IN­SIDE FER­RARI’ S MOST POW­ER­FUL V8 EVER

Evo - - BRIEFING -

When the Fer­rari 488 Pista ar­rives in the sum­mer, 50 per cent of the com­po­nents that make up its 710bhp twin‑turbo V8 en­gine will be brand new. Here’s why

1Re­duced charge air tem­per­a­ture The tem­per­a­ture of the air en­ter­ing the en­gine was a ma­jor fo­cus for Fer­rari’s engi­neers. A re­duced tem­per­a­ture is de­sir­able as it al­lows more spark ad­vance be­fore ‘knock’ sets in. This, in con­junc­tion with higher valve lift for more tur­bu­lence, means faster com­bus­tion, im­proved ef­fi­ciency and, ul­ti­mately, more power.

Repo­si­tioned en­gine air in­lets com­pared with those on the 488 GTB al­low for larger in­ter­cool­ers ahead of the rear wheels, and the ra­di­a­tors in the nose are tilted so the hot air ex­it­ing them doesn’t find its way to those in­ter­cool­ers. All that ac­counts for a six-de­gree drop in in­ter­cooler out­let tem­per­a­ture.

Next, a new, smaller car­bon­fi­bre air plenum and shorter run­ners fea­ture ‘in­take de­tun­ing’ at full load, mak­ing the air in the cylin­ders some eight de­grees cooler at 8000rpm.

2Im­proved throt­tle re­sponse Fer­rari claims that the 488 GTB al­ready had best-in-class re­spon­sive­ness and the Pista’s data re­veals fur­ther im­prove­ments. A big part of this is down to the 17 per cent re­duc­tion in the weight of mov­ing masses, achieved by mea­sures in­clud­ing hol­low in­let valves and new springs, ti­ta­nium con­nect­ing rods and a light­ened fly­wheel. This, in turn, has al­lowed for a lighter crankshaft.

The sharpest re­sponse is re­served for Race mode, where the closely in­te­grated con­trol of the waste­gates, throt­tle bod­ies and spark tim­ing re­sults in a 0.3-sec­ond im­prove­ment in get­ting to full air-plenum pres­sure and ve­hi­cle ac­cel­er­a­tion when the driver pushes from 40 per cent throt­tle at 3000rpm to wide-open throt­tle.

3In­creased out­put Tak­ing a big­ger leap up in power than pre­vi­ous spe­cial se­ries mod­els such as the 458 Spe­ciale and 430 Scud­e­ria, the Pista makes 710bhp at 8000rpm, up from 661bhp at 6500rpm in the GTB. Peak torque is up 7lb ft to 568lb ft.

Sur­pris­ingly, these im­prove­ments are not due to more boost pres­sure. In­deed, the only change to the two IHI tur­bocharg­ers is the ad­di­tion of in­duc­tive speed sen­sors, al­low­ing ac­cu­rate op­ti­mi­sa­tion of their speed limit rather than re­ly­ing on model data. In­stead, it’s the air tem­per­a­ture and spark changes (see point 1) that bring the bulk of the ex­tra power. Mean­while, new In­conel ex­haust man­i­folds with longer run­ners and a larger pipe di­am­e­ter mean re­duced back pres­sure and pump­ing losses.

4Re­duced mass Of the 488 Pista’s to­tal 90kg weight re­duc­tion over the 1475kg GTB, the en­gine ac­counts for a sig­nif­i­cant 18kg. That’s de­spite the higher loads on the com­po­nents due to ten per cent higher peak fir­ing pres­sures.

The In­conel ex­haust man­i­folds save 9.7kg, an­cil­lar­ies in­clud­ing the air con com­pres­sor’s pul­ley ac­count for 2.3kg, ti­ta­nium con­nect­ing rods save 1.7kg, the fly­wheel is 1.5kg lighter, thin­ner cylin­der lin­ers save a fur­ther 1.3kg, the new crankshaft is 1.2kg lighter thanks to the elim­i­na­tion of the cen­tral bal­anc­ing webs, and the hol­low in­let valves and their lighter springs ac­count for an­other 300g.

How big a dif­fer­ence this all makes we’ll find out when we drive the car in a few months’ time.

Above: how the 488 Pista com­pares with its nat­u­rally as­pi­rated 458 Spe­ciale pre­de­ces­sor

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