Every new mid-engined V8 Ferrari is an important one and the 488 GTB is no exception. Its predecessors include the 458 Italia, F430, 360 Modena, F355, 348, and 308 GTB, of which some have been prepared by Naza Italia to be on display at the launch (seen above). Like its predecessors, the 488 GTB retains the mid-engined layout but this time, the V8 engine receives turbocharging, something not seen since the 208 GTB Turbo and Ferrari F40.
Under the hood of the Ferrari 488 GTB is a new 3.9-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine delivering 661hp at 8,000 rpm and 760Nm of torque in seventh gear. The power output overshadows the 458 Italia it replaces by nearly 100hp and 220Nm and is sent through a Getrag-sourced seven-speed dual-clutch automatic F1 transmission (with Variable Torque Management) and to the rear wheels. Ferrari have gone to great lengths and are adamant to make sure its new twin-turbo V8 powerplant provides a class-leading response time with zero turbo lag.
Simplifying the process of understanding what all that power translates to is easy if you refer to the performance figures given. 0-100 km/h of the 488 GTB is dealt with in just 3.0 seconds. Keep the accelerator pedal floored for another 5.3 seconds and the car will hit 200 km/h. Soldier on and you’ll be achieving a top speed in excess of 330 km/h!
At that speed, coming to a stop is no mean feat which is why the improved Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes fitted on the 488 are derived from technology used in Ferrari’s flagship hybrid hypercar, the LaFerrari. Measuring 398mm at the front and 360mm at the rear, they are surrounded by 20-inch five-spoke alloy wheels which themselves are wrapped in 245/35 series tyres up front and 305/30 series tyres at the back.
Those large grippy tyres are further aided by the new 488’s new vehicle dynamics which comprise of both mechanical and aerodynamic features.
Firstly, an evolved version of Ferrari’s Side Slip Control System (SSC2) makes its debut here. The system promises an increase in longitudinal acceleration out of corners by 12% and works in synergy with the car’s F1-Trac and E-Diff, controlling the SCM 3 magnetorheological damping system to ensure stability during complex manoeuvres. Control of the vehicle dynamics is still handled by the Manettino switch found on the driver’s steering wheel.
Next, the aerodynamic features can be seen on the body of the 488 GTB, resembling an evolved version of the 458 Italia. It’s a tricky business to balance out low drag with high downforce but Ferrari has managed to do exactly that in the new car. Drag coefficient stands at 1.67, a record for a road-homologated Ferrari but at the same time, downforce is 50% higher than the model it replaces.
The aerodynamic package is comprehensive to say the least. Starting at the front of the car which promptly displays the 488’s central Aero Pillar and double spoiler where the top element managed air flow going into the radiator while the larger, lower section channels air into the lower part of the underbody that incorporates vortex generators to ‘suck’ the car onto the road. At the rear, there is large rear diffuser has flaps which open and close depending on downforce requirements, and a blown spoiler. At 250 km/h, overall downforce generation is 325 kg.
Moving into the cabin, the cockpit is completely driver-focused with all the controls including the lights, wipers, damper settings, and the iconic Manettino switch all located on the steering wheel. Elsewhere, the 488’s interior is luxurious with leather upholstery and seats with aluminium trim pieces located on the dashboard.
Of course as each purchase of a Ferrari is an experience on its own, customers have the option to individualise their 488 GTB through Ferrari’s Tailor Made program which allows customisation of almost every detail of their car from the design of the wheels, to the addition of carbon fibre components, and even the colour of the leather in the cabin. Suffice to say, the variations are endless.
Take a listen to the sound of that Ferrari 488 GTB engine here: