Ferrari Turbocharges Up its New 488 GTB

Replacement for Maranello’s old 458 downsizes engine, boosts power.

by on Mar.04, 2015

The new Ferrari 488 GTB opts for active aero and a new turbocharged V-8 engine.

Even Ferrari has to follow form, at times, as the Maranello maker is demonstrating with the Geneva Motor Show launch of the new 488 GTB.

The new model replaces the outgoing Ferrari 458, the smallest sports car in the line-up, and instead of going with an update of the 4.5-liter V-8, the new Ferrari 488 GTB gets a biturbo 3.9-liter eight-banger. But fret not at the downsizing. The new engine delivers significantly more horsepower and torque – enough to rival several other new models debuting nearby at the Geneva Motor Show, including the McLaren 675LT and Audi R8 V10 Plus.

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“Extreme power was a requisite for the car,” the Italian maker explained as the Ferrari 488 GTB was introduced at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. The new model “drew extensively on its experience in both Formula One and endurance racing, bringing to the road the technology that delivered victory in two editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.”

Active aero helps improve aero on the 488.

(For complete 2015 Geneva Motor Show coverage, Click Here.)

Ferrari has shown a strong interest in adopting more advanced engine technology in recent years, going so far as to give its flagship La Ferrari model a hybrid drive system derived from its Formula One effort.

The new twin-turbo powertrain manages to make 661 horsepower and 561 pound-feet of torque. That compares with 562 hp and 398 lb-ft for its predecessor. That’s on a par with the bigger Ferrari 599 GTO of only a few years back. And it’s enough to manage a launch from 0 to 100 kmh, or 62.5 mph, in just 3.0 seconds, with the car passing through the 200 kmh mark (125 mph) in 8.3 seconds. It tops out at a brisk 205 mph.

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A new Variable Boost Management system built into the F1-style dual-clutch gearbox is meant to deliver smooth torque across the 488’s rev range “regardless of driving conditions,” proclaims Ferrari.

The Ferrari 488 also gets updated electronics.

The new model also gets a new Side Slip Control System which uses active damping to keep the 488 riding flat and stable even under aggressive driving maneuvers, “so that less expert drivers can enjoy its potential to the fullest, resulting in an extremely thrilling driving experience.”

Though longer and wider than the old 458 Italian, the new Ferrari 488 weighs in at a mere 2,002 pounds, about 22 pounds lighter.

And a new approach to aerodynamics, such as the “blown” rear spoiler, active flaps and underbody vortex generators help both reduce overall drag while increasing downforce at higher speeds.

The interior has also been heavily revised from the old 458, the new Ferrari 488 GTB featuring plenty of leather and carbon fiber trim.

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One Response to “Ferrari Turbocharges Up its New 488 GTB”

  1. Brian says:

    Ach. Predictable and not as pretty as it might have been. The interior retains the same video-game motif as the 458, which in practice is an utter PITA to use. Ferrari, of course, pay only lip service to usability. The exterior styling is really lovely up to the A pillar, smoothing out the fiddly oddments of the 458. The A-B area is pretty much standard, and from the B pillar back we have, I am sorry to say, a bit of a mess: excessive angularity to try and continue that uber-aggressive tone of all Maranello vehicles of the past decade (what do they fear?!), and those intake holes are unsightly. With all that aerodynamic and engineering knowledge, surely Maranello could have come up with something nicer. It almost makes one pine for the side-strakes of the Testarossa…almost. Of course, no matter what complaint one might have, Ferrari’s excuse is that their customer wants something else. In truth their customers now want nothing but the scudetto; they all have other cars for actual driving enjoyment. I fear Ferrari has lost the plot. Porsche and McLaren are now the destinations of the serious driver who appreciates engineering excellence, Lambo and twin Audi actually have a compelling argument for presence without embarrassment, and for artistry and exclusivity Pagani is what Ferrari was, unless an owner desperately needs direct racing heritage….in which case it’s back to Porsche. I think the new Ford GT has already bested this 488.