Since the introduction of the 308 in the mid 1970s, the entry level Ferrari has been powered by a naturally aspirated V8. That all ends today. Meet the Ferrari 488 GTB, a 3.8 liter turbocharged monster with 660 horsepower that gets to 60 in three seconds. I don't think Ferrari knows what "entry level" means.
We've known that this day has been coming for a while. Emissions restrictions are starting to clamp down on all automakers, and slowly but surely we're seeing the days of high-revving, screaming naturally aspirated engines biting the dust.
And, unfortunately, today the extinction of the NA V8 has reached Ferrari.
The 488 GTB is the first mid-engine V8 turbo Ferrari since the F40, and the numbers would actually put the F40 to shame. At 660, the new 488 GTB has about 200 MORE horsepower than the F40. Then it again, it also weighs about 1,000 pounds more than that legendary car (but 45 pounds less than the 458). That doesn't really seem to matter though, its performance makes the 458 Speciale now seem pointless.
Yes, 60 arrives in three seconds, the same as the Speciale. But that's where the similarities end. It gets to 125 in 8.3 seconds, a second faster than the Speciale. The top speed is at least 205 MPH. At Fiorano, Ferrari's private test track, the 488 GTB is a second quicker than the Speciale, and two seconds faster than the 458 it replaces.
Compared to the old 458, the 488 GTB looks more refined, smoother, and like a lot of time has been spent just making it faaaast. There are definite lessons from the 458 Speciale with the twin exhausts and even more active aero than the already crazy 458 had.
We'll see it in person at the Geneva Show, but we'll be dreaming of making out with it until then.