Fer­rari 488 Pista

Maranello takes aim at McLaren’s 720S with its successor to the fab­u­lous 458 Spe­ciale



The 488 GTB’s twin-tur­bocharged 3.9-litre V8 has been en­hanced, with power now 710bhp at 8000rpm, up from 661bhp at 6500rpm, and torque in­creased by 10Nm to 770Nm still at 3000rpm. Changes in­clude the 488 Chal­lenge racer’s tur­bos, plus re­pro­filed cams and a di­a­mond-like car­bon coat­ing for the pis­tons. Ti­ta­nium con rods, a light­ened crank and fly­wheel, car­bon­fi­bre in­take plenums and In­conel ex­haust man­i­folds con­trib­ute to an 18kg weight re­duc­tion for the en­gine alone.


The Pista is 90kg lighter than the GTB over­all, which, in com­bi­na­tion with nu­mer­ous sus­pen­sion tweaks, should boost agility. The dampers are remapped and the springs are ten per cent stiffer, while an all-car­bon­fi­bre 20-inch wheel is an op­tion. Fer­rari’s six­th­gen­er­a­tion Side Slip Con­trol is joined by the Fer­rari Dy­namic En­hancer, which tweaks the brakes to mod­u­late lat­eral move­ments. And Miche­lin has de­vel­oped Pista-spe­cific Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres.


The heav­ily mod­i­fied body­work fea­tures a car­bon­fi­bre bon­net and bumpers, plus a Lexan rear win­dow. Aero­dy­namic ef­fi­ciency has been im­proved by 20 per cent over the GTB, while novel ad­di­tions in­clude a larger, ‘blown’ rear spoiler and a front un­der­body dif­fuser. The big­gest change to the re­designed nose is the adop­tion of a F1-style S-duct that chan­nels air over the front axle for greater down­force. Ac­tive aero in­cludes move­able flaps set into the rear dif­fuser.


Fer­rari un­doubt­edly has a tough task with the Pista. Re­plac­ing the 458 Spe­ciale – ar­guably the firm’s great­est cre­ation in re­cent mem­ory – won’t be easy. Yet the mouth-wa­ter­ing spec­i­fi­ca­tion of the Pista sug­gests that Maranello is tack­ling it head-on. The Pista bris­tles with new tech­nol­ogy, de­vel­oped to strike straight at the heart of the as­tound­ingly talented McLaren 720S.

Fer­rari could have just given the al­ready ex­cel­lent 488 GTB a power boost and left it at that, but the sub­stan­tial changes to the body and aero­dy­nam­ics sug­gest that noth­ing other than to­tal dom­i­na­tion of its ri­vals will do for Fer­rari. Of all the cars of 2018, this could just be the most ea­gerly an­tic­i­pated.

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