All posts in “ferrari 488”

Ferrari 488 GT Modificata: Limited Track Only Car for Ferrari Collectors

Built around the 488 GTE and the GT3, the new Ferrari 488 GT Modificata is a track only racecar for the members of the exclusive Ferrari Corse Clienti program. The 488 GT Modificata will be admitted to the Club Competizioni GT, this club includes elites such as the F40 Competizione and more. It’s purely made of carbon fiber just like the 488 GTE.

Purified around the Nurburgring, the new Ferrari 488 GT Modificata gets all the good attributes from the GT3 and GTE models. The suspension is borrowed from the 488 GTE, an ABS system from the 488 GT3 Evo and a myriad of extra equipment from top industry suppliers including Bosch and Brembo. All in all, this is a 700hp racer that gives the best of both worlds – that is GT racing and WEC.

Ferrari 488 GT Modificata rear

Ferrari 488 GT Modificata engine

Ferrari 488 GT Modificata interior

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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VIDEO: Watch Chris Harris Wrangle the Ferrari 488 Pista

Our favorite automotive hooligan Chris Harris does his thing in the Ferrari 488 Pista. As always, Mr Harris does not hold back in describing his thoughts. As always, he also doesn’t hold back from getting the Pista very very very sideways. We love that guy. 

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First Look: Ferrari 488 Pista Spider

Ferrari Unveils Convertible Variant of Latest Special Series

Earlier this year, we reviewed the 2019 Ferrari 488 Pista – Ferrari’s most powerful V8 ever. The 488 Pista is the marque’s latest Special Series model and – following in the footsteps of its predecessors – epitomizes the pinnacle of Ferrari road cars.

Ferrari decided to surprise the world with a Spider version at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours D’elegance event in California, taking place in late August. The Spider is a convertible with a removal hardtop, though some would argue it functions more closely to targa top vehicle. Ferrari also revealed that the new Pista Spider will become the 50th convertible model in the company’s history.

The Ferrari 488 Pista Spider is powered by the same engine used in the coupe – a twin-turbocharged 3.9L V8 which produces a magnificent 711-horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque.

The Spider weighs 200 pounds more than the coupe, but despite the extra hardware needed to accommodate the removable hardtop, it is remarkably still able to achieve 0-100 km/h in 2.85 seconds – the exact same as the fixed-roof variant. Thanks to proper aerodynamics, the Spider also manages to equal the coupe’s top speed of 340 km/h, so long as the hardtop remains on.

Elsewhere on the car, the Spider differentiates itself from the coupe by way of a larger front splitter, a new deck lid and side skirts, and a redesigned rear diffuser. The Spider is also fitted with special livery – a central stripe that runs the length of the car which Ferrari proclaims, “recalls the movement of the airflow and exalts the lines of the car”.

Exclusive options such as one-piece carbon fibre wheels (in lieu of the standard also-unique-diamond-finish alloy wheels) will also be made available on the convertible.

While the Ferrari 488 Pista Spider is still considered a concept with no release date or pricing information yet, we do expect that the car should enter production in the near future. Ferrari has openly acknowledged the popularity of convertibles – particularly in the U.S. – and will be incentivized to to appeal to their demand.  

Bespoke Ferrari 488 Pista Release

Big release from Maranello: To commemorate the 24 Hours of Le Mans, they have created a bespoke version of the 488 Pista, called the ‘Piloti Ferrari’. This tailor-made Ferrari was created and designed for the Ferrari enthusiasts who keep their cars past the showroom and into the race track.

It includes Italian livery, a carbon-fiber rear spoiler, and in four racing colors. If you think you can buy this off the lot, think again; the ‘Piloti Ferrari’ 488 Pista is only available to customers involved in Ferrari’s motorsport programs. It will still be powered by a 710 horsepower 4 liter turbo V8, but with more unique finishes that no other person can get.

Should be another amazing piece to collect and whoever spots one will be seeing something special.

Official Press Release

Maranello, 15 June 2018 – In occasion of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Prancing Horse is launching a unique “Piloti Ferrari” specification for the Ferrari 488 Pista.

This special custom creation, the latest from the exclusive Tailor Made programme, was designed to recognise the success of clients who race Ferraris and will make its debut on the eve of the legendary French endurance race at the Circuit de la Sarthe. Inspired by AF Corse’s no. 51 car, with which Alessandro Pier Guidi and James Calado won the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles, this special finish for the new Ferrari 488 Pista is available exclusively for customers involved in the company’s motor sports programmes.

The exterior features a new livery with stripes in the colours of the Italian flag recalling the racing version of the 488 GTE, embellished by a laurel celebrating the WEC title, the logo of the championship and the word “PRO” indicating the class the car raced in. The Italian flag livery features again along the car’s flanks which are also adorned with the personal race number each client will be able to add. The version that will be unveiled at Le Mans carries the number 51 used by the world championship drivers. The matte black S-Duct and the natural carbon-fibre “dovetail”suspended rear spoiler and vent surrounds round off the personalisation of the exterior.

The”Piloti Ferrari” 488 Pista will be available in four different colours inspired by the world of racing: Rosso Corsa, Blu Tour De France, Nero Daytona and Argento Nurburgring.

The interior, in black Alcantara, includes seats upholstered with a special perforated version of the same material that incorporates the Italian flag in the central band of the backrest. The national colours are also clearly visible on the edge of the gearshift paddles and on the floormats which, like the carpeting itself, are made of a special technical fabric. The number that features on the external livery also appears on the base of the steering wheel, while all the carbon-fibre trim parts have a matte finish. The personalisation of the interior is completed by an exclusive identification plate and sill trim in carbon-fibre, the latter with the Tailor Made logo.

The “Piloti Ferrari” 488 Pista is powered by the latest 720-cv version of the 3.9-litre turbocharged V8 which has been voted best engine in the world for the third consecutive year at the 2018 International Engine of the Year Awards.

VIDEO: Ferrari 488 Pista 2019 Review – 710bhp supercar on road and track | Autocar

When Ferrari makes a track special of its mid-engined V8 supercar, it doesn’t tend to get it wrong. And so to the Ferrari 488 Pista, a car that, Ferrari says, has more motorsport in it than any of its other road cars. Subscribe now:

It has the engine and aerodynamics from the Ferrari 488 Challenge car, but, at 661bhp, it not only makes 50bhp more than the regular 488 GTB and 20% more downforce, it’s also up to 90kg lighter thanks to a widespread adoption of carbon fibre.

Does this mean, though, that it’ll have the measure of other low-volume, race-inspired cars like the Porsche 911 GT2 RS and Lamborghini Huracan Performante? Join us as we find out whether this is another Ferrari special that ticks every gorgeous box it should.

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2019 Ferrari 488 Pista – Ferrari’s Most Powerful V8. Ever

The 710HP V8 Prancing Horse From Maranello

Ferrari first unveiled its new track-focused 488 variant at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2018. Given the moniker “Pista” – which translated from Italian, means “track” – the latest iteration of Ferrari’s mid-engined V8 is faster than ever before and pays homage to the manufacturer’s remarkable motorsports heritage.

The new 710-horsepower 488 Pista is the current successor to Ferrari’s famed v8-engined special series, which boasts the 360 Challenge Stradale, 430 Scuderia and 458 Speciale in its lineage. While Ferrari is now taking orders for the Pista, an official release date and U.S. pricing have yet to be confirmed.

2019 Ferrari 488 Pista

Ferrari’s 488 Pista takes the “regular” 488 GTB to the next-level; even more so than what previous special series cars did for their respective standard models. The Pista is the beneficiary of an abundance of dynamics and technologies carried over from competitive racing.

The car’s development is mainly derived from Ferrari’s involvement in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), where its 488 GTE and 488 Challenge race cars have competed and won numerous Manufacturers’ titles.

With such favorable genetics to borrow from, the Pista is much more than just a horsepower bump and stickier tires. The car has undergone extensive weight reduction and received noteworthy vehicle dynamics and aerodynamic upgrades.

The end-goal, Ferrari says, is to “offer impeccable track-like performance on and off the road, even when in the hands of non-professional drivers”.

Features and Highlights


The revised engine is the most powerful V8 in Ferrari’s long history of building some of the world’s fastest cars. Benefiting from its twin turbo setup, the 3.9-litre unit is able to output a blistering 710-horsepower at 8000 rpm and 568 lb-ft of torque at 3000 rpm. This contributes to performance figures of 0-100 km/h in 2.85 seconds, 0-200 km/h in 7.6 seconds and a top speed of 340 km/h.

Respective to the standard 488 GTB model’s award-winning engine, the overall increase of 49 horsepower and 7 lb-ft of torque is achieved by borrowing engine parts from the 488 Challenge race car – such as Inconel exhaust manifolds, strengthened pistons, a larger intercooler, and a new camshaft.

Ferrari proudly remarks that “the engine sound is unique and unmistakably Ferrari, as such a special car warrants”.


Mated to the illustrious V8 engine is a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission which bangs through gears in just 30 milliseconds when driven in race mode setting, providing the driver with such meticulous control over the car as if it were an extension of his or her own thoughts.

The Pista – compared to the GTB – is 0.3 inches lower, 0.9 inches wider and 1.5 inches shorter in length due to various weight reduction and aerodynamic upgrades performed throughout the car, which also makes it a noticeable 90 kg lighter.

Ferrari has also equipped the car with version 6 of their Side-Slip Angle Control System (SSC). This vehicle dynamics system is able to simultaneously control the electronic differential, traction control, magnetic damping and brake pressure software, with perfect synergy. The brake pressure software, dubbed “Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer” or (FDE), is a world-first system which can adjust brake pressure at the calipers.


The Pista is equipped with an F1-inspired S-duct and front diffuser optimized for the 488 GTE race car. The underbody also features modified vortex generators and a rear diffuser to reduce turbulence beneath the chassis.

Additionally, the rear blown spoiler has been revamped with a higher, longer and more optimal design. The end result of all these aerodynamic upgrades is a dramatic 20% increase in downforce relative to the 488 GTB.


Ferrari has not yet revealed many details about the interior, though it is expected to remain largely unchanged from the 488 GTB. However, as part of its special series makeover, we expect Ferrari to delete or replace certain non-essential parts in the name of weight reduction, as it has done for previous special series cars. “Pista” badges and nameplates are likely featured throughout the interior as well.


While there have not yet been any test drives of a 488 Pista production-spec model, a select group of very lucky automotive journalists were able to take a test mule out for some hot laps at Ferrari’s private racetrack – Fiorano Circuit near Maranello, Italy. With an official test driver, the car is reported to complete a lap of Fiorano in 1:21.5; a very distinguishable 1.5 seconds quicker than a 488 GTB.

The Test Mule in Action

UK news site, The Week, provided a compilation of what some of the critics had to say. Overall, reports from the likes of Auto Express and Top Gear note the Pista’s bang-for-buck as a “hypercar-beating machine” and provide plenty of praise for its special handling characteristics, super-accurate steering and “brilliantly balanced chassis”. It is a car that is “just as at home on the road as it is on the circuit”, they add.

Autocar reports that Ferrari 488 Pista pricing starts at £252,695, which means that we can expect U.S. pricing to begin north of the USD $340,000 mark.

The Pista is latest and most advanced variant of the manufacturer’s fan-favorite special series cars. There is no reason to believe that Ferrari will not deliver on its production model, so if the test mule is any indication of what the final product will be, supercar lovers are in for a treat of hypercar proportions.

Specifications and Performance Summary

Pricing and Model Info

Make Ferrari
Model 488
Generation 2019 –
Sub-Model Pista
Car type Coupe
Category Series Production Car
Built At Maranello, Italy
Introduced 2018
Base Price (£) $252,695

Chassis and Powertrain

Curb Weight 1,280 kg
Layout Mid-engine
Driven wheels Rear-wheel drive
Engine V8 – 90°
Aspiration Twin-turbocharged
Displacement 3.9 Litres
Transmission 7-speed DCT

Engine Output

Power 710 hp @ 8,000 rpm
Power / litre 182.1 hp / litre
Power-to-weight ratio 3.97 lb / hp
Torque 568 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm


0-100 km/h 2.85 seconds
0-200 km/h 7.6 seconds
Max speed 340 km/h

Photo Gallery


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Revealed: Ferrari 488 Pista – 711bhp, 8,000 RPM of Mighty Twin Turbo V8 Fury

This is one serious Ferrari. Lets start with the fact that the 488 Pista has a 0-62mph time of 2.85sec. Thats as quick as the Italian brand’s halo hypercar, the Ferrari LaFerrari. Dry weight comes in at just over 2,820 pounds, and the Ferrari claims the car has a top speed of over 211 mph.

The 488 Pista is the long awaited special edition version of the 488 GTB. Our longtime readers know that our dream car is a 458 Speciale so we have been eagerly waiting for the latest version. The model uses the most powerful V8 in Ferrari’s history and is described as an “extreme evolution” of the turbo unit that won International Engine of the Year in both 2016 and 2017. The fact that this turbo powerplant can rev to over 8,000 RPM is incredible.

The Ferrari 488 Pista will officially be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show soon. As the successor to the 360 Challenge Stradale, 430 Scuderia and 458 Speciale it has big shoes to fill.

Ferrari 488 Pista Gallery

According to the company, the Ferrari 488 Pista marks a significant step forward from the previous special series in terms of both sporty dynamics and for the level of technological carry-over from racing.

Here’s What Ferrari Had to Say

The car’s development evolved directly from the company’s involvement in the FIA World Endurance Championship – in which it has won five Manufacturers’ titles in the GTE class in the six years since the series’ inception – and its 25 years’ experience in running the Ferrari Challenge one-make series.

The Ferrari 488 Pista’s extensive weight saving solutions, along with engine, vehicle dynamics and aerodynamic developments, all derive from Ferrari’s racing cars: the 488 GTE and the 488 Challenge. The result is a car with an uncompromising mission: to offer impeccable track-like performance on and off the road, even when in the hands of non-professional drivers.

Lighter and More Powerful

The new model weighs an impressive 90 kg less (1280 kg dry) than the 488 GTB. This fact, combined with the largest ever increase in engine power for a special series car (+50 cv), sets a new benchmark for Ferrari’s V8 sports cars.

Its engine is the most powerful V8 in Ferrari history and is an extreme evolution of the turbo unit that won the overall International Engine of the Year award titles in both 2016 and 2017.

It punches out 720 cv with the highest specific output of in its class (185 cv/l) and is now lighter too, thanks to solutions adopted from the 488 Challenge. As a result it has a top speed of 340 km/h and sprints from 0-100 km/h in 2.85” and 0 -200 km/h in 7.6”.

The engine sound is unique and unmistakably Ferrari, as such a special car warrants. Both the sound quality and the intensity are higher than the 488 GTB in all gears and at all engine speeds in proportion with the progressive increase in power.

Boosted Downforce

The Ferrari 488 Pista makes full use of Ferrari’s motor-sports experience for maximum aerodynamic performance even on the road. Among the racing solutions adopted is the front F1-inspired S-Duct and the design of the front diffusers which feature a ramp angle that was optimised for the 488 GTE to create strong suction for increased downforce. Additionally, the rear blown spoiler is higher and longer and the shape has been optimised. The final result of all these interventions is an impressive 20% increase in downforce compared to the 488 GTB.

Exhilarating Driving Pleasure

The vehicle dynamics were designed to enhance driving pleasure and make the car’s full potential available to all drivers, professional or otherwise. The objective was to make the car’s performance on the limit easier to reach and control.

This was achieved by synergies between the development of the mechanical set-up and the electronic dynamic controls integrated into version 6 of the Side-Slip Angle Control system. SSC 6.0 incorporates all the following systems: E-Diff3, F1-Trac, the magnetorheological suspension (SCM) and, for the first time ever, the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer. The FDE features a world-first: it uses Ferrari software to adjust the brake pressure at the callipers.

A Powerful, Efficient Design

The design of the Ferrari 488 Pista is focussed on functional aerodynamic concepts while the cockpit is pared back in keeping with its very sporty vocation. Ferrari Design used innovative elements, such as the aerodynamic S-Duct at the front, as an opportunity to visually shorten the car’s nose, creating an original floating wing effect.

The racing livery colour scheme is an integral part of the design of the car and the way it dives into the S-Duct underscores the berlinetta’s compact yet imposing forms. Contrasting edging on the aerodynamic elements on the bumpers and flanks add structure to the design.

The concept of the front is echoed in the dolphin-tail rear spoiler which appears suspended to provide an impression lightness and efficiency, while the rear volumes add a sense of power to the tail.


Type V8 – 90° twin turbo
Overall displacement 3902 cm3
Maximum power output * 530 kW (720 cv) at 8000 rpm
Maximum torque * 770 Nm at 3000 rpm in 7th gear
Length 4605 mm
Width 1975 mm
Height 1206 mm
Dry Weight** 1280 kg
0-100 km/h 2.85 s
0 -200 km/h 7.6 s
Max. Speed > 340 km/h

Ferrari makes 488 Pista official with 711 hp, racing tech, photos

Instead of letting the internet get the best of its new V8 Special Series coupe, a day after images leaked Ferrari released a batch of details and photos on its 488 Pista track-day weapon. The twin-turbo 3.9-liter V8 produces 720 of France’s Cheval Vapeur, which equates to 710 of our U.S. horsepower, while torque churns in at 568 pound-feet. Those numbers outdo the 488 GTB by 50 hp and eight pound-feet, and will get the 488 Pista in its lightest guise from a standstill to 62 miles per hour in 2.85 seconds, with 124 mph arriving in 7.6 seconds. Maximum velocity tops out at 211 mph.

We say “in its lightest guise” because Ferrari records the 488 Pista’s weight as 2,821 pounds dry, but with an asterisk that explains said weight can only be achieved “With optional lightweight features.” As of now we have no idea what those features are, but along with other lightweighting efforts like the carbon floor, they help amputate a total of 198 pounds compared to the weight of the standard 488.

Ferrari says the goal was to make the upper reaches of the new Special Series V8 “easier to reach and control,” so engineers poured the brand’s racing toolbox over the 488 Pista. The front S-Duct and diffuser mimic the ramp angle on the 488 GTE World Endurance racer. The sixth evolution of Side-Slip Angle Control that oversees the electronic differential, the magnetorheological suspension, and the F1-Trac stability control, now incorporates Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer software that varies the brake caliper pressure. Even the livery was created to enhance the coupe’s raciness, as if such ornamentation were needed.

We’ve heard rumors that 488 Pista can lap Ferrari’s Fiorano test track faster than the LaFerrari. A better comparison — one we’re more eager to see, and one with a much better chance of happening — is that between Ferrari’s latest and the McLaren 720S. Their specs are nearly identical. The McLaren produces 710 hp and 568 lb-ft from a 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V8, weighs 2,828 pounds in its lightest fitment, sprints to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds, to 124 mph in 7.8 seconds, and has a top speed of 211 mph. Things that make you go, hmmm…

We’ll be at the Ferrari booth at the Geneva Motor Show as soon as the lights go up on this one.

Related Video:

Ferrari 488 Special Series V8 named Pista in leaked photos

Ferrari Photo Page leaked Ferrari’s presentation of the 488 Special Series last month. Today, the site’s Instagram has what appear to be press shots of the coming Ferrari that reveal the coupe’s name: 488 Pista. The word “Pista” means “track” in Italian, and it would be the next peak in the lofty range already notable for the 360 Challenge Stradale (Road), 430 Scuderia (Team), and 458 Speciale (Special). We also get a few potential specs, namely a rumored 721 horsepower.

If the press photos are accurate — everything in front lines up with the blurry screenshot from the recent teaser vid — we can begin to see how Ferrari increased aerodynamic efficiency by 20 percent over the standard 488 GTB. Autocar says Ferrari’s aimed at the 340 kilograms of downforce produced by the Porsche 911 GT2 at 155 miles per hour, 15 kg more than achieved by the 488 GTB. Instead of a hood carved out with two deep scallops as on the 488 GTB, nearly the entire span of the hood on the 488 Pista plunges before reaching the leading edge. In back, a large, heavily dished wing tops a new rear fascia, its center span hovering a few inches above the bodywork. Below, a much more aggressive rear diffuser sits between vertical vents at the flanks.

The interior doesn’t look much changed, but note the carbon fiber floor instead of floor mats, the leaner center tunnel area, and shift selector buttons on a stalk styled after the one in the LaFerrari.

A reveal at the Geneva Motor Show seems likely, where we’ll look forward to detailed specs on that engine derived from the 488 Challenge race car but 10 percent lighter. Based on what we’ve seen so far, a Geneva debut will be thrilling no matter how much of the 488 Pista leaks before then.

Related Video:

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.

New Ferrari 488 variant spied at the ‘Ring

Most Ferrari models eventually give birth to various special-edition or short-run variants. The Ferrari F12berlinetta gave way to the F12tdf. The Ferrari 458 Italia signed off with the wonderful 458 Speciale. It looks like the Italian automaker’s current mid-engine V8 offering, the 488 GTB, is ready to spawn a variant of its own. Exactly what the model might be remains to be seen.

There are plenty of rumors surrounding the car. This could be a focused, track-ready version in the vein of the 458 Speciale. If that’s the case, look for more power, less weight, and improved aero. The car should pack bigger brakes, a stiffer suspension, revised tuning, and a bare-bones interior. There are also rumors that the car will pack a KERS system similar to the one run on Ferrari’s Formula 1 cars. That should provide an extra bit of electrical boost. A car like this is almost a given. The past few mid-engined Ferraris have all had a high-performance variant.

Then again, this car could also be the lower-powered, less-expensive Ferrari Dino that’s been whispered about for a while. If that’s the case, look for a lower horsepower V8 (or even a V6, if Ferrari would be so bold). It would likely stack up against the McLaren 570S and Lamborghini Huracan 580-2. This may come as a shock to some, but Ferrari has made no bones about expanding production. A relatively low-cost model could easily boost sales.

The car in these photos gives no real indication as to what it may be. There’s thin plastic camouflage covering most of the car. As always, it’s difficult to tell what may have changed, but it looks like there have been revisions to the front bumper. The glass over the engine cover has been draped with a thin sheet of plastic, hiding what rests beneath.

Ferrari has been mum on the model, but this isn’t the first time we’ve seen the car out. Look for more news this fall.

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