When we heard of the Ferrari 488 GTB in 2015, the first thing that came to mind is that this car is a revolution in terms of engine application. I mean this car has a turbocharged engine smaller than the 458 Ferrari.
Did the Italian manufacturer think about the turbo lag? Did the Italian engineer find a workaround for all of the turbo issues? Will the sound of the engine still be the same? Will it be a Ferrari, or just another turbocharged super car with the stallion badge?
We just had to drive it ourselves to see what the buzz is all about concerning a Turbocharged Ferrari.
We flew all the way to Dubai to test drive this beast and see if it lives up to the reputation of Ferrari Italian super cars.
As we arrived at the Ferrari Showroom on Sheikh Zayed road, there it was waiting for us, the new 488 GTB Ferrari Red Stallion. It blew our minds upon seeing it up-close and personal.
The exterior was mind blowing and gorgeous as ever, the design was outrageous with lines and cuts that are shaping the Ferrari new models line.
What is so “Ferrari” about this vehicle in specific is the aerodynamic-applied sciences used to create an additional down force and at the same time wind the turbocharged engine. You can clearly notice the large air intakes “Aero Pillar” on the front end coped with “Vortex Generators” underneath and the active flaps in the rear diffuser for that extra needed downforce. I personally loved the split, large body-side air intakes differentiating the 488 GTB from all previous Ferrari models.
Taking the 488 out of the showroom was an experience by itself; it nearly caused a traffic jam on Sheikh Zayed road. Just by flashing the “Red” on the highway, every person present that day got blown away at the sight of this beast.
The interior of this flagship proved to be no different for Italian car lovers as Ferrari wanted to go for luxury, comfort, sportiness and only the essentials for the 488 cabin.
The design references typical Ferrari characteristics, such as the clear separation between dashboard and tunnel. The multifunction steering wheel includes buttons for most controls even for lights, wipers, and turn signals, in addition to the damper setting, engine start, and Ferrari’s manettino chassis-control switch coped with two integrated dashboard non-touch screens. Several functions were relocated to a much more convenient position inspired by the F1 setup, giving more comfort to the driver. The use of Daytona-style seats, conventional knobs, and switches were all noticeable and beautifully handcrafted with materials and trim that are both elegant and sporty, with a strong emphasis on creating functional spaces. The cockpit is truly tailored to the driver’s needs.
Next, it was time to test the radical revolutionist change in the 488 GTB “The Engine”.
Previously, Ferrari produced one of its best engines, the 458 Speciale with a 4.5L V8 engine producing 592 HP, which was superb. However, in the 488 GTB, Ferrari took a different route and went turbocharged.
“Why?” you may ask, and so did we. Well, the obvious answer is that turbocharged engines tend to produce less emissions and generate greater power and torque, not that the emissions matter when buying a Ferrari. Nevertheless, Ferrari wanted to be the first to set the trend when it comes to producing super cars, and this new model was able, with its new engine, to show the world that the promise made by the Italian manufacturer to use turbos and hybrids is on the right track.
The 488 GTB comes equipped with a new, smaller 90-degree V8 engine of 3.902 L Twin-turbocharged fortified with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic capable of producing 661 Horsepower at 8000 rpm with an increase of 42 horsepower over the 458 Speciale – despite the 0.6 L displacement reduction – it generates 760Nm @ 3000 rpm of torque, thus accelerating from 0-100 KM/h in 3 seconds and 0-200 KM/h in 8.3 seconds.
Moreover, and while doing our engine displacement calculation, it came to our attention that each cylinder has a capacity of 488 cubic centimeters per cylinder of which the car was named 488GTB.
Having said all that, and by looking in your rear view mirror and seeing all of this power sitting in the back of the 488 GTB, you can not help but to push the pedal and see how it goes, and so that is what we did.
The acceleration is outstanding, the rush is unbeatable, and the feeling of pure driving sensation beats every adrenaline rush anyone has ever felt inside a car cabin. It was one heck of a push.
Ferrari was able to produce a smaller engine with faster acceleration and more power, and to be exact, no turbo lag was felt at any given moment on any gear, no matter how hard we floored it.
Now, comes the greater question. You know how people like to wake up to the sound of birds in the morning? Well, to us petrol-heads, nothing beats the sound of a Ferrari. Concerning the 488 GTB, we had serious doubts about whether it would be able to generate the same symphony as the larger engines usually used in the Red Stallion. Wonder no more.
The untrained ear can not sense the difference. Nevertheless, as auto experts, we knew there was a catch. The 488 uses an engine with a flat-plane crankshaft that helps it retain the “seductive soundtrack” that Ferrari promises, so now we can accurately say that this 488 GTB is a true Ferrari with a turbocharging trend ready to go wild by all means.