Ferrari 488 GTB lands in Australia; Spider revealed

Ferrari 488

The new Ferrari 488 GTB costs $55,000 less than its predecessor and is already sold out for two years before it even arrives this November.

Replacing the 458 Italia, the “85 per cent new” 488 GTB will be priced from $469,888 with the just-globally-revealed 488 Spider right behind it, arriving early next year commanding an expected $60K premium.

Ferrari Australasia CEO Herbert Appleroth says the price cut is currency-related, but insists resale values of 458 Italia owners aren’t burned as equipment made standard halfway through that model’s life now returns to the options list.

“We’ve decided to re-price it [488] and give that money back to the client for them to decide where they want to spend the options,” he adds. “Front and centre for our brand is resale values.”

There is no eye on competition with pricing either, claims Appleroth, despite the brand’s most affordable mid-engined V8 supercar now lining up closer to the Lamborghini Huracan ($428,000), Porsche 911 Turbo S ($444,900) and McLaren 650S Coupe ($459,250).

“We absolutely did not and do not want to do what our competition does,” he says. Prompted by a reference to McLaren’s recent price cuts, Appleroth says, “have a look at their volume and did it work?”

Twin turbochargers and 3.9-litre capacity are in for the 488 while the naturally-aspirated 4.5-litre of the 458 is out. The fresh V8 makes 492kW at 8000rpm (versus 425kW) and 760Nm at 3000rpm (rising 220Nm), though you can only access the full torque in seventh gear as engineers aim to preserve throttle response and manage stability.

About the emissions-led turbo switch, Appleroth says the die-hard Fazz fans who he prefaces he loves, “Have said ‘oooh I’m not so sure’ … but I think that’s more about nostalgia and will certainly be removed once they drive the car”.

“For those who’ve driven the 488, you can’t tell it’s a turbo,” he adds.

Both the 488 GTB arriving in November and the 488 Spider following in the first quarter sprint to 100km/h in 3.0 seconds, matching the 650S and 911 Turbo S.

The heavier retractable-hardtop version is three-tenths slower to 200km/h – 8.7sec versus 8.4sec – though in any case pressing a button to remove the roof adds 14 seconds to your time before the standing start.

Most impressively, Ferrari says the Spider has identical torsional rigidity to the GTB and is some 23 per cent stiffer compared with a 458 Spider.

The 488 GTB improves aero efficiency and increases downforce by 50 per cent compared with the 458 Italia, and standard on both GTB and Spider is the Side Slip Control System (SSC2) previously reserved for the hardcore 458 Speciale.

Ferrari sales in Australia are up 82 per cent this year thanks, Appleroth says, to an emergence from “a period of abstinence from our clients that maybe it wasn’t the right time to treat themselves to a new Ferrari.”

“But now with property prices going so well, equity … now is the right time”.

With demand outstripping supply, that may not be a ‘true’ sales figure either – put down a deposit for a 488 GTB today and you won’t get one until 2017.

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