The new high-performance #Ferrari-488
GTB debuts at the Museo Enzo Ferrari. The new 488 GTB enhances the classic qualities of a normally aspirated Ferrari engine by using the very latest turbocharging technology. Its innovative design contributes to its remarkable handling. We took it to the Museo #Enzo-Ferrari
for its debut. Words Antonio Ghini. Photography Alex Howe.
The F1-90 was famously nicknamed the Papera – “the duck” – although the passing of time and its presence as part of the New York MoMA’s design collection has more than redeemed it. It was also the car with which Alain Prost led the Scuderia to its 100th grand prix victory, and the one he was driving when Ayrton Senna rammed into him at the first corner of the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix, robbing him of a seemingly guaranteed World Title. A highly memorable car.
, and its stunning 680hp V12, provided powerful philosophical and technical inspiration for 1995’s F50 supercar, its mid-mounted and enlarged 4.7-litre engine producing 520hp. The reason for mentioning this here is because it helps underline the symbiotic relationship between Formula One and supercars, a symbiosis Ferrari has explored more rigorously than anyone. Now, just as in the past, designers and engineers at Maranello are using advanced technology in order to optimise performance from cars that were primarily conceived for the road.
The result is a contemporary road-going Gran Turismo Berlinetta that feels more than comfortable on the circuit, and puts 670hp at the driver’s disposal. It isn’t just about power, however, it’s also about torque. With 760Nm (561lb ft) from just 2,000rpm, this particular Berlinetta is capable of previously undreamt-of acceleration: zero to 100km/h takes three seconds while 200km/h is achieved in little more than eight. Let’s cut to the chase: this is full-blooded track performance in a car designed for the road. Prost would surely agree. The latest product of this mutually beneficial relationship carries a wonderfully evocative name: the 488 GTB. Forty years have passed since the unveiling of the first Ferrari eight-cylinder with a mid-mounted engine, the 308 GTB. Since then, eight-cylinder models have gained increasing importance in Maranello.
This has been further consolidated with the repeated successes of V8-engined Prancing Horse models in international competition, most recently the multiple World Championship wins of the 458 GT. This car also triumphed in the GTE Pro Class at Le Mans in 2012 and 2014.
Ferrari, of course, prefers to go beyond. Despite the proven success of its 458 Italia predecessor, the 488 GTB has a highly significant technical innovation: a twin-turbocharged engine. As you’d expect from Maranello, this solution has been interpreted in a wholly original way by Ferrari’s engineers: embracing the turbocharger’s advantages (increased horsepower, as well as delivering lower emissions and enhanced fuel consumption), and at the same time continuing to pursue technological excellence and to guarantee maximum engine performance.
Performance is not an issue with the 488 GTB’s 3.9-litre engine (you arrive at the name, by the way, if you divide its cubic capacity by the number of cylinders). At 8,000rpm, 670hp (492KW) of power rips through the engine. In seventh gear, maximum torque of 760Nm is obtained with a response time of 0.8 seconds at 2,000rpm, guaranteeing spectacular acceleration and suggesting that turbo lag is non-existent. According to the long-standing Ferrari test driver Dario Benuzzi, the sensation during acceleration is very similar to that of driving the hybridised V12 LaFerrari.
‘A joy,’ is his brief, but telling, comment. You might think that Benuzzi’s job as test driver is the best in the world, but remember that developing such an important new Ferrari is a tricky balancing act. There’s also an awful lot of cutting-edge technology at play here. The 488 GTB’s shape isn’t just visually arresting, it also generates 50 per cent more downforce than the 458 Italia managed. There’s a double front splitter, active aerodynamic elements at the rear, and a “blown” rear spoiler, which is all F1 know-how.
The seven-speed dual clutch gearbox uses Ferrari’s ingenious Variable Torque Management System to deliver a continuous and seamless flow of torque throughout the rev spectrum. Likewise, the electronic chassis controls offer a level of handling response that is unique in this kind of model. The 488’s lap time at Fiorano tells its own story: 1min 23secs is truly stellar, half a second faster than the track-oriented 458 Speciale and fully two seconds quicker than the 458 Italia.
The combined effect of the electronic differential (E-diff) with both the F1-Trac traction control and the active damping shock absorbers gives the 488 GTB outstanding poise and accessibility. Ferrari’s Side Slip Angle Control 2 (SSC2) algorithm – first seen on the Speciale – gives the driver even more control and confidence than before. No less important is the improved effectiveness of the braking system. The 488’s stopping distance has been reduced by nine per cent at a speed of 200km/h compared to the previous model.
Naturally, phenomenal work has been done on balancing the new car’s aerodynamic functionality and the requirement that a new Ferrari should be beautiful. The car’s side intakes are larger (to assist the turbo’s intercoolers), but the overall effect is harmonious and wonderfully integrated.
As ever at Maranello, it’s all about teamwork. Ingegner Cardile’s aerodynamics team have worked closely with the engineers and the Design Department. The car’s strong personality comes across through the form of the sculpted side panel: a wide air inlet shaped with a distinctive “slash” signature. The characteristic concave shape, reminiscent of the original 308 GTB, is crossed by a fin that divides the entry channel in two.
At the front end a wide aileron overlaps to improve the thermal efficiency of the radiators, which are suspended and detached from the volume. Two central spars are combined with a deflector that channels air towards the back. The wide, low rear is dominated by a series of aerodynamic features, with an innovative “forced draft” spoiler at the top, capable of generating downforce without increasing drag, and an aggressive diffuser, fitted with active cover panels and designed around two raised exhausts. The circular LED headlights are another new design feature. Behind the wheel, the driver has the sensation of being in a single-seater: everything is close at hand, with an ergonomic and functional cockpit.
As is the case in F1 cars, the car’s steering wheel is multi-functional, with integral controls and the classic manettino dial, while the wraparound seats are spacious and agreeable (for the passenger as well, who even without a steering wheel, feels just as close to the action). It also demonstrates Ferrari’s continued commitment to creating high quality interiors – the 488’s is sensational. So it was that the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show provided the stage for the beginning of a completely new chapter for the Prancing Horse. The 488 GTB is the perfect representation of Enzo’s celebrated dictum: “My favourite Ferrari is always the next one.”
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS #2015 #Ferrari-488GTB
Engine type – V8 90º Twin turbo
Overall displacement – 3,902cc
Maximum power (DIN) – 492kW (670CV) at 8,000rpm
Maximum torque (DIN) – 760 Nm at 3,000rpm
Weight distribution – 46.5% front, 53.5% rear
0-100km/h – 3.0 secs
0-200km/h – 8.3 secs
Maximum speed – 330km/h
Fuel consumption – 11.4 - litres/100km
CO2 emissions – 260g/km
“At the wheel, the driver has the sensation of being in a single-seater”
The 488 GTB is a masterpiece of technical aesthetic achievement, where form and function are seamlessly matched. Its engine produces 670hp at 8,000rpm.
Elegantly designed and beautifully finished, the 488 GTB’s interior has a cockpit feel. The steering wheel has all the main controls and the wraparound seats are separated by a control-switch bridge that completes the instrumentation. The graphics and interface of the infotainment system are also completely new.
“The cabin’s ergonomics are F1-inspired, the quality simply sensational”
“The 488 GTB’s #Fiorano
lap time is simply stellar”
/ #Enrico-Cardile/ #Gianmaria-Fulgenzi
new model - the research carried out on the 488 GTB’s aerodynamics created 50 per cent more downforce compared with the previous model. This is all thanks to the “blown” spoiler at the rear, which generates downforce without increasing drag, and of a diffuser that features active !laps. The two large exhausts have both been raised. Above, the men responsible for the car’s development, working in Design, Aerodynamics, Engine and Vehicle Dynamics. Left, the Project Leader, Gianmaria Fulgenzi.
Among its main characteristics of the 488 GTB’s design are the pronounced air intakes on its beautifully sculpted flanks. Not only do they improve efficiency, they also underline the muscularity of the car’s performance, which scales new heights for an eight-cylinder #Ferrari
“The new Ferrari’s shape isn’t just beautiful, it’s also highly efficient”
The front splitter, similar in execution to Ferrari’s World Championship winning GT racing model, improves thermal efficiency. A central deflector channels air towards the car’s flat underfloor. The 488 GTB’s aerodynamic efficiency of 1.67 is a new record for a road-going Ferrari. The overall design, combines elegance with aggressiveness.
“There’s a very strong symbiosis between Ferrari’s road cars and #F1