Ride Along With Ferrari Test Driver and Engineer Raffaele de Simone in the new 611-Horsepower Portofino M

We thought the Ferrari Portofino was pretty nice, but Ferrari engineer Raffaele de Simone wanted to make it better with another 18 horsepower.

Dan Carney, Senior Editor

October 21, 2020

4 Slides

We enjoyed our drive in the Ferrari Portofino, the company's front-engine 2+2 roadster designed for grand touring rather than for weekends at the track. But despite its somewhat more laid-back mission, Ferrari engineers still thought it could use a bit more vigor, as described by engineer and test driver Raffaele de Simone in this ride-along video in the new Ferrari Portofino M.

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Ferrari engineers replaced the Portofino's camshafts with higher-lift versions for improved cylinder filling. They also added the turbocharger rpm sensor seen previously on the 488 Pista, which we track-tested in the video below. Directly measuring the turbo's speed allows engineers to calibrate the engine with another 5,000 rpm of turbocharger speed because they need to leave a smaller margin of error when directly monitoring the turbo's speed rather than estimating it.

Although the Portofino M is meant more for cruising, Ferrari engineers also added a "Race" setting to its steering-wheel-mounted Manettino mode selector. As de Simone demonstrates in the video, this lets the driver throw the Portofino M around a bit more during track drives.


About the Author(s)

Dan Carney

Senior Editor, Design News

Dan’s coverage of the auto industry over three decades has taken him to the racetracks, automotive engineering centers, vehicle simulators, wind tunnels, and crash-test labs of the world.

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