It’s happened. Ferrari has gone turbocharged and the world of naturally aspirated Italian V8’s is gone forever. Ferrari fans, you may now shed a tear, as the last vestige of purity is gone… except this has happened before, and last time Ferrari went turbo with the F40, it became one of the greatest cars ever built. Hold back on the tears then because this might just be the start of something great.
So what is this, the 488 GTB? It’s the face lifted successor of the 458 Italia, but do to several significant changes it’s been renamed too. The 488 refers to the capacity of each of the 8 cylinders, and the GTB stands for Gran Turismo Berlinetta – a coupe-styled Gran Turismo vehicle, and incidentally a throwback to the numerous historical Ferraris that have worn that name, particularly the 508 GTB, which also lends the 488 some of its styling.
But you want to know the juicy bits, don’t you? Gone is the old engine, and in its place sits a 3902cc turbocharged V8 generating 493kW @ 8000rpm and a massive 760Nm @ 3000rpm in 7th gear. It redlines 1000rpm lower than the 458, but the mass of torque gives the 488 GTB a 0-100km/h sprint time of 3 seconds dead, and a 0-200km/h time of 8.5 seconds. It’s capable of lapping Fiorano in just 1 minute 25 seconds, itself a rather impressive feat.
The rear wheels receive all the driving force via a revised dual-clutch transmission, which features variable torque management – a system which unleashes varying amounts of torque smoothly across the rev range for a more naturally aspirated feel to the torque delivery – quelling the fears that are often associated with a turbocharged engine. Also addressed has been the noise, with Ferrari’s engineers paying special attention to the soundtrack of the 488 GTB.
Revised aerodynamics is a huge aspect of the 488, not only affecting the styling, but also improving performance by means of 50% additional downforce and reduced drag. Under-body aero and revised air intakes have both added to the improved aero tech.
As per the 458 Speciale, the 488 GTB features Ferrari’s side slip angle control system (SSC2), which is more precise and less invasive than previous systems – allowing drivers to controllably slide the 488 GTB about with ease and precision.
Within the 488 GTB’s cabin, new satellite control clusters, angled air vents, and a revised instrument panel all add to the tailored impression given off by the 488 GTB. The standard Ferrari multi-function steering wheel makes an appearance, as do the large paddle-shifters behind the wheel.
The 488 GTB will make its world debut in Geneva next month, where it will face stiff competition from the McLaren 675LT – a more advanced variant of the already formidable 650S.