There’s been a lot of commotion around Ferrari’s decision to turbocharge the California, one that created a new departure from the company’s naturally aspirated leanings. If you’re among those that got a little upset over the forced-induction treatment received by the California, despite huge torque gains, then you’d better buckle up, because the Italians have just introduced the successor to the 458 Italia. It’s called 488 GTB and it’s turbocharged!

With engineers no longer looking to squeeze more power from the naturally aspirated 4.5-liter V-8 unit, Ferrari replaced it altogether with a 3.9-liter V-8 based on the 3.8-liter powerplant that debuted in the 2015 California T. Of course, the mid-engined Prancing Horse received more than just the 560 ponies motivating the latter, with output now in the 600-horsepower range. And despite being a lot more powerful than its predecessor, the 488 GTB is also more fuel efficient, while emitting less carbon dioxide — two feats that result from turbo technology.

Naturally, the 488 GTB also received brand-new sheet metal. The body takes inspiration from both the 458 Italia and the 2014 LaFerrari hypercar, while paying homage to the classic 308 GTB. Sure, its design may not be as radical as the LaFerrari’s, but the 488 GTB is one hell of a performer, having lapped the Fiorano track nearly a full second quicker than the 458 Speciale. Keep reading for the full run-down and stay tuned to TopSpeed for more details from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, where this new Ferrari is set to make its global debut.

Updated 07/02/2015: Ferrari unveiled a new video showing the new 458 GTB in action on both road and track. Enjoy!

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Ferrari 458 GTB.

  • 2016 Ferrari 488 GTB
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    659 @ 8000
  • Torque @ RPM:
    560 @ 3000
  • Displacement:
    4.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.0 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    205 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    230000
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Teaser images

2016 Ferrari 488 GTB
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2016 Ferrari 488 GTB
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2016 Ferrari 488 GTB
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2016 Ferrari 488 GTB
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2016 Ferrari 488 GTB
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Exterior

2016 Ferrari 488 GTB High Resolution Exterior
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Down below there's also a new splitter design that enhances not only the 488's downforce, but its aggressive appearance as well.

The fact that the 488 GTB comes to replace the 458 Italia is visible from every angle, even though Ferrari redesigned most of the styling features of its entry-level supercar. Take a quick peek at the headlamps and the overall shape of the fenders, the bumper, and the hood, and it become quite obvious why the 488 keeps the 458 flame alive. However, with these features reshaped and a host of other details completely redesigned, the 488 is as fresh as it gets on top of having a styling of its own. The front bumper is divided into three distinct sections with massive grilles at the sides. Making the 488 unique among other Ferraris is the bumper’s mid-section, which incorporates a pair of vertical struts similar to those connecting an F1 car’s front wing to its body. The feat continues onto the nose and the front bonnet, the latter sporting subtle LaFerrari cues. Down below there’s also a new splitter design that enhances not only the 488’s downforce, but its aggressive appearance as well.

The side view also reminds me of the 458, from which the 488 inherits the side skirts, the sculpted shoulders and the beefy front fenders. What sets the 488 apart from its predecessor, though, is the large air intake scallop and the triangular carving on the handle area of the door. The feature is a nod to the original 308 GTB of 1975. Also powered by a V-8, the 308 GTB replaced the Dino 246 and marked the beginning of a new styling era for Ferrari. Getting back to the 488, the scallop is divided into two sections by a splitter-like piece that aids with the cooling process.

The 458’s shadow is present around back as well by means of similarly designed taillight/grille layout, spoiler, and diffuser area. There are certain differences though, as the taillights are slightly larger, while the grilles connected to them are hollow pieces with black surrounds. A trapezoidal dent now resides above the license plate, adding further character to the rear fascia. Down below, the split-diffuser has been replaced by a full piece with an F1-inspired light in the center. The three-pipe exhaust layout is also gone, replaced by two large outlets placed on each side of the diffuser’s center section.

Styling aside, the 488 sets a new benchmark in terms of aerodynamic efficiency, thanks to its 1.67 drag coefficient. There is 50-percent more downforce compared to the 458, as well as reduced drag. Achieving these two goals simultaneously was "the greatest challenge" when designing the 488 GTB, according to Ferrari. Contributing to these massive improvements are the double front spoiler, the 308-inspired side intakes, active rear aerodynamics, and the redesigned diffuser. A highly sophisticated, aerodynamic underbody with vortex generators brought significant improvements in this department as well.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 4,568 MM (179.84 Inches)
Width 1,952 MM (76.85 Inches)
Height 1,213 MM (47.75 Inches)
Dry weight 1,370 KG (3,020 LBS)
Weight distribution 46.5% Front – 53.5% Rear

Side-by-Side Comparison

2016 Ferrari 488 GTB
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Interior

2016 Ferrari 488 GTB High Resolution Interior
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The center console now features a simpler, cleaner design with fewer buttons to distract the driver.

Much like the 458, the 488 GTB’s interior was tailored around the driver, blending both luxury and the sportiness, with racing-inspired features here and there. Overall, changes in the dashboard area are far from dramatic, with the 488 featuring the already familiar control clusters, angled air vents, and multifunction, three-spoke steering wheel. However, the dash feels more refined with the mild update, especially in the two-tone, black-over-red, layout seen above. The red contrasting stitching does a great job at highlighting the purposeful cockpit.

Of course, there are features that are completely new and in no way related to the 458. The center console is one of them, now featuring a simpler, cleaner design with less buttons to distract the driver. Ferrari also focused on creating a clear separation between the dashboard and the tunnel. The seats are also brand-new, while the door panels sport a simpler design, most likely a nod to the 458 GT, which holds the World Championship title in its racing class as of 2015.

Other enhancements include new graphics for the infotainment screen and a key designed to resemble the car’s cylinder banks. As usual, Ferrari takes pride in its powerplants, no matter the displacement or the number of cylinders.

Drivetrain

2016 Ferrari 488 GTB Drivetrain
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The 488 GTB is also .05 second faster than the 458 Speciale and as quick as the 730-horsepower F12berlinetta.

Speaking of displacement and cylinders, Ferrari crafted an all-new powerplant for the 488 GTB. Replacing the award-winning, naturally aspirated, 4.5-liter V-8 is a brand-new, 3.9-liter eight-banger with forced induction. Rumored since 2014, the new turbocharged mill, likely related to the California T’s 3.8-liter unit, cranks out a whopping 660 horsepower at 8,000 rpm (the 458 had a 9,000-rpm redline) and 560 pound-feet of torque from 3,000 rpm. That’s a significant 66-pony and 162-pound-feet improvement over the 458 Italia, which translates into never-before-seen performance specs for Ferrari’s entry-level supercar.

The most important feat of the 488 GTB in this department is its Fiorano lap time of 1:23 minutes. This benchmark makes it the second-fastest Ferrari on the company’s test track, second only to the mighty LaFerrari, and significantly quicker than the 458 Italia, which lapped the course in 1:25 minutes. The 488 GTB is also 0.5 seconds faster than the 458 Speciale and as quick as the 730-horsepower F12berlinetta. I find it equally exciting that the GTB is nearly two seconds quicker than the Enzo on the same track. Ferrari also tells us the 488 GTB takes only 8.3 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 124 mph, making it exactly 1.2 seconds quicker than the 458 Speciale. 0 to 62, on the other hand, comes in three seconds, a figure that’s identical to the 458 Speciale’s. Still, I’ll be waiting for a comparison between the two for precise measurements because the 488 should be about two tenths quicker. Top speed has increased 199 to 205 mph with the new engine and aerodynamic improvements.

But it’s not just the turbo mill that’s responsible for these impressive figures. The updated gearbox with variable torque management and revised gear ratios contributes as well. As usual, drivers can shift their own gears using the paddle shifters mounted behind the steering wheel.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type V8 – 90° Turbo
Overall displacement 3,902 cm3
Maximum power 660 HP @ 8,000 RPM
Maximum torque 560 LB-FT @ 3,000 rpm in VII gear
0-100 km/h (62 mph) 3.0 seconds
0 -200 km/h (124 mph) 8.3 seconds
Maximum speed 330 KM/H (205 MPH)

Competitors

2015 McLaren 650S

2015 McLaren 650S High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Developed specifically to take on the current Ferrari 458 Italia, the McLaren 650S is currently the hottest sports car you can buy. Blending styling cues from both the discontinued MP4-12C and the lightning-fast P1 supercar, the 650S has plenty of things to brag about. Its 3.8-liter V-8 engine cranks out no less than 640 turbocharged horses and 500 pound-feet of torque. Mated to a seven-speed, dual-clutch tranny, the mill sends the 650S screaming from 0 to 60 mph in only 2.9 seconds. With recent tests showing the 650S can be even faster, the 488 GTB will find it hard to defeat the British supercar in a straight line.

In spite of its track-oriented nature, the 650S doesn’t lack the amenities required by today’s pretentious market. The vehicle’s cabin is equipped with soft-touch surfaces all round, carbon-fiber and aluminum inserts, and convenience features ranging from standard satellite radio and navigation to an optional rear-view camera. The 650S retails from $265,500.

2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4

2015 - 2016 Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4 High Resolution Exterior
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The Lamborghini Huracan arrived to replace the aging Gallardo as the company’s entry-level supercar. Unlike the 650S and the upcoming M458-T, the Italian rocket still relies on naturally aspirated power and 10 cylinders. With 610 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque on tap, the Huracan seems at a disadvantage when compared to the McLaren, but its 0-to-60 mph time of about 3 seconds and top speed of 205 mph prove that power and torque aren’t everything when it comes to brutal launches.

Like its predecessor, the Huracan benefits from a driver-oriented cabin that features a 12.3-inch TFT display and all of its buttons and switches configured in one place. Carbon-fiber pieces and inserts are a natural presence throughout the cockpit, with Alcantara leaving very little room for hard plastic. The Huracan will fetch more than $200,000 in the U.S., but I expect it to be cheaper, albeit less exclusive than the McLaren 650S.

Prices

2016 Ferrari 488 GTB High Resolution Exterior
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Pricing for the 488 GTB starts from $242,737 in the U.S., which accounts for a near $4,000 premium over the 2015 Ferrari 458 Italia.

Conclusion

2016 Ferrari 488 GTB High Resolution Exterior
- image 615043

It’s sad to see the 458 Italia go away, even though it’s already seven years old as of 2015, but Ferrari has reached a point where it needed to update its entry-level supercar to 21-century emission regulations. Sure, replacing the all-motor 4.5-liter with a turbo V-8 will leave a few enthusiasts feeling rather disgruntled, but the fact of the matter is that the 488 GTB is both more efficient and greener than its predecessor. What’s more, it’s also a lot more powerful. Definitely a win-win situation unless you simply can’t get over the fact that this Ferrari sports a turbo under the hood. But you’d be crazy no to get over it really. Just think about it, the 488 GTB delivers F12berlinetta-like performance with all the benefits of a mid-ship layout and for less moolah.

  • Leave it
    • * Likely the most expensive of the bunch
    • * The McLaren 650S remains the quickest

Update History

Updated 03/33/2015: The new Ferrari 488 GTB made its world debut at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, so this was the perfect opportunity to bring you a set of new high res images.

Updated 02/23/2015: Ferrari unveiled a new video taken during the car’s official debut in Maranello. The car was presented by Ferrari Chairman Sergio Marchionne, CEO Amedeo Felisa and Commercial and Marketing Director Enrico Galliera. Sebastian Vettel also made a dramatic entrance at the wheel of a 488 GTB.

Updated 02/03/2015: Ferrari unveiled the official details on the new 488 GTB, previously known as the M458-T. Click past the jump for the full details.

Updated 02/02/2015: Ferrari unveiled a series of teaser images for the future M458-T, which of course reveal pretty much nothing of the car, but announced an official debut will be made tomorrow. A teaser video was also dropped, and while it also reveals nothing about the car, it gives a pretty good idea of how the engine will sound. Stay tuned!

Updated 08/26/2014: A fresh set of spy photos of the Ferrari M458-T has made its way into our inbox. Check them out by clicking on the gallery! The M458-T is expected to be unveiled in March 2015 at the Geneva Motor Show.

Spy Shots

8/26/2014 - First Time Out

2016 Ferrari 488 GTB Exterior Spyshots
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2016 Ferrari 488 GTB Exterior Spyshots
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2016 Ferrari 488 GTB Exterior Spyshots
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Press Release

Forty years on from the unveiling of its first ever mid-rear-engined V8 model, the 308 GTB, the Prancing Horse opens a new chapter in its 8-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. Its response times, nimbleness and on-the-limit driving guarantee a unique sense of exhilaration and unparalleled driving pleasure.

2016 Ferrari 488 GTB High Resolution Exterior
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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 new model also exploits to the full the know-how gleaned by Ferrari technicians over the last decade through the XX programme which makes extreme track-only cars available to gentleman test-drivers. The data yielded has made a significant contribution to the refinement of the electronic and vehicle control systems so that drivers can make the most of the incredible performance of this new car.

The Ferrari 488 GTB’s new 3902 cc 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 670 cv at 8,000 rpm along with 760 Nm of maximum torque in seventh gear and a response time to the accelerator of just 0.8 seconds at 2,000 rpm. These figures are sufficient to allow the Ferrari 488 GTB to accelerate from 0-200 km/h in an astonishing 8.3 seconds and, when combined with the radical innovations introduced on all aspects of the car’s performance, lap the Fiorano track in just 1’23”.

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.

2016 Ferrari 488 GTB High Resolution Exterior
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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 per cent 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.

The Ferrari 488 GTB’s subsystems and electronic controls make its power and performance instantly available and controllable. It is, in fact, the most responsive production model there is, with razor-sharp response times comparable to those of a track car.

The evolved version of Ferrari’s side slip angle control system (Side Slip Control 2 – SSC2) is more precise and less invasive, providing greater longitudinal acceleration out of corners. Aside from integrating with car’s F1-Trac and E-Diff, the SSC2 now also controls the active dampers which renders the car’s dynamic behaviour during complex manoeuvres even flatter and more stable.

Designed by the Ferrari Styling Centre, the new car features very sculptural flanks which are the key to its character. Its large signature air intake scallop is a nod to the original 308 GTB and is divided into two sections by a splitter. The wide front spoiler features a double profile to improve the thermal efficiency of the radiators positioned at the sides. At the centre two pylons are combined with a deflector which channels air towards the flat underbody. The broad, low tail is also dominated by aerodynamic solutions, including an innovative blown spoiler which generates downforce without increasing drag. This works in conjunction with an aggressive ramp angle for the diffuser which features active flaps. The greater height required for the diffuser was achieved by repositioning the exhaust tailpipes. The circular LED tail lights have also been redesigned.

2016 Ferrari 488 GTB High Resolution Exterior
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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. There are plenty of classic Ferrari styling elements too, such as the clear separation between the dashboard and tunnel, the multifunctional steering wheel, the control switch bridge and wraparound seats. The graphics and interface of the infotainment screen have also been completely redesigned while the design of the car’s new key takes its inspiration from the car’s cylinder banks and allows keyless starts.

The Ferrari 488 GTB will make its world debut at the International Geneva Motor Show in March, but from today can be seen at www.ferrari.com.

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