Many of us had preconceived notions that the Ferrari 488 Grand Turismo Berlinetta would just be a refresh of its predecessor, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In the past, Ferrari has reserved the most significant achievements for their upper level V12 powered models, but 488 represents a change in their philosophy. We were invited to attend a private unveiling at a local dealer (Ferrari of Tampa Bay) and the guests from Maranello gave us a host of reasons why you should consider their latest creation.
- SSC 2.0: The second generation of Ferrari’s Side Slip Control was released on the limited production 458 Speciale. With a faster processor and more sensors, the 488 will allow you to dive deeper into a corner without fear of the computer intervening. As a bonus, wet weather traction is also increased.
- Efficiency: Smaller engines get better fuel economy, and the 488 is rated at 22 mpg on the highway. We know fuel mileage isn’t a major consideration in cars of this class, but the low amount of harmful exhaust emissions makes the 488 one of the greenest supercars ever built.
- Value: If you are in the market for a mid-engined twin turbo V8 Ferrari, your only other choices are the F40 or the 288 GTO. With prices for those equivalent to the GDP of several nations, the base price of the 488 comes in under the special editions of the 458.
- Performance: The Enzo’s fastest lap time around Fiorano was 1:24.9. The 488 GTB was clocked at 1:23 flat. Horsepower sells cars and torque wins races. The 488 produces 561 lb-ft compared to Enzo’s 485 lb-ft.
- Turbochargers: Nothing matches the sound and feel of a turbocharged car. Using the exhaust to pressurize the intake, power that is normally wasted is used to make a 3.9L V8 more powerful than most V12s.
- Downforce: By carefully sculpting the airflow around the body, the 488 GTB delivers 50% more downforce than the 458. Patented features like the patented flow through rear spoiler along with the side intakes keep the engine cool and the car planted to the pavement.
- Comfort: A new infotainment system will keep your eyes on the road, while other controls have been moved to within easy reach of the driver. Sculpted door panels have built-in armrests, and the new seats were designed for long distance cruising.
- Acceleration: The factory states that a run to 62 mph only takes 3.0 seconds. This makes the 488 GTB one of the most potent production cars on the road.
- Weight: With a dry weight of only 3,130 lbs, 488 GTB offers one of the best power to weight ratios of any production car. Lighter than the 458 Italia despite having two turbos and their associated plumbing is quite an achievement. Going airborne has never been so easy.
- Hard top or Spider: In an unprecedented move, the convertible version (488 Spider) was launched alongside the coupe. A two-piece folding hardtop stows away in seconds to reveal one of the fastest two-seaters in the world.
We’re glad they didn’t completely abandon the proportions we first saw on the 360 Modena. Ferrari chose to handle the styling in-house without help from Pininfarina, but the results are spectacular nonetheless. If you can come up with a logical reason why you shouldn’t consider the 488, let us know in the comments below.