Essentially a reworked version of the Ferrari 458 Italia, the new 488 GTB represents a paradigm shift in the Italian carmaker’s medium- and long-term strategies, because of its powerplant. Gone is the naturally aspirated, 4.5-liter, V-8, replaced by a twin-turbocharged, 3.9-liter V-8 with a lower redline and an entirely different exhaust sound.
Many hardcore enthusiasts of screaming engines that can rev to the stratosphere are likely to be disappointed by the new powerplant, but such is life when CO2 emissions legislation starts affecting design. In order to convince people that this is still an old-school, Ferrari-sounding engine, the Italian carmaker sent none other than Sebastian Vettel to drive the 488 GTB in front of the cameras at the model’s press unveil.
Unfortunately, even the continuous revving by the Ferrari Formula One driver at the beginning of the video above wasn’t enough to change my perception of the new model’s exhaust. Sure it still sounds chilling compared with your run-of-the-mill sports car, but there is no comparison with the banshee howl of a naturally aspirated 458 Italia or Speciale. On the plus side, the 661 horsepower and monstrous 561 pound-feet of torque more than make up for the tonal change, while a decrease in weight makes the 488 GTB a formidable performer compared to its predecessor.