Geneva show reveal for Ferrari 488 GTB supercar

Can you believe it’s been 40 years since the debut of Ferrari’s ‘small’ mid-engine V8 range?

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Of course, the genre has evolved from that time, the original 308 GTB’s (for Gran Turismo Berlinetta) numbers (190kW/283Nm from a 2.9-litre, quad carburettor-fed V8) paling to the background against the 488 GTB’s 492kW/760Nm twin-turbocharged 3.9-litre V8. Through it all, however, there remains one constant: Ferrari’s small Berlinetta is always a stunner.

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Ferrari claims the 488 GTB can accelerate to 200km/h in only 8.3 seconds and can lap its Fiorano test track in 1 minute, 23 seconds, besting the Ferrari 599 GTO by around one second.

Peak power is produced at some 8000rpm with the torque peak generated at 3000rpm in the longest (seventh) gear of the dual-clutch transmission.

Although the move to turbocharging departs from tradition, Ferrari says the 488 GTB engine will respond to the throttle in 0.8sec at 2000rpm, working in conjunction with the DCT’s variable torque management program to ensure the engine torque is delivered smoothly throughout the rev range. The turbo motor has been subjected to many hours of engineering work to ensure it generates a pleasing sound, in keeping with best Prancing Horse tradition.

The downforce generated by the 488 GTB’s optimised aero is said to be 50 per cent greater than its 458 Italia predecessor. Amazingly, drag has also been reduced. Ferrari cites the double front spoiler, base bleed side intakes and active rear aero which incorporates a ‘blown’ spoiler as key achievements, while vortex-generators are employed in the underbody to further stick the 488 GTB to the road.

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An ‘evolved’ version of Ferrari’s side slip angle control system has been employed and works with the 488 GTB’s electronic systems, including the e-diff, traction control and active dampers to minimise response times and maximise grip, making the most of the 1370kg (dry) 488 GTB’s 46.5 per cent front, 53.5 per cent rear weight distribution. Curiously, that dry weight is quoted ‘with lightweight options’, which will lead to speculation regarding the standard vehicle’s actual weight.

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Its all clothed in a body of aching beauty, despite its functionality, while the interior brings an ‘extremely sporty ambience that in no way compromises on comfort’.

The Ferrari 488 GTB will make its debut in March’s Geneva International Motor Show.

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