The Ferrari 488 Pista Is Almost Too Fast to Drive but Too Good Not To

Illustration for article titled The Ferrari 488 Pista Is Almost Too Fast to Drive but Too Good Not To

“You can’t make something this good to drive and then treat it like an inanimate object,” Chris Harris intone for Top Gear, driving the new trackday special Ferrari 488 Pista. “I think they should make that a crime in Italy.” But there’s a problem with that, as he quickly discovers.

The thing is this car, with 710 horsepower available from an engine taken out of the 488 Challenge competition car, is so powerful that it drives almost “like a late ‘50s sports racer,” as Harris puts it. Like a Jaguar D Type or E Type.

With the electronic controls off, “half throttle will break traction. A third sometimes, maybe less.”

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Harris loves it, but wonders if it’s just straight up too much for the street, if not simply too much for a six-figure automobile.

The 488 Pista is brilliant to drive, but it’s almost too expensive to really thrash on track, too powerful for the street. It’s amazing, but it might just be too good, is the impression I’m getting.

Of course, the cars that are “just right” are always still available. If you have $345,000 to spend on a car, certainly you can afford to buy a BMW E36 to smash on. That’s not moving the game forward in any way. That’s, I guess, what the 488 Pista is for.

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.

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DISCUSSION

pengwynn-1
Pengwynn-1

Tangential question: from the past twenty years, what are going to go on to become the icons of the period from Ferrari? We look back at things like the 288GTO, F40, Testarossa, and the 355 as permanent icons of Ferrari from relatively modern times. But I don’t think they’ve done much since that holds that same long-term effect of awe. I drive past an F40 every day on the way to work and it’s still turns my head. I don’t think anything else from Maranello would have the same effect.  So coming around, is anyone going to seriously care about the 488 Pista in a few years when it gets replaced by the next iteration?