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Lower fuel prices and another turbocharged Ferrari?


WHAT is going on? First we receive two rather substantial fuel price drops and now Ferrari has informed us of a new turbocharged model known as the 488 GTB. I want to make a joke about the Lions winning the Currie Cup but I won’t, instead I will tell you more about the Ferrari 488.

This isn’t the first turbocharged Ferrari though. Many years ago they built the F40, an elusive supercar that was capable of insane speeds, acceleration and is, in my opinion, one of the best looking Ferraris ever made. The F40 was also the last Ferrari that Mr Enzo Ferrari signed off before his passing.

Now though, forty years on from the unveiling of its first ever mid-rear-engine V8 model, the 308 GTB, the Prancing Horse opens a new chapter in its eight-cylinder history. The Ferrari 488 GTB provides track-level performance that can be enjoyed to the full even by non-professional drivers in everyday use.

The new Berlinetta brilliantly encapsulates Ferrari's experience in both F1 and the WEC, where the 458 GT holds the world championship title and has won its category in the last two editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.The Ferrari 488 GTB's new 3 902cc V8 turbo is at the top of its class for power output, torque and response times, making it the new benchmark for this kind of architecture. The engine unleashes 492kW at 8 000rpm along with 760Nm of maximum torque in seventh gear. These figures allow the Ferrari 488 GTB to accelerate from 0-200km/h in an astonishing 8.3 seconds.

The gearbox features Variable Torque Management, which unleashes the engine's massive torque smoothly and powerfully right across the rev range, while specific gear ratios deliver incredibly progressive acceleration when the driver floors the throttle. As is always the case, Ferrari's engineers have dedicated great attention to perfecting the 488 GTB's sound, creating a new soundtrack that is full, clear and totally distinctive, as expected from any Prancing Horse engine.

The car's aerodynamics also made a pivotal contribution to performance. Its 1.67 efficiency figure is a new record for a production Ferrari, and is the fruit of 50 percent more downforce than the previous model and reduced drag. The greatest challenge was achieving these two goals simultaneously. Several innovative elements were specifically developed to do so, not least a double front spoiler, base bleed side intakes and, at the rear, active aerodynamics coupled with a blown spoiler. The aerodynamic underbody, which incorporates vortex generators, is highly sophisticated, too.

In the cabin, the seamless integration of the new satellite control clusters, angled air vents and instrument panel heightens the sense that the cockpit is completely tailored around the driver. Usability was the key word in the design, leading to an extremely sporty ambience that in no way compromises on comfort.

The Ferrari 488 GTB will make its world début at the 2015 International Geneva Motor Show in March.

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