Ferrari 488 GTB revealed

Outputs and performance skyrocket as Ferrari adopts turbocharging for its mainline mid-engined V8 supercar.

The beginning of the end for Ferrari’s trademark naturally aspirated 9000rpm bent-eight scream is not all bad news for Italian exotica lovers – far, far from it.

Ferrari has just unveiled its new 488 GTB, the successor to the 458 Italia and first of the Maranello breed to wear the Gran Turismo Berlinetta since the 308 GTB back in the 1980s.

Following in the tyre tracks of the California T as Ferrari’s new era of turbocharged eight-cylinder power, the 488 GTB’s 3902cc V8 produces a formidable 492kW, a huge power hike over the outgoing 458’s 412kW figure.

It’s also substantially more powerful than the 419kW California T’s 3855cc unit.

While the rpm ceiling as dropped to ‘just’ 8000rpm, torque has jumped considerably over the 458 Italia forebear, lifted from 540Nm to an incredible 760Nm.

Like the California T, the 488 GTB uses a clever torque management system that maintains engine characteristics in line with Ferrari’s naturally aspirated traditions, while all 760 Newtons are restricted for use only in seventh, and top, gear.

Transmission of choice is a paddle-shifted seven-speed dual-clutch.

With a dry weight of 1370kg, the 488 GTB is also a marginal 10kg more lightweight than the 458 Italia, presenting predictable improvements in performance.

Official claims are that the 488 GTB marches to 100km/h from a standstill in three seconds flat, an identical time to the hard-core 458 Speciale, while reaching 200km/h in just 8.3 seconds.

Maranello also suggests that its newest mid-engined supercar is 0.5sec quicker around its own Fiorano test track – with a 1min23sec lap time – than the circuit-focused Speciale.

Crucially, its maker is quick to suggest a huge effort was untaken to ensure that the 488 GTB maintains a proper Ferrari ‘soul’ in the way it sounds and drives in lieu of forced-induced motivation.

Going the turbo route is also said to have markedly improved fuel consumption, from the 458’s 13.3L/100km to 11.4.

As is tradition, Ferrari leverages its Formula One linage with F1-Trac and E-Diff trickery and the steering wheel mounted ‘manettino’ dial remains.

The 488 GTB also presents a suite of active trickery, such as Side Slip Control 2, which imbues the chassis with a flat stance and now provides continually adaptive damper when cornering.

The new car also offers on-the-fly aerodynamic tweaking courtesy of a ‘blown’ rear spoiler and adaptive rear diffuser flaps, with overall downforce said to be a 50-percent improvement over the 458 with little in the way of drag compromise.

Though similar in styling to the 458 coupe, the various vents and airflow massaging apertures provide the 488 GTB body shape with a subtly more purposeful ‘signature’ look, tipping its hat to the flagship LaFerrari.  

With its official unveiling in Geneva in March, the 488 GTB isn’t due to go into production until the third-quarter of 2015, meaning that it’s unlikely we’ll see the turbo mid-engined supercar in Australian showrooms until 2016.

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