Ferrari Moves Goalposts With 661HP, Twin-Turbocharged 488 GTB

At the Detroit Auto Show last month, Ford and Acura both had the opportunity to take a few shots at the five-year-old Ferrari 458 Italia. Ford unveiled its breathtaking GT, which get its motivation from a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 that produces over 600hp. Acura countered with its next generation NSX, which uses complex hybrid wizardry to deliver all-wheel-drive and 550hp. 

Ferrari was likely just sitting back in a leather chair, sipping on a nice Chianti, because it knew that it was about to drop a bomb on the automotive landscape. And today, the storied Italian sports car maker did just that with the introduction of the 488 GTB. The 488 GTB is the mid-cycle refresh of the 458 Italia, and boy is it gorgeous. The 458 Italia was already a great looking vehicle, but the 488 GTB cranks it up to a whole new level. My favorite view has to be the rear 3/4 view from above — it’s just… marvelous. 

488 gtb 1

Whereas the 458 Italia is powered by a naturally aspirated 4.5-liter V8 producing 562hp and 398 ft-lbs of torque (597hp and 398 ft-lbs in the Speciale), the 488 GTB actually brings a smaller 3.9-liter V8 to the party. But don’t let that decrease in displacement confound you; Ferrari has slapped on twin turbochargers to bolster power output to 660hp and 560 ft-lbs of torque. The gain in horsepower over the outgoing model is commendable, but it’s the torque gain that is the most astounding achievement. This also marks the first mid-engine turbocharged Ferrari since the F40.

488 gtb 2

Ferrari says that the all-new engine coupled with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is enough to rocket the 488 GTB to 60 mph in three seconds flat. You’ll see 124 mph in 8.3 seconds and the car won’t stop accelerating until its reaches it a top speed that is in excess of 205 mph. 

In addition to the new engine and revised bodywork (which generates 50 percent more downforce), Ferrari has also introduced its new Side Slip Control 2 (SSC2) which “[provides] greater longitudinal acceleration out of corners” and integrates with the 488 GTB’s F1-Trac and E-Diff. 

488 gtb 5

Right now, we can only drool over renders of the 488 GTB, but Ferrari promises that the vehicle will be unveiled for the public to see at the Geneva Auto Show in March.