Does the 458 successor deliver? Oh yeah.
When we learned that Ferrari was working on the 458 Italia replacement a couple of years ago, we honestly felt sad. Why’s that? The 458 is – hands down – one of our favorite Ferraris of all time. Why? Just look at it. Just listen to it. It’s something to crave for and aspire to own one day. Ferrari also made it pretty clear that it’d also be its last naturally-aspirated mid-engine V8. The era of turbocharging was about to begin. In fact, the California T already got things underway, for better or worse.
So we were a bit skeptical about the 458’s twin-turbo successor – before we saw it in the flesh, that is. Officially revealed last March at Geneva, the Ferrari 488 GTB may, at first, resemble its immediate predecessor, but the changes are much more skin deep. For starters, it’s powered by a 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8 rated at 660 hp and 560 lb-ft of torque.
Just to compare, the 458 Speciale pumped out 597 hp and 398 lb-ft. If that’s not enough for you, then get this: the 488 GTB has more torque than the V12-powered F12 (509 lb-ft). All of that power is sent to the rear wheels via Ferrari’s proven seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, which features a Variable Torque Management system. So let’s talk actual performance here, now that it’s been established the 488 is an absolute animal: 0-62 mph in 3.0 seconds, 0-124 in 8.4 seconds and a top speed of 208 mph. Still not impressed (and we don’t see how anyone can’t be)? The 488 lapped Ferrari’s own Fiorano test track in 1 minute, 23 seconds – a full two seconds faster than the 458 and half-a-second faster than the 458 Speciale.
Imagine what the Speciale version of the 488 will be like. So it’s clear that adding a couple of turbos to a V8 is a good thing, but why were those turbos added in the first place? To reduce emissions, and the 488 delivers on this front as well. Ferrari claims a 26.8 mpg rating, which can also be attributed to the carmaker’s excellent stop-start system. Another important element here is aerodynamics. Ferrari designers and engineers brilliantly worked together to not only make the 488 beautiful, but also slippery. Notice the "blown" rear spoiler combined with active aeros out back. That alone decreased downforce by a claimed 50 percent. Impressive.
Up front the double front spoiler, large front air intake, and diffuser with active flaps contribute to keeping the car even more planted. Those massive grooves on the hood aren’t just for show as they work to filter air to the rear sculpted flanks. In fact, its 1.67 aerodynamic efficiency figure is a new record for a production Ferrari. Step inside and it’s obvious from the get-go the design and layout is an evolution of what was started in the 458. All of the controls are perfectly located in order for the driver to have the best overall experience behind the wheel. Sales are already underway with prices beginning at $242,737. Aside from that six-figure price tag, our only complaint about the 2016 488 GTB is whether to take it as a coupe or spider. Life’s full of tough choices.