If you ticked every lightweight option on the order form for a 360 CS, you could make it 110kg lighter than a 360 Modena. By the time of the 458 Speciale, the weight loss from the standard car was down to 90kg.

The 488 Pista offers a nothing if not predictable 90kg saving, bringing it down to a claimed 1385kg with lightweight options; or 1465kg as weighed in the case of our test car, which, allowing for the full tank of petrol it was carrying and the mass of the 488 GTB we tested in 2016 (1555kg on the scales in like-for-like running order), makes Ferrari’s claim entirely credible.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
Ferrari brought the S-duct, which routes airflow through the nose section to boost downforce, to Formula 1 and the 488 Pista is Maranello’s first road car to use one.

The section of the 488’s bodywork ahead of the front axle has been entirely redesigned for the Pista. It’s now made up of a carbonfibre bonnet and front bumper, and inside it, the lateral radiators so important for engine cooling have been inclined rearwards rather than forwards, to the improvement of both cooling efficiency and the car’s aerodynamic performance.

At the rear, a carbonfibre bumper and spoiler do their bit for weight saving, with a Plexiglass engine cover also saving a few grams. There’s a lithium ion battery, too, and a set of optional carbonfibre wheels (fitted on the car we performance tested, although not on the one we photographed) that are 40% lighter than the car’s standard alloys.

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Then there’s the Pista’s engine; and what an engine it is. In large part a ‘civilian garb’ motor from one of the firm’s 488 Challenge racers, it’s a widely overhauled 3.9-litre 90deg V8 with a lightweight flat-plane crankshaft, an Inconel exhaust manifold, a lightened flywheel, titanium conrods, lightweight cylinder liners and new valves and valve springs.

It duly weighs 18kg less than the V8 in a 488 GTB and, running a slightly higher compression ratio and shorter induction tracts than its relation, makes 710bhp between 6750rpm and 8000rpm, and up to 568lb ft of peak torque at 3000rpm. However, torque is electronically governed depending on your selected gear in order to give the engine’s performance a more progressive feel, which means peak torque actually only ever figures in seventh gear – just as was the case with the 488 GTB.

Where suspension is concerned, the Pista gets retuned SCM-E adaptive dampers and coil springs stiffened by 10%. It also has a new electronic lateral dynamics controller called the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer (FDE), which uses subtle brake interventions to trim the car’s cornering line and operates in addition to the influence of the torque-vectoring e-diff.

The brake servo also comes from the 488 Challenge racing car, as does the inspiration for many of its special aerodynamic features. Among the latter are the downforce-generating S-duct at the leading edge of the bonnet; the winglets and air ducts at the lateral extremes of the front bumper; the various changes to the aerodynamic underbody; and the enlarged rear wing and ‘active’ rear diffuser. Downforce is 20% up compared with the 488 GTB, with no associated drag penalty.

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