Automakers left, right and center are embracing turbochargers as the best way to get more power out of a smaller package, and that includes performance automakers like Ferrari. In line with the latest FIA regulations, the Prancing Horse marque turbocharges its Formula One single-seater, and followed the same route with the California T. And now it’s done the same with the replacement for the 458 Italia.
Dubbed the 488 GTB, Maranello’s latest mid-engined V8 supercar arrives forty years after the debut of the 308 GTB that launched Ferrari into the segment. It packs a 3.9-liter turbocharged V8 offering up 661 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque. That represents a 64-horse increase over even the extreme 458 Speciale, and an even more impressive torque boost of 162 lb-ft, despite a decrease in displacement by approximately 600cc. (Ferrari isn’t saying exactly how many turbochargers its new forced-induction engine carries, but we’re likely looking at a pair of twin-scroll turbos.)
The new engine is said to be enough to propel the new 488 GTB to 62 miles per hour in three seconds flat, to 124 mph in 8.3 seconds and on to a top speed in excess of 205 mph. And at 1 minute 23 seconds, the 488’s lap time at Fiorano is also a good half second faster than the naturally aspirated Speciale and two seconds faster than the Italia. Ferrari says it dedicated significant efforts to keep the engine responsive and the exhaust note enthralling despite the introduction of forced induction – the first time a turbo has been used in mid-engined, eight-cylinder Prancing Horse, since the F40.
Of course there’s more to the 488 GTB than the turbocharged engine. It also features a revised Side Slip Control 2 (SSC2) system, working in tandem with the F1-Trac and E-Diff systems to keep the supercar on the razor’s edge without sliding off of it. The revised bodywork also generates 50 percent more downforce – thanks in no small part to the active diffuser that necessitated moving the exhaust pipes upwards – and a more slippery shape than any production Ferrari yet. The interior has likewise been revised with new control clusters, air vents, instrument panel and infotainment system for optimized ease of use.
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