition comprises the Aston Martin DB11 Volante, Bentley Continental GT convertible, and the Jaguar F-Type SVR convertible, Portofino M customers are more likely to switch brands.