Ferrari's New V8 488 Pista Teased Before Geneva

Taking On The V8 Mantle

We're getting close to that time of the year when all of car-dom are readying themselves for the Geneva Motor Show, a place where the best and newest from most of the automotive brands will be paraded and of course, what's a motor show without something from the holy grounds of Maranello?

It's called the Ferrari 488 Pista, the successor to Ferrari's V8-engined special series, a line of sportscars that include the 360 Challenge Stradale, 430 Scuderia and 458 Speciale, all of which are loved (and hated by some) for their own uniqueness when it comes to performance and handling attributes. This Ferrari 488 Pista however, is set to become the first in the model series to be turbocharged and with a host of weight-reduction solutions plus a significant power output increase, it promises to be the most scintillating V8 Prancing Horse yet.

To begin with, this 488 Pista gets most of its cues and drama from Ferrari's racing cars, the 488 GTE and the 488 Challenge. When compared to the 488 GTB, this new model is tremendously lighter, weighing an impressive 90 kilos less (1280 kg dry). This lighter build means that when the re-tuned 3.9-litre twinturbo V8 engine (based on the regular 488's engine) roars to life, the Ferrari 488 Pista churns out some impressive spec sheet data: 711 bhp, 0-100 in under 3 seconds, a top speed of "more than 211 mph" (340 kmh). Something to note though, much of the weight reduction comes from the lightweight engine components as well, such as titanium con rods and carbon-fibre intake plenums.

Ferrari are certain that "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." There's also a host of racing tech fitted into this Ferrari 488 Pista apparently, like its 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. As is with any Ferrari, a lot of minute tweaks have been made to manipulate and channel air-flow; the underbody vortex generators have also been redesigned, and the rear diffuser incorporates the same double kink as the 488 GTE to increase the air extraction and downforce generation compared to a traditional diffuser. In addition, the rear blown spoiler is higher and longer and the shape has been optimised, resulting in an impressive 20% increase in downforce.

One thing Ferrari has promised with this new 488 Pista is a substantially enhanced platform to increase driving pleasure in terms of driving dynamics and we're quite honestly intrigued because if you've ever gotten the chance to get behind Ferrari's special series V8's like the Stradale or Speciale, then you know that the true joy comes from stretching the Prancing Horse's wheels out at full whack. Ferrari claims that the objective was to make the car's performance on the limit easier to reach and control, something useful to novice drivers of course. This was achieved by seamlessly integrating the development of the mechanical set-up and the electronic dynamic controls into version 6 of Ferrari's famous Side-Slip Angle Control system. SSC 6.0 incorporates a suite of driving facilitators: E-Diff3, F1-Trac, the magnetorheological suspension (SCM) and, for the first time ever, the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer, a unique system designed to adjust brake pressure at the callipers, something that will surely refine the 488's on-road feel and performance. All these are of course sitting on top and in between an entirely new suspension setup. To no surprise, Michelin has developed some specific compounds to go with the Ferrari 488 Pista and we hear that there will be, for the first time, an optional 20" carbon-fibre set of rims too. 

Over on the inside, it's business as usual in a very Ferrari way. The raunchy sporty accents are vividly visible all throughout the cockpit, keeping this car very close to its steep racing relatives. But the sporty accents are truly alive mostly in the sportscar's exterior, at least from what these images tell us. The racing cloaks adorned on the 488 Pista is typical Ferrari however it gets more character on this reiteration because of that neat dive into the S-Duct that gives the 488 Pista a real imposing stature. The same racing concept and accents of the front follows on at the rear with the dolphin-tail rear spoiler and from these pictures alone, we cant wait to see this beast in the flesh. Geneva Motor Show will be in for a real treat for sure.

Images: Ferrari