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Geneva show: Ferrari uncovers ballistic 488 Pista

Pista resistance: The 488 Pista features Ferrari's most powerful V8 engine yet, packing 530kW and 770Nm from its 3.9-litre twin-turbo petrol unit.

Ferrari confirms Australian allocation of track-focused 530kW/770Nm 488 Pista

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Ferrari logo22 Feb 2018

By JUSTIN HILLIARD

FERRARI has finally unshackled its most powerful V8 model yet with the hardcore, track-focused 488 Pista breaking cover ahead of an international debut at the Geneva motor show next month.

While Ferrari Australasia has confirmed the 488 Pista for an Australian launch, exact timing for its arrival remains up in the air. Similarly, whether examples from the production run are still available to purchase is unknown.

The 488 Pista's formula is simple on paper, it takes the 488 GTB and dials performance, handling and aerodynamics up to 11 to create one of the most formidable Prancing Horse models yet.

Motivated by a 3.9-litre twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine, the 488 Pista punches out 530kW of power at 8000rpm and 770Nm of torque at 3000rpm when in seventh gear.

These outputs best those of the 488 GTB by 38kW and 10Nm. While the latter is only slightly up, Ferrari says torque is higher at all engine speeds, ''delivering a feeling of consistently smooth, powerful acceleration with even faster turbo response times despite the increase in power''.

This translate to a blistering sprint from zero to 100km/h in 2.85 seconds while on the way to 200km/h in 7.6s and a top speed of more than 340km/h.

Comparatively, the 488 GTB is slower by 0.15s, 0.7s and at least 10km/h respectively.

Just like it is in the 488 GTB, the powertrain is mid-mounted and sends drive exclusively to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Specific upgrades to the powerplant include Inconel exhaust manifolds, a lightweight crankshaft and flywheel, turbochargers with integrated rev sensors, and a redesigned air intake line – all of which were lifted from the 488 Challenge racecar – plus titanium con rods and carbon-fibre intake plenums.

Engine sound quality and intensity ''are higher than the 488 GTB in all gears and at all engine speeds in proportion with the progressive increase in power'', the company says.

As mentioned, aerodynamics have been honed thanks to the adoption of a Formula 1-inspired S-Duct – or serpentine inlet – which improves airflow in conjunction with the redesigned front diffusers that feature a ramp angle optimised for the 488 GTE racecar to provide stronger suction and downforce.

Furthermore, the underbody vortex generators and rear diffuser have been tweaked, while the rear duck-tail spoiler is taller and longer than before.

These adjustments result in a 20 per cent increase in downforce.

The 488 Pista also ushers in Ferrari's sixth-generation Side-Slip Angle Control system which incorporates its E-Diff3, F1-Trac, magnetorheological suspension (SCM) and Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer (FDE) systems, with the latter a first time inclusion.

Claimed by the marque to be a world-first, FDE uses software to adjust the brake pressure at the callipers, meaning handling through and out of corners is ''even more effortless, intuitive and predictable''.

Continuing the lightweight focus, the interior has been stripped out to the bare essentials, contributing towards the 1280kg dry weight – 195kg lighter than the 488 GTB.

Its lightest form is achieved when 20-inch carbon-fibre wheels – a Ferrari first – and a carbon-fibre engine cover, bumpers and rear spoiler are optioned.

The brand says all of these upgrades serve to complete ''an uncompromising mission to offer track-like performance on and off the road, even when in the hands of non-professional drivers.''

Additionally, the Pista name pays homage to the brand's ''unparalleled heritage in motor sports'', with the Italian word directly translating to 'track' in English.

Needless to say, the Lamborghini Huracan Performante will have its hands full dealing with the 488 Pista, but its outputs of 470kW and 600Nm, and triple-digit sprint time of 2.9s will keep things interesting.

Given the 488 GTB commands a sticker price of $469,888, expect the 488 Pista to attract a healthy premium when it hits local showrooms.

The 488 Pista is the fourth model in Ferrari's V8-engined special-edition range, joining the former 360 Challenge Stradale, 430 Scuderia and 458 Speciale.

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