Ferrari gives GT bestseller a makeover with new Portofino M

Ferrari rolled out the Portofino M, a modified version of its top-selling gran tourer, on Wednesday as the Italian sportscar maker pursues a rapid turn over of new models despite the coronavirus crisis.

The new car, the first to be launched since Ferrari shut its operations for seven weeks during a COVID-19 lockdown, was launched online, with video presentations outlining its restyling and technical innovations.

The Portofino M convertible grand tourer (GT) features a redesigned powertrain, eight-speed gearbox and a five-position Manettino switch that includes a race mode.

Ferrari, best known for its high performance sportscars, is now aiming to increase sales of GTs, which are designed to be comfortable on longer road trips.

It has said previously that about 40% of total sales could come from GT models by 2022, up from 32%.

Enrico Galliera, Ferrari’s chief marketing and commercial officer, told a virtual news conference that deliveries of the Portofino M would start in Europe from the second quarter of next year, with a starting price in Italy of around 206,000 euros ($244,000) – just above the standard Portofino.

After a record five new models last year – including the SF90 Stradale, Ferrari’s first hybrid car in series production – the Portofino M is the seventh in a pipeline of 15 models promised in Ferrari’s 2018-2022 plan.

“We’re planning another launch before the end of the year and the remaining (seven) in the next two years. Despite some delays that occurred to our product development because of the closing down of the factories we’re maintaining the plan as originally presented,” Galliera said.

The carmaker, controlled by Exor, the holding company of Italy’s Agnelli family, has also pledged that 60% of its cars sold by 2022 would be hybrid.

A full-electric model, however, is not expected until after 2025, as the battery technology requires more development and the group needs to prepare customers more used to roaring engines than a quiet drive.