The moment Ferrari enthusiasts and car lovers around the world have been waiting for has arrived, the replacement for Ferrari 458 Italia is here. The Ferrari 488 GTB follows in a similar vain to the California T and houses a twin turbocharged V8 engine. However, the firm are adamant that this prancing pony is a new animal in regards to not only the components, but also with the feel and character.
This new 3.9-litre twin turbocharged engine produces an astounding 660bhp and 560 lb ft of torque which dwarfs it’s most likely rival, the McLaren 650S in both instances. This also means that it’s torque exceeds the top of the range V12 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta. It is also a hefty premium over the 458 Italia which produced 562bhp from it’s 4.5-litre naturally aspirated V8 engine and 597bhp produced by the 458 Speciale. So far so good, Ferrari have made a beautifully sculpted car with 660bhp, but it will face the problem of the McLaren 675LT which will make it’s debut alongside the 488 GTB at the Geneva Motor Show in March, and has a conformed power output of 666bhp. Once again these two giants of the supercar world will battle it out – and it is probably safe to say that no two people will agree which one is better.
This inspired engine sends power to the rear wheels and is teamed with a revised seven-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox derived out of the Ferrari 458. This revised version features ‘Variable Torque Management’ which, Ferrari says, “unleashes the engine’s massive torque smoothly and powerfully right across the rev range”. The gear ratios have also been altered to “deliver incredibly progressive acceleration when the driver floors the throttle”. When the driver does ‘floor the throttle’, the 488 GTB will go from 0-62mph in 3.0 seconds – matching the 650S, 0-124mph in 8.4 seconds – 0.1 seconds quicker than the McLaren and the 488 GTB’s top speed is 1mph faster than the 650S, at 205mph – once again, hard to compare between the two manufacturers on paper at least.
The ‘488’ represents each of the eight cylinder’s capacities and ‘GTB’ stands for Gran Turismo Berlinetta which hails great mid-engined V8 Ferraris such as the 308 GTB. As well as being substantially more powerful than the 458 Italia, the 488 GTB is also more economical – combined economy is 24.8mpg, compared to the 21.2mpg of it’s predecessor. CO2 emissions are also lower in the Ferrari 488 GTB and it will come with Ferrari’s HELE stop-start system.
Dynamic developments on this new machine consist of a second generation of the Side Slip Angle Control system, or SSC2, which allows the driver to oversteer but detects when there is a loss of control. This new system controls the electronic differential, as well as the F1-Trac traction control system and the active dampers.
Ferrari claim that anyone can reap the rewards of the 488 GTB’s control systems and you don’t have to be professional. This is made possible by research during Ferrari’s FXX programme. The Italian supercar maker also claims that the 488 GTB is “the most responsive production model there is”, and has a feeling comparable to a track car. This could definitely be something for McLaren to worry about.