Ferrari has revealed the 488 GTB. This is not just any other Prancing Horse, this Ferrari is powered by a mid-mounted ‘turbocharged’ engine, replacing the naturally aspirated unit of its predecessor. This mainstream Ferrari is the first car from Maranello which will have forced induction, after the company announced that all its future cars will either be turbocharged or hybridized. The 488 GTB will be produced later this year after the last 458 Italia rolls off the production line. The 488 GTB gets its name from the 488cc that it displaces from each of its eight cylinders. Multiply that by eight and you get the 3.9-litres of total displacement from the 90-degree turbocharged V8 engine.
The appearance is not revolutionary but can termed as ‘evolutionary’. It is essentially the same endearing design seen on the gorgeous 458 Italia. Some new styling elements define the new offering like the split air intakes at the sides meant to bring out memories of the Ferrari 308. Gone are the deformable winglets at the front which are replaced by the double front spoiler, with central pylons in whose midst a deflector is present directing air to the under-body. The under-body is quite complicated and features vortex generators to aid aero efficiency. Active aerodynamics might be missing at the front but are abundant at the rear through a ‘blown’ rear spoiler and diffuser.
Twin tailpipes replace the triple exhausts of the 458 and are placed a bit higher to accommodate the diffuser. All of these design modifications Ferrari says, work to increase downforce by as much as 50 per cent while reducing drag.
The 3.9-litre, turbocharged V8 though lower in volume offers better performance is almost all departments. Power figures have gone up considerably. The new engine makes 661 bhp and a massive torque figure of 760 Nm at a much more accessible 3000rpm, far better than the 458 Speciale’s 540 Nm. Result is there for all to see, 0-62 mph (100 kmph) comes up in 3.0 seconds (which is same as its predecessor), while the 0-124 mph (200 kmph) mark is accomplished much faster in 8.3 seconds as compared to the 9.5 seconds of the Speciale. Top speed has also gone up to a claimed 205 mph (330 kmph). All that blistering performance is courtesy of only the rear wheels, supplied through the 7-speed dual clutch transmission.
Interior is immediately familiar with the some new touches like air vents, instrument panel and infotainment system. The multi-function steering wheel gets controls for the lights, turn signals, wipers as well as the famed manettino chassis control switch. Impressive driving dynamics are expected to get a boost with the introduction of the SSC2 (Side Slip Control 2), this system is a more advanced version of the SSC which debuted in the Italia and now controls the active dampers along with the F1-Trac and E-Diff.
Purists will certainly miss the wail of the naturally-aspirated V8 but Ferrari has said that its engineers have worked on the sound to make it “full, clear and totally distinctive, as expected from any Prancing Horse engine.” The 488 GTB will make its debut in March at the Geneva Motor Show. Competition for it will come in the form of the Lamborghini Huracan and McLaren’s 650S as well as its upcoming and more powerful 675LT variant.