The 488 GTB name marks a return to the classic Ferrari model designation with the 488 in its moniker indicating the engine's unitary displacement, while the GTB stands for Gran Turismo Berlinetta. The 488 is a very important car for Ferrari. This is because it symbols a change in philosophy for the company's mid-engine supercar. Gone is the naturally aspirated 4.5 litre V8 found in the sublime 458 Italia and Speciale and in its place is a downsized, direct-injection 3.9 litre Twin-Turbocharged flat plane-crank V8. It's more efficient but also massively more powerful. With 661 bhp and 560 lb ft of torque, the 488 has outrageous performance and such impressive drivability that it has already won the overall International Engine of the Year Award at the 2016 Engine Expo along with victories in the Performance Engine, New Engine and 3 Litre to 4 Litre displacement categories. Make no mistake, the 488 is a staggering piece of automotive engineering.
Its chassis is sublime, melding unexpected levels of comfort with unflappable control and crystal-clear communication as the pace quickens. The 458 went out on a high with the Speciale, but in the new 488 GTB, Ferrari has produced another hit straight out of the box, one that also provides huge promise and anticipation as to how the latest mid-engined Ferrari will evolve. Shortly after the launch of the 488 GTB coupe, Ferrari launched the 488 Spider which is the latest chapter in Maranello's on going history of open top V8 sports cars. Much like the 458 Spider, the 488 Spider comes with a retractable hard top roof but no performance has been lost compared to the coupe. The 3.9 litre twin-turbo engine and seven-speed dual clutch gearbox of the 488 GTB are carried over unchanged from the Spider.
The transformation into an open-top 488 has naturally involved some fundamental changes. Gone is the elegantly sloping glass rear window, with its view of the V8 beneath, replaced by a flat deck area surrounded by flying buttresses. The multi-metal tub has been bolstered at the front and rear to compensate for removing the roof panel. In doing so, Ferrari claims the Spider has the same torsional rigidity as the Coupe. However, it's that bracing, plus the roof mechanism, that adds 50kg onto the kerb weight. Depress a switch on the centre console and 14 seconds later the roof has vanished into a space over your shoulder.
Designed in house by the Ferrari Styling Centre, the 488 GTB blends classic Ferrari lines and features very sculptural flanks which are the key to its character. Its larger signature air intake scallop is a nod to the original 308 GTB and is divided philosophy of continual evolution rather than radical revolution. With the new GTB it's resulted in a more cohesive and more rounded design than the model that went before it. Step inside the cabin and you immediately recognise the new satellite control clusters, angled air vents and instrument panel heightens the feeling that the cockpit is tailored around the driver. Settle into the driving seat and you'll find the multifunctional steering wheels with menettino driving mode selector, while the graphics and interface of the infotainment system have been completely redesigned compared to the 458. The 488 is a truly wonderful car that we are always delighted to have in stock.