2015 Ferrari 488 GTB

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The beautiful 308 GTB was first introduced in 1975, and represented the first mid-engined Ferrari with V8 power, a successful formula that has continued to the present day. The GTB was an acronym for Gran Turismo Berlinetta.

40 years later, Ferrari announces the 488 GTB as a replacement for the 458 Italia. The design is more evolutionary than revolutionary, but is also more sculpted and aggressive than the outgoing model. The most immediately noticeable change are the rather massive side rear quarter intakes, but the new car also features a a double front spoiler and an active aerodynamic rear spoiler. The underbody incorporates vortex generators and the diffuser features active flaps.

The most interesting technical aspect of the changes is that Ferrari has increased downforce by 50% while simultaneously reducing drag. Damn.

The mechanical changes are if anything more dramatic. Power now comes from a turbocharged 3.9 liter V8. The move from natural aspiration to turbocharging is not unexpected, and was already seen with the California T. What was perhaps less expected was such a dramatic power increase for the 458 successor. At 661 hp, it produces 99 more horses than its predecessor. 0-62 mph happens in a mere 3 seconds. Top speed is over 205 mph.

Even this doesn't tell the full story. The weight of the car has been reduced an impressive 254 lbs to a svelte curb weight of 3020 lbs. Power to weight ratio is now about 4.6 lbs per hp, or a 22% improvement over the Italia, which is about 5.8 lbs per hp. Many manufacturers have slowed down on the horsepower wars of the last decade, but Ferrari doesn't seem to be one of them.

---- Specifications ----
Price -- Production --
Engine 3.9 liter V8 Weight 3020 lbs
Aspiration turbocharged Torque 561 lb-ft
HP 661 hp HP/Weight 4.6 lbs per hp
HP/Liter 169.5 hp per liter 1/4 mile --
0-62 mph 3 seconds Top Speed over 205 mph

(from Ferrari Press Release) The new V8 debuts at Geneva: track-level performance and responsiveness for the road

Maranello, 3 February 2015 – Forty years on from the unveiling of its first ever mid-rear-engined V8 model, the 308 GTB, the Prancing Horse opens a new chapter in its 8-cylinder history. The Ferrari 488 GTB provides track-level performance that can be enjoyed to the full even by non-professional drivers in everyday use. Its response times, nimbleness and on-the-limit driving guarantee a unique sense of exhilaration and unparalleled driving pleasure.

The new berlinetta brilliantly encapsulates Ferrari’s experience in both F1 and the WEC, where the 458 GT holds the World Championship title and has won its category in the last two editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The new model also exploits to the full the know-how gleaned by Ferrari technicians over the last decade through the XX programme which makes extreme track-only cars available to gentleman test-drivers. The data yielded has made a significant contribution to the refinement of the electronic and vehicle control systems so that drivers can make the most of the incredible performance of this new car.

The Ferrari 488 GTB’s new 3902 cc V8 turbo is at the top of its class for power output, torque and response times, making it the new benchmark for this kind of architecture. The engine unleashes 670 cv at 8,000 rpm along with 760 Nm of maximum torque in seventh gear and a response time to the accelerator of just 0.8 seconds at 2,000 rpm. These figures are sufficient to allow the Ferrari 488 GTB to accelerate from 0-200 km/h in an astonishing 8.3 seconds and, when combined with the radical innovations introduced on all aspects of the car’s performance, lap the Fiorano track in just 1’23”.

The gearbox features Variable Torque Management which unleashes the engine’s massive torque smoothly and powerfully right across the rev range, while specific gear ratios deliver incredibly progressive acceleration when the driver floors the throttle. As is always the case, Ferrari’s engineers have dedicated great attention to perfecting the 488 GTB’s sound, creating a new soundtrack that is full, clear and totally distinctive, as expected from any Prancing Horse engine.

The car’s aerodynamics also made a pivotal contribution to performance: its 1.67 efficiency figure is a new record for a production Ferrari, and is the fruit of 50 per cent more downforce than the previous model and reduced drag. The greatest challenge was achieving these two goals simultaneously. Several innovative elements were specifically developed to do so, not least a double front spoiler, base bleed side intakes and, at the rear, active aerodynamics coupled with a blown spoiler. The aerodynamic underbody, which incorporates vortex generators, is highly sophisticated, too.

The Ferrari 488 GTB’s subsystems and electronic controls make its power and performance instantly available and controllable. It is, in fact, the most responsive production model there is, with razor-sharp response times comparable to those of a track car.

The evolved version of Ferrari’s side slip angle control system (Side Slip Control 2 – SSC2) is more precise and less invasive, providing greater longitudinal acceleration out of corners. Aside from integrating with car’s F1-Trac and E-Diff, the SSC2 now also controls the active dampers which renders the car’s dynamic behaviour during complex manoeuvres even flatter and more stable.

Designed by the Ferrari Styling Centre, the new car features very sculptural flanks which are the key to its character. Its large signature air intake scallop is a nod to the original 308 GTB and is divided into two sections by a splitter. The wide front spoiler features a double profile to improve the thermal efficiency of the radiators positioned at the sides. At the centre two pylons are combined with a deflector which channels air towards the flat underbody. The broad, low tail is also dominated by aerodynamic solutions, including an innovative blown spoiler which generates downforce without increasing drag. This works in conjunction with an aggressive ramp angle for the diffuser which features active flaps. The greater height required for the diffuser was achieved by repositioning the exhaust tailpipes. The circular LED tail lights have also been redesigned.

In the cabin, the seamless integration of the new satellite control clusters, angled air vents and instrument panel heightens the sense that the cockpit is completely tailored around the driver. Usability was the key word in the design, leading to an extremely sporty ambience that in no way compromises on comfort. There are plenty of classic Ferrari styling elements too, such as the clear separation between the dashboard and tunnel, the multifunctional steering wheel, the control switch bridge and wraparound seats. The graphics and interface of the infotainment screen have also been completely redesigned while the design of the car’s new key takes its inspiration from the car’s cylinder banks and allows keyless starts.

The Ferrari 488 GTB will make its world debut at the International Geneva Motor Show in March, but from today can be seen at www.ferrari.com.

Technical specifications

ENGINE
Type V8 – 90° Turbo
Overall displacement 3902 cm3
Maximum power * 492 kW (670 CV) at 8000 rpm
Maximum torque * 760 Nm at 3000 rpm in VII gear

DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT
Length 4568 mm
Width 1952 mm
Height 1213 mm
Dry weight** 1370 kg
Weight distribution 46.5% Front – 53.5% Rear

PERFORMANCE
0-100 km/h 3.0 s
0 -200 km/h 8.3 s
Maximum speed > 330 km/h

FUEL CONSUMPTION***
11.4 l/100 km

C02 EMISSIONS ***
260 g/km

* With 98 RON petrol
**With lightweight options
*** ECE+EUDC combined cycle with HELE system