Ex­tra mus­cle power for Ital­ian stal­lion

Fer­rari has un­veiled a more ex­treme ver­sion of its 458 in the form of the 488 GTB

Business Day - Motor News - - ISUZU TRUCKS - MO­TOR NEWS RE­PORTER

FOL­LOW­ING a four­decade le­gacy of Fer­rari’s first mid-en­gine V8 model, the 308 GTB, the lat­est model to wear the fa­bled GTB moniker is the 458-based 488 GTB.

It takes the 458-based model to a whole new level as it prom­ises to pro­vide track-level per­for­mance that can be fully ex­ploited by most driv­ers. The new model also ex­ploits the know-how gleaned by Fer­rari tech­ni­cians over the past decade through the XX pro­gramme which makes ex­treme track-only cars avail­able to test driv­ers. The data yielded has made it pos­si­ble for the elec­tron­ics and driver aids to be adapted for max­i­mum con­trol in most hands as op­posed to only be­ing ac­ces­si­ble to more pro­fes­sional driv­ers.

The de­sign may not have the uni­ver­sal ap­peal of the gor­geous 458, but is still pur­pose­ful with just the right quo­tas of style and panache to make it stand out from the crowd.

De­signed by the Fer­rari Styling Cen­tre, the new car fea­tures sculpted flanks which are the key to its char­ac­ter. Its large sig­na­ture air in­take edg­ing is a nod to the orig­i­nal 308 GTB and is di­vided into two sec­tions by a split­ter. The wide front spoiler fea­tures a dou­ble pro­file to im­prove the ther­mal ef­fi­ciency of the ra­di­a­tors at the sides. At the cen­tre two py­lons are com­bined with a de­flec­tor which chan­nels air to­wards the flat un­der­body. The broad, low tail is also dom­i­nated by aero­dy­namic so­lu­tions, in­clud­ing an in­no­va­tive blown spoiler which gen­er­ates down­force with­out in­creas­ing drag. This works in con­junc­tion with an ag­gres­sive ramp an­gle for the dif­fuser which fea­tures ac­tive flaps. The greater height re­quired for the dif­fuser was achieved by repo­si­tion­ing the ex­haust tailpipes. The cir­cu­lar LED tail lights have also been re­designed.

Mov­ing in­wards, the new re­mote con­trol clus­ters, an­gled air vents and in­stru­ment panel are all tai­lored around the driver. Use­abil­ity is said to have been the key brief in the de­sign, yet it all has a sporty am­bi­ence with­out com­pro­mis­ing on com­fort. There are plenty of clas­sic Fer­rari styling el­e­ments too, such as the clear sep­a­ra­tion be­tween the dash­board and tun­nel, the mul­ti­func­tion steer­ing wheel, the con­trol switch and wrap­around seats. The graph­ics and in­ter­face of the in­fo­tain­ment screen have also been re­designed while the de­sign of the car’s new key takes its in­spi­ra­tion from the ve­hi­cle’s cylin­der banks and al­lows key­less starts.

While the model is loosely based on the 458, the 488 GTB will fea­ture a new tur­bocharged 3.9l V8 en­gine in­stead of the nor­mally as­pi­rated V8. The new en­gine will muster 492kW at 8,000r/min and 760Nm at 3,000r/min. All that power is shuf­fled to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual clutch trans­mis­sion. Per­for­mance, as you will ex­pect, is im­pres­sive with a claimed 0100km/h time of 3.0 sec­onds and 200km/h dis­patched in 8.3 sec- onds. A top speed of 330km/h puts it right up there with the best of them. It is also said to lap the com­pany’s prov­ing ground that is the Fio­rano track in Maranello, Italy in one minute 23 sec­onds.

Be­ing tur­bocharged, the en­gi­neers have fac­tored into the gear­box some­thing called Vari­able Torque Man­age­ment, which is said to aid in de­liv­er­ing torque in a more pro­gres­sive man­ner right across the rev range. In ad­di­tion they have paid at­ten­tion to per­fect­ing the model’s en­gine sound, one that is clear and dis­tinc­tive, as ex­pected from the marque.

The car’s aero­dy­nam­ics have also made a piv­otal con­tri­bu­tion to per­for­mance. As a re­sult 50% more down­force has been added to the ve­hi­cle, all the while re­duc­ing the drag co­ef­fi­cient. The great­est chal­lenge was achiev­ing th­ese two goals si­mul­ta­ne­ously. Sev­eral in­no­va­tive el­e­ments were specif­i­cally de­vel­oped to do so, not least a dou­ble front spoiler, base bleed side in­takes and, at the rear, ac­tive aero­dy­nam­ics cou­pled with a blown spoiler. The aero­dy­namic un­der­body, which in­cor­po­rates vor­tex gen­er­a­tors, was also in­cor­po­rated to the de­sign.

As men­tioned, many of the driver aids have been tai­lored to as­sist the driver in ex­tract­ing the best per­for­mance. For in­stance, The rear is all about aero­dy­nam­ics and down­force. the side slip an­gle con­trol sys­tem (Side Slip Con­trol 2 — SSC2) is said to be more pre­cise and less in­va­sive, pro­vid­ing greater lon­gi­tu­di­nal ac­cel­er­a­tion out of cor­ners. Aside from in­te­grat­ing with the car’s F1-Trac and E-Diff, the SSC2 now also con­trols the ac­tive dampers which as­sists the car’s dy­namic be­hav­iour dur­ing cor­ner­ing, giv­ing a feel­ing of a flat­ter and more sta­ble ve­hi­cle.

While the model is yet an­other mod­ern tur­bocharged model fol­low­ing the Cal­i­for­nia T, there is a great deal of prom­ise in the on­pa­per cre­den­tials of the higher and more ac­ces­si­ble per­for­mance on of­fer, not to men­tion the ef­fi­ciency, too. The model will make its world de­but at the In­ter­na­tional Geneva In­ter­na­tional Mo­tor Show next month where more de­tails and pro­duc­tion run fig­ures will likely be di­vulged.

The 488 GTB has more ex­treme styling than the beau­ti­ful 458 on which it is based.

The in­te­rior, left, has a num­ber of changes in the 488.

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