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Geneva show: Ferrari unveils turbo 488 GTB monster

Smoke 'em: The turbo Ferrari 488 GTB can lay claim to being the second fastest production car to wear the Prancing Horse logo, shaded only by the cutting-edge hybrid LaFerrari.

Turbocharged 488 GTB to debut in Geneva as one of Ferrari’s fastest cars

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Ferrari logo5 Feb 2015

By DANIEL GARDNER and TUNG NGUYEN

FERRARI has gone back to the future by reintroducing forced-induction on a mid-engined model, 23 years after it last offered such a powertrain in the legendary F40.

The iconic Italian car-maker’s all-new 488 GTB – to be unveiled at the Geneva motor show on March 3 – packs a whopping 492kWand 760Nm from its blown 3.9-litre V8.

Succeeding the popular 458 supercar, the 488 GTB also marks 40 years since Ferrari made foray into V8 mid-engine sportscars with the 308 GTB of the mid-1970s.

The new model brings the latest materials, technology, aerodynamics and drivetrain design to blast the 488 from zero to 100km/h in 3.0-seconds. Zero to 200km/h takes 8.3 seconds, while the top speed is above 330km/h.

By comparison, McLaren's 650S produces 478kW of power and 680Nm of torque from a 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8. The McLaren can match the 488's three second 0-100km/h time, but is 0.1 seconds slower to 200km/h at 8.4 seconds and supposedly tops out at 333km/h.

Ferrari's latest 90-degree V8 is related to the 3.9-litre engine under the bonnet of the California T, but for the 488, the Italian car-maker has wrung an extra 80kW of power out of it thanks to changes that include a displacement increase from 3855cc to 3902cc.

Ferrari also claims to have dipped into its Formula 1 and World Endurance Championship (WEC) racing expertise when developing the new model. This included its in-house XX race car tuning program that previously yielded the track-only and rare 599XX and FXX Evoluzione models.

Ferrari's seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission has been upgraded with Variable Torque Management to allow sharper throttle response and smoother torque delivery.

Redesigned aerodynamics increase downforce by more than 50 per cent. These include a new rear bumper with high-mounted exhaust outlets to accommodate a larger rear diffuser, and a wide and low front spoiler that channels air along the sides of the car into the radiator intakes.

Compared with the 458, the 488 is 41mm longer, at 4568mm, and 15mm wider (1952mm), while weighing only 1370kg dry – 115kg lighter than the superseded model.

An updated Side Slip Control (SSC2) system now controls the active dampers and, in conjunction with Ferrari's F1-trac and E-Diff systems, works to keep the car flatter and smoother through complex maneuvers.

The 488 becomes one of the fastest road-legal Ferraris to lap its Fiorano test track, going around in 1 min 23 seconds – three seconds slower than the LaFerrari hybrid hypercar (1 min 20 sec) but equal with the V12-powered F12 Berlinetta (1 min 23 sec).

This also makes the 488 half a second faster than the hardcore 458 Speciale (1 min 23.5 sec), just under two seconds faster than the legendary Enzo (1 min 24.9 sec) and a full two seconds quicker than the outgoing 458 (1 sec 25 min).

Pricing and availability are yet to be confirmed, but Ferrari launched the 458 Italia in 2010 at a starting price of $526,950 before on-road costs. The price of its recently reborn California T sibling was dropped to $409,888.

The Italian car-maker last offered a mid-engined turbo car in the early 1990s with the minimalist F40 – a car that held the title as world's fastest production vehicle at the time – and has since been elevated to cult status.

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