If you like your race cars red, rapid and (probably) turbocharged, good news: Ferrari has confirmed to TopGear.com that we should see a racing version of the new 488 within the next 18 months.

A Ferrari spokesman revealed we can expect a circuit-ready GT3 version of the new turbocharged V8 supercar at the end of 2016, ready for track work in 2017.

So it’s still a way off, but then the 488 GTB road car has only just arrived. Our source told us the 488 will follow Ferrari’s normal development cycle, with the ‘Challenge’ cars following a year or so after the road car. The 488 set for the Ferrari Challenge series, then, should arrive by the end of next year.

And because both the Challenge and GT3 racers are developed together – and similar in many ways – the harder racing version shouldn’t be too far behind. Though it’ll enter a field of GT3 monsters, too: stuff like the Nismo, Mercedes-AMG GT and BMW M6 GT3 racers.

Not that Ferrari should be too concerned: the current 458 Italia GT racing car has won at Le Mans, the International Le Mans Cup and FIA WEC, as well as delivering drivers’ titles in the FIA GT and GT3 Asia series, drivers’ and teams’ titles in the International GT Open, the Blancpain and British GT Championship.

We’ll have more as soon as it becomes official – though you’ll have to wait a while. Until then, squint at the 488 GTB above. Now imagine it lower, wider, liveried in racing colours and sporting a socking great wing. Whether it’ll retain the road car’s twin-turbo V8 remains to be seen – turbocharging is permitted under GT3 regulations, but many manufacturers choose to stick with natural aspiration – that AMG GT3, for example, uses a big nat-asp V8 where its road-going equivalent embraces forced induction.

Either way, the 488 GT3 should be a monster. Roll on 2017…

Source: www.topgear.com