Setting the New Benchmark - Ferrari 488 GTB

Setting the New Benchmark - Ferrari 488 GTB

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
08 Jul 2015

Today we witnessed the arrival of something really special from the stables of the famed prancing horse marque.

The leader in its class, Ferrari’s mid-engined berlinetta has always been the essence of the brand’s racing heritage and cutting edge technology, fused into one exhilarating super sports car.

The 488 GTB was jointly unveiled by Mr. Dieter Knechtel, Managing Director, Ferrari Far East, Mr Nicholas Syn, Director, Ital Auto and Mr Jeremy Gaw, General Manager, Ital Auto at Ital Auto’s showroom, Singapore’s exclusive authorised dealer for Ferrari. This car represents a significant milestone for Ferrari, as this is its first mid-engined supercar that is turbo-charged since the F40.

488 represents the displacement per cylinder of the car’s engine, while the GTB moniker stands for Gran Turismo Berlinetta, which describes the car’s sporty layout and high performance. The numerals in the name of the car will also surely appeal to those with a strong affinity to lucky numbers, especially here in Singapore.

Replacing the multi-award winning 458 Italia, the new 488 GTB has large shoes to fill. However, a quick glance at the spec sheet of the new car will immediately tell you that Ferrari has outdone itself again.

The 488 GTB delivers a staggering 670PS (661bhp) from its new 3.9L V8, a whopping 100PS more than the outgoing 458 Italia. This ensures that it is the most powerful car in its segment; out-muscling its closest rival the Lamborghini Huracan by a healthy 60PS. Torque is a massive 760Nm, ensuring a speedy getaway and possibly smoking tires. Power is sent to the rear wheels via Ferrari’s ultra-fast F1 7-speed double clutch gearbox, ensuring instantaneous shifts whenever the driver wants it.

Ferrari also promises lightning fast response times from the car, at 0.8 seconds and 0.06 seconds for the engine and vehicle respectively, another new benchmark in this segment. Performance has taken a giant leap forward, with a 0-60 time of just 3 seconds flat and 0-200kph in 8.3 seconds, or the time it takes for a family sedan to make it to highway speeds.

A key highlight of the 488 GTB is undoubtedly its new turbocharging system, which was carefully developed to ensure maximum performance and minimal lag. It features ball bearing-mounted turbos to reduce friction and lightweight titanium-aluminium alloy compressor wheels to ensure quick spool up times. The turbos also feature twin-scroll technology, which further reduces turbo lag.

We were treated to aural delight as the 488 GTB was fired up and revved hard. The V8 produced a deep, signature Ferrari roar together with frequent pops and crackles on the overrun. Some say turbocharging may have killed the sound of the car, but seated in the passenger seat as the engine was revved out, I can certainly attest to its awesome soundtrack that will leave a big grin on your face. Just look at the mess created by the exhaust.

Aerodynamics is another key area Ferrari has worked hard on to make the new car even more slippery than its predecessor. Ferrari claim that down force is up 50% and drag is reduced compared to the 458. It has an efficiency figure of just 1.67, which is a new record for a Ferrari road car. Front end aero kit is easy to spot, and features larger and lower air intakes to press the car onto the tarmac.

Amongst other aerodynamic styling of the car’s body, the rear diffuser features a variable flap controlled by the car’s high tech computer to adjust the downforce and drag during different driving situations such as cornering or braking. The 488 GTB also incorporates a unique blown spoiler, in which air enters the base of the rear windscreen and exits over the bumper. This allows the car to develop the necessary downforce without increasing the drag by not raising the spoiler height.

The 488 GTB comes with Ferrari's integrated steering wheel its iconic Manettino switch, which allows the driver to select the new Side Slip Control 2 (SSC2) system, first debuted on the 458 Speciale. This allows the driver to perform controlled drifts without totally losing control as the systems intervene only when the limit is going to be exceeded. The SSC2 is an improved version of the original SSC, being more precise and less invasive.

Ferrari also improved the magnetorheological dampers on the 488 GTB, making quicker changes to the magnetic field allowing for improved damping and control. The Brembos are derived from the LaFerrari, providing more stopping power as well as faster heating up to optimal temperatures and cooling down for repeated use on a track. The car wears large 20” lightweight alloy wheels, specially designed for it to reduce even more weight.

The Ferrari 488 GTB is exclusively available at Ital Auto, Singapore's official Ferrari importer.

Credits: Story and Photos by Alvan Sio

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