All posts in “ferrari 488 gtb”

Hennessey’s HPE1000 Corvette vs. a Ferrari 488 GTB in a Rolling Drag Race

Yes, the Chevy Wins

This hardly seems like a fair race. Hennessey took the ZR1 Corvette and boosted horsepower to 1,000 and then pitted it up against the Ferrari 488 GTB. It’s clear from the start which car would win. The Ferrari is at a major displacement deficit and down on power. It was bone stock. With that said, it’s still fun to watch in the video below. 

With all of the buzz out there about the new 2020 mid-engine Corvette, Hennessey had to remind people about how insane the C7 Corvette actually is. Also, the Ferrari 488 GTB while down on power compared to the heavily modified Chevy honestly performed very well. The car has a 3.9-liter V8 engine that produces 661 hp and 561 lb-ft of torque. That’s down considerably from the HPE1000 Corvette’s 1,000 hp and 966 lb-ft of torque. 

Despite the Ferrari being far down in terms of power and displacement, the car performs admirably. The HPE100 should blow it away, and it does by the end of the strip, but for a split second when they first cross the cones, the Ferrari looks like it’s going to hold on. Then the Corvette begins to stretch its legs and its all over. It’s a short and entertaining video. We highly suggest you check it out. 

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Ferrari SP38 is the latest one-off creation from the Prancing Horse

Ferrari has unveiled its latest one-off creation, called the SP38, a road- and track-going car built for “one of Ferrari’s most dedicated customers” who has a “deep passion for racing.” Swathed in a three-layer metallic red paint finish for its all-new body, the SP38 is built on the chassis and running gear of a donor 488 GTB and took its twin-turbo, twin-intercooler influence from the F40.

Stylistically, the car concentrates its visual mass over the rear wheels, with a rear spoiler and engine cover reminiscent of the F40, with a wedge shape that narrows toward the front. “In plan view, the strongly tapered nose expands towards muscular wheel arches, giving the car potency and agility,” Ferrari says.

The engine cover sheds its rear glass and is a flip-up assembly done in carbon fiber, with three transverse slats to siphon off engine heat. At the back, the trailing edge of the rear spoiler “links seamlessly with the wing and with the aerodynamic diffuser at the bottom to create a suggestive frame surrounding the tail volume.”

Up front, inset headlights were designed to be as thin as possible, with daytime running lights relocated to a slim bumper lip similar to the 308 GTB.

No word on the SP38’s powertrain, but it seems likely that it’s the 488’s mid-engine 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8, which makes 660 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque.

It’ll go on display to the public on Saturday, May 26, at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on Lake Como in Italy.

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Leaked Ferrari presentation drops details on super hot 488

Ferrari convened a gathering of dealers and special customers recently, and presented them with some of the specs on that special, monstrous version of the Ferrari 488 that’s been percolating in public for nearly a year. Someone in the audience snapped pics of a few slides, those pics made their way to Ferrari Photo Page, and now we can assemble the loose bolts of rumor into something approaching a real vehicle. Not just “a” vehicle, but the most powerful Ferrari V8 the company has ever made. Ferrari uses the 488 GTB as the base for its Ferrari Challenge racing series; now the Italian carmaker’s returned the Challenge motorsport lessons to the production car.

First, the coupe almost certainly won’t be called 488 GTO. Ferrari owners in the Ferrari Chat forum have been wheedling their dealers for information, and several contributors to an 80-page thread attested that even the dealers don’t know the name of the coupe yet. The presentation refers to it as “New V8 Sport Special Series.”

The slides also note the “highest horsepower increase vs donor car for a V8 special series,” so watchers expect more than 700 horsepower from the 488’s 3.9-liter twin-turbo engine; production numbers come in at 660 horsepower and 561 pound-feet of torque. The engine making all that fuss is an evolution of the racing unit in the Challenge car, is ten percent lighter than the production car motor, and can produce a “unique track-like sound” – as if Ferraris haven’t been doing that since the 1960s.

The coming coupe gets more carbon fiber than ever seen in a Ferrari production car: the hood, bumpers, and large rear spoiler come in resin-soaked cloth, as do the dashboard, center tunnel, and the 20-inch wheels. Those wheels, dressed in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber, are 40-percent lighter than stock alloys. The cabin floor will be made of aluminum, with added lightness courtesy of less sound deadening and, thinner fixtures like side windows, and the omission of non-essential parts like the glove compartment.

New S-ducts in front and a GTE-inspired rear diffuser help increase aero efficiency by 20 percent over the standard 488. The “extremely direct steering ratio,” “new race gearshift strategy” programmed into the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and new Sideslip management settings will contribute to either track-day superiority or overtime pay for the track-day tow-truck driver. The Ferrari Chat discussion says the vehicle won’t have an active air brake, but the options sheet might offer a lithium battery and titanium exhaust.

Apparently, dealers have forwarded a set of names to Ferrari for purchase consideration, and the braintrust in Maranello will decide which applicants will see this particular red. The rest of us will likely get our first look at it at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

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Aston Martin hires Ferrari’s ‘key guys’ to challenge 488 GTB

Aston Martin is wasting no time in its aggressive product rollout, and it’s putting Ferrari and other supercar makers on notice.

At the recent launch of the DB11 V8 in Catalonia, Spain, we caught up with Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer. The Aston chief gave us new details on plans for a mid-engine car to go up against the Ferrari 488 GTB, the McLaren 720S and the Lamborghini Huracán.

Palmer says Aston has harnessed a great deal of learning from the $3 million Valkyrie hypercar and plans to apply that to its next mid-engine car, slated to land sometime in 2020 or so. As indicated in part of our conversation below, design plans for that car are developing quickly.

Andy Palmer, chief executive officer of Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd., reacts during a Bloomberg Television interview in Singapore, on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. Palmer discussed the impact of Brexit on the auto industry. Photographer: Vivek Prakash/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Autoblog: You said there will be a forthcoming mid-engine sports car. I still think the Ferrari 488 GTB is one of the best I’ve driven. How do you compete with that?

Andy Palmer: “Well, I agree with you. That’s the best car in its segment. And we’re going to take it on. And I realize the gravity of that statement, of what that means.”

AB: So how do you take on the 488 GTB?

AP: “Well, to start with, you recruit from Ferrari the head of body structures, and the head of powertrains. I’ve now got three of Ferrari’s key guys. And really, it’s a big compliment to Ferrari. That’s the defining car in its segment, and it’s really, really good. And those three guys now work for me. And you combine those guys with Nick [Lines, chief planning officer, Aston Martin] and Marek [Reichman, chief creative officer, Aston Martin] who you know really well, and you create some great recipes. And now I’ve got a better understanding of what that car looks like.”

AB: How far along is that car? Is there a clay model already?

AP: “Yeah, there’s clay. There’s actually eight quarter-scales. And there’s one in particular that I’m leaning toward. We’ve got it pushed out; it’s gone to a second studio in Milton Keynes. That studio is different from Gaydon. And I’ve got a pretty good idea of what the replacement for the 488 is going to be like as well. So, if we’re going in that market, we need to be ahead of the 488. And there’s no naïveté about what that means.”

One of the recruits Palmer is referring to is Max Szwaj, former head of innovation and body structures at Ferrari and Maserati. Szwaj has been named vice president and chief technical officer in his new role in Gaydon. Another recruit, Joerg Ross, formerly head of advanced engines at Ferrari and Maserati, assumes the chief engineer, powertrain, role at Aston. A third recruit by way of Modena is a very recent acquisition and has yet to be formally announced.

Aston Martin’s forthcoming car would slot above the Vanquish GT and below the Valkyrie hypercar in the lineup. And while the British luxe automaker is developing replacements for its existing lineup — most recently kicked off by the new DB11 — the Ferrari 488 fighter would join the upcoming DBX SUV as an all-new model line for Aston.

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2016 Ferrari 488 Spider First Drive | Pure, uncut spectacle

The majority of the cars that have rolled out of the gates at Maranello can be described as varying degrees of spectacular. Still, until you settle in behind the wheel, you wonder if a real Ferrari can live up to the hype.

The first thing I took note of in the Ferrari 488 Spider was the immense and nearly instantaneous acceleration into questionable speeds. It should have been obvious from the start, but the rate that this car builds speeds still managed to surprise me, like the cold wind on a January morning. You’ve checked the weather on your phone and you know it’s going to be cold, but you still wince with that first sharp breeze on your cheek.

It’s a totally different sensation than something like the Dodge Viper. The Viper requires deliberate effort for everything. Getting in and out is a pain in the ass. The clutch is long and heavy and the pedal box is tiny. The hefty steering requires some strength, especially at low speeds. The shifter wholly mechanical thing that requires a little more motivation than you would expect. It’s not easy and it’s not trying to be, just so you’re not tempted to underestimate it.

By comparison, the Ferrari is cake. The doors open wide allowing easy access, made even easier with the retractable hardtop stowed away. The cabin, while completely covered in black leather, is open enough to not feel claustrophobic. The steering is light but doesn’t feel loose and the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission can be left in automatic to make things easier. In sport mode, the exhaust is relatively subdued, allowing you to actually enjoy the stereo should you choose to. But goose the gas and a wave of panic and exhilaration momentarily wash away any other thoughts.

The 488 Spider packs a mid-mounted 3.9-liter twin-turbocharged V8 making 661 horsepower and 561 lb-ft of torque. It’s not quite the screamer of past Ferrari V8s, but what it lacks in aural excitement it makes up for in brute force. The old 4.5-liter V8 in the Ferrari 458 was powerful, but most of that power was at the top of the rev range. On the other hand, the 488 feels strong in any gear at any RPM. Boost is limited in lower gears, changing the power band in an effort to dull the turbo lag somer. While there isn’t a big kick when boost comes on, it doesn’t feel quite like a naturally-aspirated engine either. Once you’re in boost, complaints seem to fall by the wayside.

It’s amazing just how quickly the engine reaches that 8,000 rpm redline; That at least hasn’t been lost to with the move to forced induction. The rise and fall of the needle in that beautiful blue center-mounted tachometer seems weightless, as the slightest tip of your toe sends the whole thing spinning onward and upward. The engineers at Maranello have crafted a love letter to the internal combustion engine using lightweight components and a flat-plane crank, and placed it in the heart of this car. Yes, it’s not the high-strung naturally-aspirated masterpiece of yesteryear, but it’s hugely promising for the future.

It’s a shame the whole thing doesn’t sound better. The turbos muffle the sound a bit and there’s a distinct eruption from the exhaust at about 3,000 rpm as everything behind you opens up. If the tone was a bit more linear, it would help matters. The Ferrari 458 Speciale had the same problem. The 488 Spider also should be kept in Race mode if you want to really hear it, because he standard Sport setting is just too quiet. Still, kiss that redline at wide-open throttle and all your complaints will fall by the wayside. Flat out, the engine is at its best.

It’s the same sort of principle that applies to the 488 Spider’s roof. The GTB coupe is arguably better looking (and it gets the glass engine cover), but there’s something to be said about enjoying a 661 horsepower mid-engine sports car with limitless headroom. Sure, an owner could ostensibly take this car to the track, but the coupe is a far better option if that’s your cup of tea. For a pure street car, the Spider makes one hell of a case for itself. Put the top town and let the sunshine wash your worries away.

In its softest setting, the suspension proved surprisingly compliant on Michigan streets, even with the optional 20-inch wheels. It’s not quite plush, but it’s far more compliant and forgiving than something like the Viper, BMW M4, or Shelby GT350. Even some sport sedans don’t ride as well as this Ferrari. The best part is that you can run in Race mode with the soft suspension, the go-to setting for any performance car on the street. For daily driving, you want all of the power and the full exhaust, but you want to avoid unnecessary impacts to your spine.

Drawbacks versus the coupe are minimal. At 3 seconds dead, it’s just as quick to 62 mph as the hardtop. The top speed has been lowered to just 202 mph, but that shouldn’t be anyone’s deal breaker. The retractable hardtop is quieter than a canvas roof but it will never provide the same level of isolation as a true coupe. The rear window does roll down with the top up, meaning you can hear the engine better than you could with a coupe. The top goes up and down in seconds and can do so even while moving.

It’s not a small car by any stretch, but it is relatively lightweight one, thanks to the extensive use of aluminum and carbon fiber. At 3,362 lbs, the 488 Spider is just about 110 lbs more than the coupe. Still it moves with a quickness and a grace that’s nearly unmatched on the road. Everything is immediate, from the steering to the brakes to the crack of the exhaust as the transmission snaps off gears. What feels big and wide at low speeds shrinks around you as each request is almost immediately answered.

There’s a directness to the 488 Spider that’s slightly unsettling at first. Its quick responses can make the car feel twitchy if you don’t reset your expectations. A small degree of input can move you over a lane or two if you’re not careful. Afterward, anything short of a Porsche, a McLaren, or a Lamborghini feels vague and distant. The carbon-ceramic brake rotors are larger than the diameter of the wheels on my first car, and when combined with some excellent Michelin rubber provide ample amounts of stopping power.
They also provide plenty of grip in a corner. When you stab the brakes and turn the wheel, the weight shifts evenly and predictably. There’s enough freedom to have fun without losing control. It’s really not that difficult to drive the 488 Spider fast, but the reassuring part is that anyone can feel like a hero in this car without pushing the limits of safety or sanity.

The 488 Spider isn’t perfect. While the brakes are powerful, they’re grabby and difficult to modulate at low speeds – not unusual for carbon-ceramic brakes, but still, disconcerting. The infotainment system is next to non-existent, with a near-useless map and no support for Android Auto. For a car that’s likely to be used to cruise, that’s a letdown. The exhaust in Sport mode was too quiet and not as sweetly sonorous as past Ferraris, detracting a bit from the whole experience. That said, it’s a beautiful machine, even if a lot of the design elements were more function than form. At least it’s all purposeful. This Blu Corsa paint finally convinced me that Ferrari’s can look truly wonderful in a shade other than red or yellow.

Ferrari dips into its parts bin to test a Dino, or something

“It’s a when not an if. We know that it [Dino] is an under-used resource, but that’s why we need to get it right.” – Sergio Marchionne

We know Ferrari is thinking about bringing back the Dino. This might be it. Or not.

Spy shooters snapped this prototype during winter testing in Sweden, sparking speculation the long-hoped for Dino could return. Witnesses said the mule didn’t sound like it had a V8, suggesting the 2.9-liter V6 turbo developed by Ferrari for the Alfa Romeo Giulia was instead providing power.

Fiat Chrysler chief Sergio Marchionne said back in 2015: “It’s a when not an if. We know that it [Dino] is an under-used resource, but that’s why we need to get it right.” He also suggested a 500-hp V6 would be the right fit for a new Dino. That Alfa engine makes 505 ponies in the Giulia’s Quadrifoglio trim

But those comments are nearly two years old, when Ferrari was owned by Fiat Chrysler. Ferrari was spun off in the fall of 2015, though Marchionne remains head of the supercar maker in addition to leading FCA.

But what are we actually looking at here? There’s bits of both the 488 GTB and its predecessor, the 458 Italia, Frankensteined together onto the prototype. There are huge tailgun exhausts in back. The car is testing on a snowy road. Could in fact Ferrari be shaking down an all-wheel-drive 488 variant? A high performance version?

On the other hand, the Dino was a mid-engine car, and the similar layout of the 458/488 line makes for a fitting testbed. Perhaps Ferrari is using that body style to conceal the identity of an all-new project like the Dino. Or perhaps…

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