The Ferrari 488 GTB is the company's replacement for the 458 Italia and comes with a turbocharged V8

This is the Ferrari 488 GTB, the hotly anticipated evolution of the 458 Italia that ushers turbocharging into a modern-day, mid-engined V8 Ferrari supercar for the first time.

The new model follows the California T in adopting turbocharging on a mainstream Ferrari, but the firm says the engine of the 488 GTB is completely new when compared with its V8 stablemate, not only in components but also in feel and character. It will go into production in September after production of the 458 Italia range ends in the summer.

Read the full Ferrari 488 GTB review

The 488 GTB’s engine is a twin-turbocharged 3.9-litre unit (3902cc); the California T’s is a 3855cc unit. It produces 660bhp at 8000rpm and 560lb ft at 3000rpm. Both outputs are significant increases over the normally aspirated 4.5-litre V8 used in the 458 Italia and 458 Speciale. This engine produces 562bhp at 9000rpm in the former and 597bhp at 9000rpm in the latter; the torque figure of 398lb ft at 6000rpm is the same in both cars.

The outputs of the 488 GTB also eclipse its likely biggest rival, the McLaren 650S. The Woking car produces 641bhp at 7250rpm and 500lb ft at 6000rpm, although an imminent new McLaren supercar called the 675LT has a confirmed power output of 666bhp. That model made its debut alongside the 488 GTB at the Geneva motor show.

The torque figure of the 488 GTB is such that it also exceeds the 509lb ft at 6000rpm of the normally aspirated V12 used in the range-topping Ferrari F12 Berlinetta.

The mighty new engine in the 488 GTB drives the rear wheels through a revised seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox derived from the 458. It features a new ‘Variable Torque Management’ system which, Ferrari says, “unleashes the engine’s massive torque smoothly and powerfully right across the rev range”. The gear ratios are also tuned to “deliver incredibly progressive acceleration when the driver floors the throttle”.

The 488 GTB can crack 0-62mph in just 3.0sec, 0-124mph in 8.4sec and reach a top speed of 205mph. Its 0-62mph and 0-124mph times match the McLaren 650S’s, but the Woking car's top speed is slightly higher at 207mph.

The engine also accounts for the '488' element of the car’s name, because each of the engine’s eight cylinders is 488cc in capacity when rounded up. The GTB suffix, standing for Gran Turismo Berlinetta, is a hallmark of previous mid-engined V8 Ferraris such as the 308 GTB.

Ferrari says its engineers have “dedicated great attention to perfecting the 488 GTB’s sound, creating a new soundtrack that is full, clear and totally distinctive”.

Not only is the new turbo engine more potent than the 4.5-litre V8 from the 458 Italia, but it is also more economical. Combined fuel economy is rated at 24.8mpg, compared with 21.2mpg in the 458 Italia, and CO2 emissions are 260g/km – a 47g/km improvement. Ferrari’s HELE engine stop-start system features on the 488 GTB.

Developments on the dynamic side include a second generation of the Side Slip Angle Control system, called SSC2. This allows the driver to oversteer without intruding, unless it detects a loss of control. The SSC2 now controls the active dampers, in addition to the F1-Trac traction control system and E-Diff electronic differential. Ferrari says the result is “more precise and less invasive, providing greater longitudinal acceleration out of corners” and flatter, more stable behaviour during “complex manoeuvres”.

Learnings from the Ferrari XX programme have also been incorporated into the 488 GTB, something that Ferrari says allows all drivers and not just professionals, to make the most of its electronic and vehicle control systems. It also claims the 488 GTB is “the most responsive production model there is”, with responses comparable to a track car.

The 488 GTB has lapped Ferrari’s Fiorano test track in 1min 23sec – two seconds faster than the 458 Italia, and half a second quicker than the 458 Speciale.

The dimensions of the 488 GTB – it is 4568mm in length, 1952mm in width and 1213mm in height – closely match the 458 Italia from which it has evolved. Its dry weight is 1370kg when equipped with lightweight options – 40kg more than the McLaren 650S.

The new look, styled at the Ferrari Styling Centre, features several new aerodynamic features that improve downforce and reduce drag. Most notable is the addition of active aerodynamics at the rear through a ‘blown’ rear spoiler, where air is channelled from the base of the glass engine cover under the spoiler. This contributes to the 50% increase in downforce over the 458 Italia.

Also new is a double front spoiler, an aerodynamic underbody, a large air intake at the front that references the 308 GTB, a diffuser with active flaps, new positioning for the exhaust flaps and new-look lights.

The interior has been redesigned to be made more usable, including new switchgear, air vents and instrument panel. The multi-function steering wheel remains, while the infotainment system gets a new interface and graphics.

Pricing has increased over the 458 Italia, and starts at £183,974. 

Read our full review of the new Ferrari 488 GTB

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Comments
26

18 October 2014

Not interested. It might be very nice - but will they let anybody test it without threatening sanctions...?

18 October 2014

Why on earth would Ferrari care about Chinese taxes "limiting" their sales, when they already easily sell the 7,000 cars they limit themselves to each year?

18 October 2014

With the tax restrictions in China it was only a matter of time that the mid-engined sports offering from Ferrari would downsize and turbo charge. They simply couldn't ignore that McLaren avoided the tax! Nor could they ignore the growth in sales that China offers Ferrari, if only because it will compensate in slow downs in other markets. It had to happen.

18 October 2014

Sorry, but it doesn't excite me as much as the F12.

Peter Cavellini.

15 February 2015

It's not the worst looking car Ferrari have made recently, but it's no great beauty either. If I could afford a Ferrari my choice would still be the 612 Scaglietti.

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left

 

18 October 2014

This is Ferrari being afraid of McLaren and being knocked for six by the 650S, hence the need to replace the 458 already and with around 100bhp or more too. Ferrari has recognised how superb the 650S and that it is not only the best car in the class, but McLaren are 'the' sports car maker. Ferrari are playing catch up while Lamborghini hasn't even bothered, hence the Huracan's much lower power and performance and general average ability compared the 650's brilliance. And that Ferrari refused to let Autocar have a LaFerarri in the comparison test with the 918 and P1 is further evidence that they know McLaren are miles ahead and produce the better and more desirable cars.

Myk

20 October 2014
A46 wrote:

This is Ferrari being afraid of McLaren and being knocked for six by the 650S, hence the need to replace the 458 already and with around 100bhp or more too. Ferrari has recognised how superb the 650S and that it is not only the best car in the class, but McLaren are 'the' sports car maker.

Please stop embarrassing yourself. Let's not forget that McLaren replaced the MP4-12C after less than 3 years of production when they realised it wasn't as good as the 458. I'm using "replace" in the same way you are; the 650S is a thorough re-working of the 12C, just like the twin-turbo 458 will be a thorough re-working of the existing car. The difference is that the 458 has been on sale much longer than the 12C, and this refresh is much in line with Ferrari's usual cycle (e.g. as when the F360 was reworked into the F430). Ferrari are just getting on with things; it's McLaren who react to upgrade an uncompetitve car.

18 October 2014

A46 I realise you are a McLaren fan, but try to keep a grip on reality viz "Lamborghini hasn't even bothered, hence the Huracan's much lower power and performance. Autocar on the P1: 60 in 3.24, 100 in 5.78, 150 in 11.18, Car and Driver on the Huracan: 60 in 2.5, 100 in 5.7 and 150 in 13.3. Yes a pro driver will lap a circuit much more quickly in the P1, but on the street, by the time the P1 has hit 60, an ordinary guy like me in the Lambo is 5 or 6 car lengths ahead, more in the wet. Not even bothering?

TS7

3 February 2015
275not599 wrote:

A46 I realise you are a McLaren fan, but try to keep a grip on reality viz "Lamborghini hasn't even bothered, hence the Huracan's much lower power and performance. Autocar on the P1: 60 in 3.24, 100 in 5.78, 150 in 11.18, Car and Driver on the Huracan: 60 in 2.5, 100 in 5.7 and 150 in 13.3. Yes a pro driver will lap a circuit much more quickly in the P1, but on the street, by the time the P1 has hit 60, an ordinary guy like me in the Lambo is 5 or 6 car lengths ahead, more in the wet. Not even bothering?

Well, "on the street", doing 0-60 in anything approaching those times makes the driver look like a dick head.

18 October 2014

If I wanted such a car, I would certainly prefer the current model. And I am sure Autocar would too, if it could bring itself to admit it.

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