If we are to be grumpy about it, the 488 is somewhat of a turbocharged Ferrari 458. However, when you actually get to see and know the car, you instantly realize there’s more to it than just a turbocharger pushing more horses out to the wheels.
First of all, it’s the first time we’ve seen a mid-engine turbocharged car since the iconic Ferrari F40. Also, the 488 comes with a completely revised design, and not so to justify the price, but to improve dynamics. Thanks to its shape, Ferrari 488 generates over 700 lbs. of downforce, making the rubber stick to the tarmac when accelerating or attacking sharp turns. Pair it with a lightning fast gearbox and finely tuned suspension and you get the real meaning behind driving a Ferrari.
On the inside, the center-placed controls remind to some extent about LaFerrari, and not in a bad way. Furthermore, we are noticing screens in higher definition compared to the 458 and also (finally) reduced the jungle of control knobs and buttons to a more manageable number.
The old Ferrari 458 wasn’t bad at all when it came to speed, but the newer 488 takes everything to the next level. Think about it this way: once you press the accelerator pedal, it takes just 0.8 seconds for the engine to deliver its entire might to the wheels. Keep in mind that we are talking about a turbocharged engine right here. So, no turbo lag? That’s right; Ferrari is using a tech similar to anti-lag which will keep the turbos spinning even when you ease off the power. That is why you will feel the instant power surge even at lower RPM. And from there, the power buildup is just beautiful; it’s constant, linear and doesn’t feel forced in any way.
And as if it wasn’t enough, the 3.9-liter V8 also gained another 99 bhp and 163 lb-ft of torque compared to the 458, reaching 659 bhp and 561 lb-ft. To sum it up, this powertrain configuration reaches 60mph in just 3 seconds and tops out at 205 mph which the 7-gear F1 dual clutch transmission makes sure you get to as quickly as possible.
Sliding is fun, especially in a Ferrari, and Italian engineers have though this one through. Ferrari’s Side Slip Angle Control is basically a system designed to let you drift your way around the track. It tunes the suspension in real time to keep going through the thread of those Pirelli tires. In the meantime, steering remains quick as we were used to but gains a tad more feel.
However, if you are only looking for a quiet cruise on the evening, the 488 can do that too. The noise is easily manageable at lower RPM and once you turn on comfort-mode, magnetorheological shocks will float the car away.
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