The heart of the Pista

Auto Today - - Firstdrive - Yo­gen­dra Pratap Edi­tor yo­gen­dra.pratap@in­to­day.com @Yo­genPratap

At the heart of the Pista is the GTB en­gine, heav­ily worked upon to make it the most pow­er­ful Fer­rari V8 ever. At 670bhp of max power and 760Nm of peak torque, the 3.9-litre V8 GDi en­gine on the 488 GTB was no slouch. Also be­ing the In­ter­na­tional En­gine of the Year twice over is no small feat. How­ever the en­gi­neers at Fer­rari have thor­oughly re­worked the en­gine to ar­rive at truly as­tound­ing fig­ures of 720bhp max power and peak torque of 770Nm along with a weight sav­ing of 18kg.

This has been achieved by re­duc­ing the vol­ume and length of the car­bon­fi­bre in­take plenum and run­ners, op­ti­mised and in­creased in­take and ex­haust valve lift pro­files, a re­duc­tion by 7 de­grees of the in-cylin­der tem­per­a­ture when the in­take valves close and a new lay­out for the cool­ing sur­faces with the en­gine ra­di­a­tors now slop­ing back­wards and a change of air in­takes. The side vents are now ded­i­cated to cool­ing the charge air in­ter­cool­ers and there are new vents at the back for the en­gine air in­take. All this re­sults in ear­lier and faster com­bus­tion and an in­crease in com­bus­tion ef­fi­ciency.

The ex­haust man­i­fold is now made of in­conel and is lighter with big­ger run­ners, bet­ter sen­sors for tur­bocharger speed, ti­ta­nium con­nect­ing rods, a lighter crankshaft and a new fly wheel all add up to a lighter and faster revving en­gine. Plenty of work has also gone in to re­duc­ing the en­gine re­sponse time and make the tur­bocharged en­gine be­have like a large ca­pac­ity nat­u­rally-as­pi­rated en­gine. Fi­nally the sound of the en­gine has also been worked on to give a bet­ter high fre­quency spec­trum to not only make it louder but also make it sound, un­mis­tak­ably, Fer­rari. Not only has the en­gine been re­done but so has the car. A lot of el­e­ments taken from the Fer­rari Chal­lenge cars have been put into the 488 to make it into the Pista. Over­all the car is 90kg lighter than the 488 GTB and much of this weight re­duc­tion has been made in the un­sprung masses of the car to en­hance dy­nam­ics. A num­ber of soft­ware up­grades to the var­i­ous sys­tems and new per­for­mance fo­cused Fer­rari Dy­namic En­hancer have also been in­tro­duced. The aero­dy­namic ef­fi­ciency of the 488 GTB, which was al­ready im­pres­sive, has been im­proved by 20 per cent. As a re­sult the 488 Pista can get up to a top speed of 340kmph and from a stand­ing start can get upto 100kmph in 2.85 sec­onds and to 200kmph in 7.6 sec­onds. Now if that is not im­pres­sive, what is?

would be pulling, but all that is for­got­ten as I dive down into the cur­rents of ex­hil­a­ra­tion. Pure speeds of over 200kmph give such an adrenalin rush but the cor­ners come faster than ever, brake, down­shift, hear the sexy blip, turn, start putting down the right foot and start the up­shift­ing again till it’s time to brake again. Beau­ti­ful! I had loved the 488 GTB when I had driven it in Dubai some years back. This makes it even bet­ter. The car sounds good, is bru­tal on the track, is beau­ti­fully bal­anced and easy to drive. It’s def­i­nitely a fast car but whether I was able to drive it fast enough will re­main a mys­tery in the log­ging sys­tem of a pro­to­type of the Fer­rari 488 Pista.

Af­ter I drove the 488 GTB, I did not think a su­per sports car could get any bet­ter. But the way Fer­rari has im­proved the 488 GTB is as­ton­ish­ing. The fig­ures speak for them­selves but they only tell a part of the story. The Pista sounds awe­some and it...

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