The highly anticipated successor to the 458 Speciale!

Ferrari has developed a fairly predictable pattern when it comes to releasing mid-engine V-8 models. First, we get the "regular" one, and then the lighter, faster, more powerful road-racer variant follows. So far, the 488 GTB is the only one that hasn’t received this treatment, but we know it’s just around the corner (if we don’t include the track-only GTE and GT3 models, that is). However, recent developments suggest that a higher performance, road-legal model is underway. This souped-up 488 will replace the 458 Speciale, but there’s no official word as to what name it will carry. More recent reports suggest it could be called the GTO, but the Scuderia and Speciale names are still on the table until Ferrari spills the beans.

The still fresh 488 GTB is great in just about any regard. It looks fast and aggressive, it has a race-inspired interior that’s also luxurious, and a twin-turbo V-8 that cranks out a massive amount of power, while still returning decent fuel economy. The upcoming beefed-up version should be not only lighter but more powerful too, in addition to having what it takes to handle a weekend full of racing action at the track. The car is already being tested on public roads, and word has it might arrive with a KERS system in addition to the turbo V-8. It’s definitely something to get excited about since KERS was restricted to Formula One cars and the LaFerrari up until now. Let’s take a closer look at what we already know about it in the speculative review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the future Ferrari 488 GTO.

Exterior

2018 Ferrari 488 GTO Spyshots Exterior
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The front will get a lower, more aggressive carbon-fiber splitter and larger bumper intakes

As you would expect, it will share much of its running gear and hard-points with the 488 GTB, but almost every body panel will be new. The front will get a lower, more aggressive carbon-fiber splitter and larger bumper intakes. These features can be seen in the latest spy shots that show the front end of car without any camo. The test car also sports blacked-out headlamps for a more menacing look.

Active aerodynamic flaps should also be integrated between the two vertical pillars and feed air through the radiators or around the car through the turning vanes at high speeds. Similar to the 458 Speciale, the front hood will feature a central air extractor bisected by a single fin.

2018 Ferrari 488 GTO Spyshots Exterior
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The rear will get a diffuser with active aero elements and possibly a retractable aero foil

The side skirts will be exposed carbon-fiber and include fins just in front of the rear wheels. The roof will also be exposed carbon, as will the center sections of the massive scalloped side intakes. But more importantly, the mules spotted so far have larger side intakes, which hint that the engine is more powerful, and thus needs better cooling.

The rear will get a diffuser with active aero elements and possibly a retractable aerofoil like the LaFerrari. The engine hood is completely camouflaged, so it’s safe to assume that this 488 will arrive with significant changes here, like a redesigned cover with new vents.

Interior

2016 Ferrari 488 GTB High Resolution Interior
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Note: Ferrari 488 GTB interior shown.

With no carpeting, minimal creature comforts and little sound deadening, the 488 GTO will be expectedly spartan and loud on the inside

With no carpeting, minimal creature comforts and little sound deadening, the 488 GTO will be expectedly spartan and loud on the inside, but comfy enough to drive to and from the track or your favorite stretch of road. Expect a range of custom leather and stitching colors for what little fabric there is.

The drivetrain will be controllable with transmission buttons in the center console, and, as has become Ferrari tradition, just about every other function will be accessed via steering-wheel buttons. The steering wheel will also get shift lights to supplement a tachometer that sits front and center in the instrument cluster, flanked by multi-function high-definition displays.

A flat bottom steering wheel and race-spec seats should round off the track-prepped interior. And should this Ferrari be a hybrid, it will come with additional controls for the KERS system and extra options in the digital instrument cluster.

Drivetrain

2016 Ferrari 488 GTB Drivetrain
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Note: Ferrari 488 GTB engine shown.

This is where prediction are a bit more difficult to make as some rumors point out to a hybrid drivetrain configuration

This is where prediction are a bit more difficult to make as some rumors point out to a hybrid drivetrain configuration. While logic suggests that a track-focused version of the 488 GTB would use a more powerful version of the standard model’s V-8 engine, more recent information leads us to believe that this car could also feature a KERS system in addition to the twin-turbo, 3.9-liter mill.

While there aren’t any specific hints that the camouflaged prototype employs such as system — the bigger vents and exhaust pipes could be there for the beefed-up V-8 only — an older spy video includes audio footage of a Ferrari engineer telling the test driver to not turn off the KERS system on the car. Unless Ferrari is doing some testing for other future models, the 488 GTO, or whatever name it will have, could become Ferrari’s second hybrid since the range-topping LaFerrari.

KERS comes straight from Formula One, and its main feat is that it delivers an extra 160 horsepower for a few seconds

KERS, or kinetic energy recovery system, comes straight from Formula One and its main feat is that it delivers an extra 160 horsepower for a few seconds, which helps race cars perform quick overtakes in straight lines. Such a feature wouldn’t be exactly useful on the road, but it could make the 488 a lot more fun at the track, as well as turn it into a hybrid. Granted, it wouldn’t be a full-fledged hybrid like the Chevrolet Volt or Toyota Prius, but another step toward Ferraris with significant electric range and improved combined fuel economy.

No matter the drivetrain, it’s safe to assume that this special version of the 488 GTB will have more than the standard 660 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque at its disposal. Expect at least 700 horsepower from a beefed-up gasoline V-8 and even in excess of 800 horses with a KERS system. Charging from 0 to 60 mph should take a mind-boggling 2.8 seconds, to go with a top speed of around 210 mph.

Prices

I expect 488 GTO pricing to start somewhere between $320,000 and $340,000. For reference, the standard 488 GTB retails from around $250,000 in the United States.

Competition

Lamborghini Huracan Performate

2017 Lamborghini Huracan Perfomante High Resolution Exterior
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Introduced in 2017, the Huracan Performance is a living legend. It’s the most menacing road-legal Lambo built to date and a race car in disguise. Based on the familiar Huracan, the Performante sports an intricate aerodynamic package and a revised chassis for enhanced performance, while a retuned 5.2-liter V-10 engine sends 631 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque to all four wheels. The Performance might also be as quick as the 488 GTO thanks to its 0-to-60 mph sprint of only 2.8 seconds. What’s more, this Lambo is fast on race tracks too, having set a new Nurburgring record for production cars at 6:52.01 minutes. It has pricing on its side too, retailing from $274,390, around $50K less than what the Ferrari 488 GTO is expect to cost.

Read our full story on the 2017 Lamborghini Huracan Performance.

McLaren 750LT

2019 McLaren 750LT Exclusive Renderings Exterior Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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If you haven’t heard of the McLaren 750LT, it’s most likely because this car doesn’t exist yet. The name is also our own speculation, based on the output this version is likely to have. But as you might have already guessed, it will be a successor to the awesome 675LT and will be based on the brand-new 720S. Much like the Ferrari, it will be a beefed-up, track-prepped version of the standard model. Just like the 675LT, it will have a comprehensive aero kit, a tweaked chassis for improved performance, and a more powerful engine. My guess is that McLaren will increase output from 710 to 740 horsepower, which translates into 750 PS, hence the 750LT name. With such a powerful twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 under the hood, the 750LT should need only 2.7 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start, to go with a top speed of nearly 210 mph. This McLaren won’t be cheap though, with a sticker likely to surpass the $375,000 mark. Production will also be limited to 500 unit, which means it will sell out in a few weeks. So have them checkbooks ready!

Read our speculative review of the upcoming McLaren 750LT.

Conclusion

2018 Ferrari 488 GTO Spyshots Exterior
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While all we can do is speculate at this point, I can say with utmost certainty that the 488 GTO will not be powered by a four-cylinder diesel engine, and it will probably be available in red. I feel like there’s some credence in the numbers and theories I’ve presented, but only time will bring anything official. We’re likely to learn a lot more about this car, including its actual name, in the coming months, so stay tuned.

Scuderia or GTO?

1962 - 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO High Resolution Exterior
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1985 Ferrari 288 GTO High Resolution Exterior
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Although I refer to this car as the GTO, this name is far from being official

Although I refer to this car as the GTO, this name is far from being official. Its predecessor, based on the 458, was called the Speciale, but since Ferrari is known to shuffle these nameplates, and the general consensus was that the 488 GTB would use the Scuderia name for its beefed-up version. But once prototypes began hitting public roads, some rumors claim that this model will be used to bring back the GTO name. The iconic letters were used more recently in 2010, when Ferrari launched the 599 GTO, but the nameplate is actually more famous for the 250 GTO from the 1960s and the 288 GTO from the 1980s. Both cars are among the most iconic vehicles Maranello has ever built and are part of the same lineage of flagship supercars that also include the F40, F50, Enzo, and LaFerrari. Also, the GTO name was used on flagship cars on all three occasions so it would be a big strategy shift to put these iconic letters on the 488. The 812 Superfast is more suited for the "GTO" badge, but it has yet to gain a higher performance upgrade. Its predecessor, the F12berlinetta, got one, but it was named the F12tdf. While the "tdf" badge holds an important place in Ferrari history, it’s pretty clear that the company didn’t find the F12 worthy of the GTO name. All told, we have three different names, and it remains to be seen which will be used for the 488. But needless to say, the Italians won’t go wrong with either of them.

Rendering

2018 Ferrari 488 GTO Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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  • Leave it
    • * Likely to be very pricey
    • * Turbocharging might not be for everyone
    • * Might be faster than that $1 million LaFerrari you are so proud of

References

Ferrari 488

2018 Ferrari 488 GTO Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Read our full speculative review on the 2018 Ferrari 488 GTO.

2016 Ferrari 488 GTB High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2016 Ferrari 488 GTB.

Ferrari 458

2014 Ferrari 458 Speciale High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2014 Ferrari 458 Speciale.

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