Two things impress about the 488 GTB’s performance: both its ferocity and the nature of its delivery.
To get a turbocharged 3.9-litre engine to go fast is one thing, and it’s a task at which Ferrari has duly succeeded. But Ferrari’s greater achievement is to make the 488 GTB the finest turbocharged petrol engine in production. Several manufacturers have moved from natural aspiration to turbos recently, some with better results than others.
But the 488’s engine is remarkable for how little lag there is and how convincingly speed builds towards the top end, as it rattles into the 8000rpm limiter when it feels like it’s barely out of the mid-range.
To achieve this, from low revs in lower gears, Ferrari limits the V8’s torque. Its engineers say that to release it all would result in a characterless bark and a delivery that wouldn’t reward you for using more revs.
Nonetheless, what you get is a car that will go from 30-50mph in fifth in 2.2sec, which is precisely the same time as it takes to go from 100-120mph. Its urge is that broad.
Yet, because you’re aware that aerodynamic drag and other acceleration-limiting factors rise with speed, this really feels like an engine that gets better as you drive it harder.