2019 Ferrari 488 Pista… Maranello takes aim at McLaren’s 720S with its successor to the fabulous 458 Speciale. Text and photography by James Disdale.
The 488 GTB’s twin-turbocharged 3.9-litre V8 has been enhanced, with power now 710bhp at 8000rpm, up from 661bhp at 6500rpm, and torque increased by 7lb ft to 568lb ft, still at 3000rpm. Changes include the 488 Challenge racer’s turbos, plus re-profiled cams and a diamond-like carbon coating for the pistons. Titanium con rods, a lightened crank and flywheel, carbonfibre intake plenums and Inconel exhaust manifolds contribute to an 18kg weight reduction for the engine alone.
The Pista is 90kg lighter than the GTB overall, which, in combination with numerous suspension tweaks, should boost agility. The dampers are remapped and the springs are ten per cent stiffer, while an all-carbonfibre 20-inch wheel is an option. Ferrari’s sixth generation Side Slip Control is joined by the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer, which tweaks the brakes to modulate lateral movements. And Michelin has developed Pista-specific Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres.
3 BODY & AERODYNAMICS
The heavily modified bodywork features a carbonfibre bonnet and bumpers, plus a Lexan rear window. Aerodynamic efficiency has been improved by 20 per cent over the GTB, while novel additions include a larger, ‘blown’ rear spoiler and a front underbody diffuser. The big gest change to the redesigned nose is the adoption of a F1-style S- duct that channels air over the front axle for greater downforce. Active aero includes moveable flaps set into the rear diffuser.
Ferrari undoubtedly has a tough task with the Pista. Replacing the 458 Speciale – arguably the firm’s greatest creation in recent memory – won’t be easy. Yet the mouth-watering specification of the Pista suggests that Maranello is tackling it head-on. The Pista bristles with new technology, developed to strike straight at the heart of the astoundingly talented McLaren 720S. Ferrari could have just given the already excellent 488 GTB a power boost and left it at that, but the substantial changes to the body and aerodynamic suggest that nothing other than total domination of its rivals will do for Ferrari. Of all the cars of 2018, this could just be the most eagerly anticipated.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE SPECIFICATIONS 2019 Ferrari 488 Pista
Engine V8, 3902cc, twin-turbo
Max Power 710bhp @ 8000rpm / DIN
Max Torque 568lb ft @ 3000rpm / DIN
0-62mph 2.9sec (claimed)
Top speed 211mph (claimed)
Basic price £230,000 UK (est)
On sale Summer 2018