The 458 Italia is a tough act to follow. Ferrari back in 2009, took the supercar world by storm when they unleashed the 458 which received widespread acclaim for its styling, performance and handling. The car went on to win the World Performance Car of the Year award. The V8 in the 458 also won the Performance Engine of the Year award. Ferrari followed that up with the 458 which took things to a new level.
So, come March 2015, when the doors to the 85th Geneva Motor Show open, the world will bear witness to the sight and sound of Ferrari's latest berlinetta, the 488 GTB. The new car will feature Ferrari's new 3902cc V8 turbo that produces a whopping 670PS of power and 760Nm of twisting force. Ferrari say that the car can accelerate to 200kmph from standstill in an astonishing 8.3 seconds. Top speed is in excess of 330kmph. Ferrari also add that in spite of such an astronomical power figure, the 488 GTB can be enjoyed by non-professional drivers too. The new 488 has set a lap time of 1 minute and 23 seconds at Ferrari's Fiorano Circuit.
The new Ferrari brings to the fore all the know-how that Ferrari has accumulated by its participation in various forms of racing such as Formula 1, World Endurance Championship, 24 Hours of Le Mans and its FXX programmes. Building on its stellar successors, the new car features advanced aerodynamic bodywork that highlights Ferrari's growing prowess in designing aero efficient cars. Validating this fact is the slippery drag coefficient of 1.67, Ferrari lowest ever for a production model and 50 per cent more downforce than the previous model. The polar challenges of reducing drag and increasing downforce was tackled by crafting new aero bits such as a double spoiler at the front end, base bleed side intakes, and a blown spoiler at the rear.
In addition to the active aero bits that were seen on the Speciale, the new 488 GTB also debuts the second generation of Ferrari's Slide Slip Control (SSC2). The new system is less intrusive as it allows the driver to powerslide out of corners at a much faster rate than what the previous system did, and at the same time prevents the car from ending up as part of the scenery. In addition, the SSC2 adjusts the active dampers to enhance the handling characteristics of the car.
On the exterior front, the new 488 features design inspiration from Ferrari's F1 heritage, particularly the nose section. The central section of the front end features a deflector that directs air towards the flat underbody of the car. The huge side intakes are an ode to those that were sculpted into the sides of the companys first production V8, the 308 GTB. Ferrari say that its innovative blown spoiler at the rear creates downforce without any increase in drag. The exhaust pipes have also been re-positiones to accomodate the raised diffuser which features active flaps that contribute to the aerodynamics. The tail lamps are circular LED units.
The interiors look similar to the 458's and Speciale's with Ferrari's all controls integrated steering wheel and a similar cockpit. Ferrari also adds that the graphics for the infotainment screen are all new and the car's key design is inspired from the cylinder banks of its V8.
More from OVERDRIVE on the new Ferrari 488 GTB:
|Ferrari 488 GTB: extreme power for extreme driving thrills The new V8 debuts at Geneva: track-level performance and responsiveness for the road Maranello, 3 February 2015 Forty years on from the unveiling of its first ever mid-rear-engined V8 model, the 308 GTB, the Prancing Horse opens a new chapter in its 8-cylinder history. The Ferrari 488 GTB provides track-level performance that can be enjoyed to the full even by non-professional drivers in everyday use. Its response times, nimbleness and on-the-limit driving guarantee a unique sense of exhilaration and unparalleled driving pleasure. The new berlinetta brilliantly encapsulates Ferrari's experience in both F1 and the WEC, where the 458 GT holds the World Championship title and has won its category in the last two editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The new model also exploits to the full the know-how gleaned by Ferrari technicians over the last decade through the XX programme which makes extreme track-only cars available to gentleman test-drivers. The data yielded has made a significant contribution to the refinement of the electronic and vehicle control systems so that drivers can make the most of the incredible performance of this new car. The Ferrari 488 GTB's new 3902 cc V8 turbo is at the top of its class for power output, torque and response times, making it the new benchmark for this kind of architecture. The engine unleashes 670 cv at 8,000 rpm along with 760 Nm of maximum torque in seventh gear and a response time to the accelerator of just 0.8 seconds at 2,000 rpm. These figures are sufficient to allow the Ferrari 488 GTB to accelerate from 0-200 km/h in an astonishing 8.3 seconds and, when combined with the radical innovations introduced on all aspects of the car's performance, lap the Fiorano track in just 1'23". The gearbox features Variable Torque Management which unleashes the engine's massive torque smoothly and powerfully right across the rev range, while specific gear ratios deliver incredibly progressive acceleration when the driver floors the throttle. As is always the case, Ferrari's engineers have dedicated great attention to perfecting the 488 GTB's sound, creating a new soundtrack that is full, clear and totally distinctive, as expected from any Prancing Horse engine. The car's aerodynamics also made a pivotal contribution to performance: its 1.67 efficiency figure is a new record for a production Ferrari, and is the fruit of 50 per cent more downforce than the previous model and reduced drag. The greatest challenge was achieving these two goals simultaneously. Several innovative elements were specifically developed to do so, not least a double front spoiler, base bleed side intakes and, at the rear, active aerodynamics coupled with a blown spoiler. The aerodynamic underbody, which incorporates vortex generators, is highly sophisticated, too. The Ferrari 488 GTB's subsystems and electronic controls make its power and performance instantly available and controllable. It is, in fact, the most responsive production model there is, with razor-sharp response times comparable to those of a track car. The evolved version of Ferrari's side slip angle control system (Side Slip Control 2 - SSC2) is more precise and less invasive, providing greater longitudinal acceleration out of corners. Aside from integrating with the car's F1-Trac and E-Diff, the SSC2 now also controls the active dampers which renders the car's dynamic behaviour during complex manoeuvres even flatter and more stable. Designed by the Ferrari Styling Centre, the new car features very sculptural flanks which are the key to its character. Its large signature air intake scallop is a nod to the original 308 GTB and is divided into two sections by a splitter. The wide front spoiler features a double profile to improve the thermal efficiency of the radiators positioned at the sides. At the centre two pylons are combined with a deflector which channels air towards the flat underbody. The broad, low tail is also dominated by aerodynamic solutions, including an innovative blown spoiler which generates downforce without increasing drag. This works in conjunction with an aggressive ramp angle for the diffuser which features active flaps. The greater height required for the diffuser was achieved by repositioning the exhaust tailpipes. The circular LED tail lights have also been redesigned. In the cabin, the seamless integration of the new satellite control clusters, angled air vents and instrument panel heightens the sense that the cockpit is completely tailored around the driver. Usability was the key word in the design, leading to an extremely sporty ambience that in no way compromises on comfort. There are plenty of classic Ferrari styling elements too, such as the clear separation between the dashboard and tunnel, the multifunctional steering wheel, the control switch bridge and wraparound seats. The graphics and interface of the infotainment screen have also been completely redesigned while the design of the car's new key takes its inspiration from the car's cylinder banks and allows keyless starts.|