Ferrari 488 GTO: first official video of 700bhp race-honed supercar


Ferrari has released the first official footage (below) of its hotly anticipated 488 GTO showing the higher-performance V8 supercar in action on track at the brand’s Maranello base.

Set to become the most hardcore, track-focused Ferrari road car yet produced, it will use a 700bhp engine derived from the 488 Challenge race car, two of which are also featured in the video, and feature new bodywork focused on maximising downforce.

Prior to the new footage, leaked images posted onto Ferrari Photo Page appeared to show internal slides of the car, where there’s mention of a 10% lighter engine that is based on that used in the racer, making it the marque’s most powerful production V8 yet produced.

Most likely, the 488’s mid-mounted twin-turbocharged 3.9-litre V8 engine will be boosted with increased turbo pressure and internal modifications to produce its anticipated 700bhp, with torque also increasing substantially on the standard car’s 561lb ft.

A leaked photo (see gallery) showed a more aggressive front splitter will be fitted to the car, while the official footage offers glimpses of a more prominent rear diffuser and black section between the car’s taillights.

The car, a hotter version of the 488 that will go toe to toe with the Porsche 911 GT2 RS, will essentially be a replacement to the discontinued 458 Speciale, which is widely regarded as the best driver-focused Ferrari to date. It has been spotted testing outside Ferrari’s Maranello base on numerous occasions and is tentatively tipped for arrival at this year’s Geneva motor show. 

Expect the 488 GTO to feature an extensive list of carbonfibre parts for the body and interior. The bonnet, bumpers and rear spoiler will be made from the material, as will large sections of the cabin, including the dashboard.

The standard 488 produces 325kg of downforce at 155mph, but the 911 GT2 RS produces up to 340kg. Ferrari’s aerodynamicists, who have access to the brand’s Formula 1 wind tunnel, will be keen to rival that figure. Expect large intakes for the more potent powertrain, a bigger front lip and more prominent rear diffuser. Leaked slides suggest a 20% improvement in overall aerodynamic efficiency for the 488 GTO.

There’s also mention of 20in wheels made from carbonfibre, saving 40% in weight compared with the standard 488 rims. They’ll come wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber.

Ferrari tradition suggests engineers will also remove non-essential parts from the interior and sound deadening from the car’s engine bay, as well as fitting other lightweight parts such as thinner glass for the windscreen and side windows, and lighter ceramic brakes – like with the 458 Speciale.

Additionally, the brand’s technical boffins will give the car its own unique settings for the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and Slide Slip Control management, with the latter likely to enable even greater angles of yaw before fully intervening.

Ferrari is rumoured to be reserving the GTO name for the car, but the final moniker has yet to be officially revealed (in the leaked slides, it’s referred to as a ‘New V8 Sport Special Series’). GTO has only been applied to three Ferraris before – the first two of which, the 250 GTO and 288 GTO, were racing machines. The latest, the 599 GTO, was a road-legal version of the track-only 599XX, leading many to claim it wasn’t worthy of its racing title.

For this reason, the harder but still road-legal 488 could adopt a new tag that continues the trend set by its spiritual forebears, the 360 Challenge Stradale, 430 Scuderia and 458 Speciale.

Prices will increase significantly over the 488 GTB. An entry-level figure of more than £215,000 is possible.

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