The Ferrari 488 Pista is powered by the most powerful V8 engine in the Maranello marque’s history and is the company’s special series sports car with the highest level yet of technological transfer from racing. In fact the name, meaning ‘track’ in Italian, was chosen specifically to testify to Ferrari’s unparalleled heritage in motor sports.
Technically, the Ferrari 488 Pista encompasses all of the experience built up on the world’s circuits by the 488 Challenge and the 488 GTE. For over 25 years, Maranello has been organising the most prestigious of all one-make championships, the Ferrari Challenge, in which over 100 drivers split into three continental series do battle at the wheel. Last year saw the introduction of the 488 Challenge, the first model in the series to be equipped with a turbo engine. The Ferrari 488 GTE is instead the car fielded in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the pinnacle of GT racing, where it has won two consecutive GT Manufacturers’ titles and no less than five titles in total since the championship’s inception in 2012. Thanks to wins in both the Pro and Am categories, the 488 GTE has taken no fewer than 35 out of the 50 races run to date.
The new car’s engine adopts numerous solutions from that of the 488 Challenge and its power output has been increased to 720 cv. It is also lighter, thanks to new titanium con-rods and carbon-fibre intake plenums. The inverted radiator cooling system is also derived from the Challenge with the radiators raked rearwards (rather forwards as in the 488 GTB), improving cooling and maintaining optimal performance levels even in high thermal stress situations.
The car’s aerodynamics are derived from both the 488 GTE and from Formula 1, specifically the S-Duct at its front, the rear spoiler and diffuser profiles which boost efficiency by 20% compared to the 488 GTB. Other solutions have been carried over from the track to shave off further weight, including the lithium battery (from the 488 Challenge) and also the new carbon-fibre wheel rims – a first for Ferrari. The overall result is that the 488 Pista is an impressive 90 kg lighter than the 488 GTB.
As with the three previous special series, the Challenge Stradale, 430 Scuderia and 458 Speciale, this new berlinetta is the perfect marriage of extreme performance and track car-style handling.
The vehicle dynamics were designed for unique driving feedback and to make the car’s full potential available to all drivers, professional or otherwise. Specific vehicle controls were developed with this in mind, first and foremost being a new oversteer management system usable in the manettino’s CT-OFF position and designed to make the car’s performance on the limit easier to reach and control.
A new gear-shift strategy in the RACE position delivers a far more sporty experience, very similar to that of a track car. In other words, the Ferrari 488 Pista offers drivers of all abilities an exceptional and exhilarating experience that normally only a competition car could deliver, setting a whole new benchmark in terms of driving pleasure for the Ferrari range.
The Ferrari 488 Pista’s extreme design is underlined by the optional livery that highlights the aerodynamic innovation of the S-Duct. The car’s lines were developed to underscore its sporty soul and cleverly combine the purity of the 488 GTB with some of the hugely successful racing and functional elements of the 488 GTE and 488 Challenge while staying true to Ferrari’s traditional styling.