Forty years on from the unveiling of Ferrari’s first ever mid-rear-engined V8 berlinetta, the 308 GTB, the Prancing Horse opens a new chapter in its 8-cylinder history. The Ferrari 488 GTB name marks a return to the classic Ferrari model designation with the 488 in its moniker indicating the engine’s unitary displacement, while the GTB stands for Gran Turismo Berlinetta.
The new Ferrari 488 GTB not only delivers unparalleled performance, it also makes that extreme power exploitable and controllable to an unprecedented level even by less expert drivers. An exceptional engine and sophisticated aerodynamics combined with refined vehicle dynamic controls radically improve the already razor-sharp responsiveness of Ferrari’s road cars to near-track level. Power (670 cv), engine and vehicle response times (0.8 s and 0.06 s respectively) give the 488 GTB a unique character and guarantee unmatched driving pleasure to drivers of all abilities. To achieve this result, Ferrari drew on its experience in both F1 and GT racing, in which the 458 holds the WEC title and has won its category in two editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The new model also exploits to the full the know-how gleaned by Ferrari engineers over the last decade through the XX programme which makes extreme track-only cars available to gentleman test-drivers. The Ferrari 488 GTB’s all-new 3902 cc V8 turbo is at the top of its class in terms of power output, torque and response times. It delivers 670 cv at 8,000 rpm and a response time to the accelerator of just 0.8 seconds (at 2,000 rpm in third gear), making it the new benchmark for this kind of architecture, thanks in part to innovative work carried out on the turbine to reduce friction and inertia.
Ferrari’s engineers dedicated great attention and resources to perfecting the 488 GTB’s sound too, creating a new soundtrack that is full, clear, progressive and totally distinctive, as expected from any Prancing Horse engine. The car’s aerodynamics also made a pivotal contribution to performance: its 1.67 E index figure is a new record for a production Ferrari, and is the fruit of 50 per cent more downforce than the previous model along with lower drag. The greatest challenge was achieving these two goals simultaneously. Several innovative elements were specifically developed for this purpose, not least a double front spoiler, base bleed side intakes and, at the rear, active aerodynamics coupled with a revolutionary, Ferrari-patented blown spoiler design.
The design of the sophisticated aerodynamic underbody is derived from the 458 GT and incorporates vortex generators. Thanks to subsystems and electronic controls that make its power and performance instantly available and controllable, the Ferrari 488 GTB is the most responsive production model there is, with blisteringly-fast response times comparable to those of a track car. Specific gear ratios combined with Variable Torque Management deliver incredibly fast shifts and acceleration, with progressively greater torque values in higher gears. The evolved version of Ferrari’s side slip angle control system (Side Slip Control 2 – SSC2) is more precise and less invasive, providing greater longitudinal acceleration out of corners.
Aside from integrating with the car’s F1-Trac and E-Diff, the SSC2 now also controls the active dampers which renders the car’s dynamic behaviour during complex manoeuvres even flatter and more stable. These cutting-edge solutions are reflected in the car’s styling which accentuates its sporty character yet retains the pure, elegant lines typical of Ferrari tradition. The cockpit-style cabin design is inspired by Formula 1 and focuses on fully immersing the driver in the driving experience.
There are 14 numbered, limited-edition “prints” of this artwork remaining for sale, from a total edition of 15.