Welcome, everybody, to Ferrari’s new supercar. This is the 488 GTB, a car that not only suggests there is no naming structure whatsoever at Maranello, but also brings turbocharging to the company’s littlest supercar for the first time.
We’ll suspend any shock or outrage, as that’s been common knowledge since the California T landed. And to help ease any lingering anger, Ferrari has ensured its McLaren 650S-fighter has a shedload of power.
A 3.9-litre V8 may be over half a litre shy of the unit in the 458 it replaces, but with two turbochargers, it’s quite a bit more powerful. Figures of 661bhp and 561lb ft stand up exceedingly well to its 562bhp/398lb ft predecessor, as well as that McLaren.
The 488 GTB also compares favourably to the Ferrari 599 GTO of only a few years ago, which had 661bhp and 457lb ft from its 6.0-litre turbo-free V12, and ranks as one of the more extreme Ferraris we’ve seen lately. The 488 GTB, then, won’t be slow.
Performance? The 0-62mph sprint takes 3.0 seconds – identical to the stripped-out 458 Speciale – but the 488’s 0-124mph time of 8.3 seconds is nearly a second quicker. Its top speed will be 205mph-plus.
Ferrari uses lap times of its Fiorano test track as a performance benchmark; a 1m23s dead makes the 488 GTB half a second quicker than the Speciale, which in turn makes it two seconds quicker than both the standard 458 and the mighty Enzo.
With a 1370kg dry weight, the 488 GTB is 10kg lighter than the 458 Italia, and while it’s a little longer and wider, the overall resemblance its obvious.
Its 260g/km CO2 emissions – a core reason for strapping a pair of turbos to a downsized engine – represent a 15 per cent drop over its forebear.
We’re promised the throttle response and progressive power delivery for which Ferraris – and revvy N/A engines – are renowned, with something called ‘Variable Torque Management’ built into the paddleshift gearbox to deliver the torque across the rev range, just like we sampled on the California T.
Peak power arrives at 8000rpm, dizzyingly high for a forced induction engine, and a suggestion the rev limit shouldn’t be too far shy of the 458’s screaming 9000rpm. We’re also promised a soundtrack “that is full, clear and totally distinctive”.
There are more than bald figures to be wowed by, of course. There’s Ferrari’s usual gamut of driver-flattering technology, honed using its ‘XX’ track programme.
Most exciting is a second-gen version of Side Slip Angle Control, now working with the suspension’s active dampers for greater precision. “The 488 GTB provides track-level performance that can be enjoyed to the full even by non-professional drivers”, promises Ferrari.
Aerodynamics play a predictably huge role. The 488’s underbody is flat, for greater airflow, while there are all manner of active flaps and spoilers. Aero’s dictated the car’s styling, too: just look at the aggression of that rear diffuser, the intricacies of the front splitter, and those rather eye-grabbing air intakes (with what look to be their own moveable flaps) just behind the doors.
Trust Ferrari to somehow make geeking out on air intakes cool. And hopefully we can trust it to replace the sublime naturally aspirated 458 with something turbocharged without stuffing it up.