Ferrari stunned the motoring world with the release of its new 488 GTB. Following the 458 Italia was never going to be an easy task but the 488 has more than filled the brief – thanks to the addition of two turbochargers, it has nearly 100hp more than the car it replaces and around 40 per cent more torque.
But, as with the 458 Speciale, the 430 Scuderia and the 360 Challenge Stradale that came before, Ferrari is unlikely to leave it there. It always leaves some performance on the table so it can release an even more unhinged version later on in the car’s lifecycle, along with generating more brand interest (and profit) in the process.
So we at carwow couldn’t help but imagine what the fast version of the 488 GTB might look like – and this is what we came up with. Taking inspiration from the 1984 Ferrari 288 GTO – one of the first turbo Ferraris – we’ve called this version the 488 GTO. GTO stands for Gran Turismo Omologato (homologation), hinting at the car’s racing pedigree.
Numerous changes have been made to the front of the car to cope with the even higher speeds and temperatures the 488 GTO will operate at. The GTB’s standard winglet at the front has been replaced by a pair of carbon fibre blades running up into the front bumper. Between them is now an even larger air intake for extra cooling.
Fins just ahead of the front wheels help channel cooling air to the front brakes while also smoothing the air flow. Vents beside the headlights force air through the front grille and up and out of the car, thus reducing lift. This is supplemented by even deeper scallops in the bonnet with airflow-smoothing fins.
Of course, a prominent feature that’s come to define Ferrari’s racier models is the stripe that runs the length of the body. This is famous not only for the look it gives but for the astronomical amount of money Ferrari charges for the pleasure. We reckon the stripe on our 488 GTO costs £8,000 to apply – and, frankly, why wouldn’t you?
Around the side, we’ve added active aero elements to the 488’s gaping intakes. These black elements can flip up to reduce the amount of aerodynamic drag at high speeds and flatten out at lower speeds to provide better cooling. A carbon fin has been added to the side sill to direct air towards the rear brakes. Darkened wheels complete the look.
Finally, the rear spoiler has been subtly extended to provide more downforce at speeds, and there is a new vent between the rear lights to further extract hot air from the engine bay. The rear diffuser is now much larger to pull even more air from the underside of the 488 GTO, sticking it limpet-like to the road surface.
Ferrari is likely to retune much of the way the 488 GTO handles to make it go even faster around corners. Altered suspension geometry, a lower ride height and stiffer springs and dampers all seem likely. Although the car in our photos wears the same Michelin tyres as the 488 GTB, we expect more extreme performance tyres to be available as an option.
The tuning of the Manettino driving mode selector will also be changed to reflect the higher performance potential of the 488. Sportier modes are likely to offer less intervention from the traction and stability controls. Ferrari’s Side Slip Control system will also be retuned to allow more extreme drift angles before it reins in the fun.
Like many new Ferraris, the launch of the new 488 GTB has been dominated by coverage of its new turbocharged engine. This 3.9-litre twin-turbocharged unit has been commandeered from the California T and, in the 488 GTB, has been turned up to 11 to produce 661hp and 40 per cent more torque than the outgoing 458 Italia.
In the 488 GTO, however, the dial goes way past 11. Thanks to lighter turbines in the two turbos, increased boost pressure, a new type of cylinder lining and a beefier intercooler – we think the 488 GTO will produce 690hp (700PS) and 617lb ft of torque, 56lb ft more than the standard 488 GTB. This should drop the 0-62mph time to 2.8 seconds and give the 488 GTO a top speed in excess of 210mph.
Images by carwow and YasidDESIGN
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Check out our full preview of the Ferrari 488 GTB then take a look at our reviews of the cars it has to beat – the McLaren 650S and the Lamborghini Huracán. Then take a look at the other madcap creations to emerge from the feverish mind of carwow’s motoring mentalists – our Jurassic World Mercedes GLE, Ford GT GT3 race car and our vision of Tesla’s future model line-up.