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Ferrari 488, an assault on the senses


You might have seen that my colleague, Justin, recently had a go in the Ferrari 488 around a racetrack.

Apart from the incredible amount of jealousy oozing from my persona that week I made peace with the fact that I had a chance to spend a day with the car on the road.

But why?

Once a year or so, the lovely folks at Scuderia South Africa give me a call and ask me if I’d like a go in one of their new products. For obvious reasons, I say, yes! Last time it was the California T, but this time it was the 488 GTB, a car that left me stunned, for many different reasons.

Stunned, you say?

You see, I am privileged to drive a massive variety of cars every year, giving me great reference points for when something special comes along. The first thing that struck me about driving the 488 was how easy it is. I remember having a go in a 360 Ferrari; it was clunky and harsh, but this is something that, if the mood strikes, could be driven to work and back without an issue.

The other thing that struck me was the performance of the thing. Apart from the fact that the 488 sounds like a Baritone singer gargling wasps in a steel drum (this is a good thing), the sheer acceleration is insane. The way the car manages to make 493kW/760Nm seem controllable is also quite incredible. This is very probably due to the Variable Torque Management, which increases torque availability as you go through the seven gears in the double-clutch gearbox.

Powering the prancing horse

The engine is a masterpiece; all that power from two IHI turbochargers strapped to a 3.9-litre V8, results in very little noticeable lag. The 488 will get you to 100km/h in 3.0 seconds, cover the quarter mile in 10.4 seconds and at the limiter, in 7th gear Ferrari claim that the GTB will surpass 330km/h.

Does it feel special?

Well, walking up to the car alone is a special occasion; it looks incredible! The 458 Italia is a great thing to behold but the 488 is just turned up to 11. The interior is also brilliant and of the highest quality, although the fact that all the controls are still predominantly on the steering wheel, does take some getting used to, even having previously used a similar system in another model.

Is it worth R5 Million?

I would be tempted to say there isn’t much that’s worth parting with your hard-earned R5 Million. However, if you’re in the market for a supercar within this price bracket, the 488 is certainly not going to disappoint you.

I feel that the addition of turbo power to the Ferrari range has made its cars even more phenomenal. The level of performance for this 488, which rather astonishingly still resides in the lower echelons of the brand’s product portfolio, is really something quite special. So, the question is, Lamborghini Huracan, McLaren 650S or the Ferrari? I would have to say that, at this point, I’d be inclined to choose the car wearing a Prancing Horse logo.

Article written by Sean Nurse
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