Ferrari 488 GTB Research

The Car Connection Ferrari 488 GTB Overview

The Ferrari 488 GTB family, which includes the Ferrari 488 Spider, is a mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive V-8 supercar. It follows closely to the form and layout of its predecessor, the Ferrari 458 Italia, but with a new turbocharged engine, a vastly improved interior, plenty of nods to Formula One racing, and sheet metal and details that are near-obsessive about improving aerodynamics.

The 488 GTB goes directly up against the McLaren 650S and Lamborghini Huracan, but it’s also a strong rival to the Porsche 911 and Aston Martin Vantage—as well as the Chevrolet Corvette.

MORE: Read our 2017 Ferrari 488 GTB preview

A 3.9-liter turbocharged V-8 powers the 488 models, making 660 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque; it’s mated to Ferrari’s own 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The GTB can get to 60 mph in just under 3 seconds, or to 124 mph in 8.3 seconds, and Ferrari has worked hard to keep this engine essentially free of turbo lag so drivability is excellent. The engine also sounds properly inspiring, even though its peak power is achieved 1,000 revs lower in the rev band (8,000 rpm instead of 9,000 rpm). Fuel efficiency ratings aren’t bad for this kind of vehicle, at 15 mpg city, 22 highway, 18 combined, and ride, steering, and tracking are surprisingly docile for time on real (imperfect) roads.

On the road or out at the track, a new system called Side Slip Control 2 works with the active dampers and stability control system to help the driver be quicker out of corners—and even, potentially, to safely enjoy more of this model’s dynamic potential.

Ferrari’s mid-engine model took a step away from the curvaceousness of the 458 and became just a little sharper and more deeply sculpted—while managing some downright voluptuous proportions. Inside, while the dash design is an evolution from that of the 458, the cabin appointments of the are far better-detailed and modern in look and feel, with most of the controls either part of the steering wheel or in control pods on either side.

If you’re willing to pay a bit—okay, a lot—extra on the 488 GTB or 488 Spider, you can get various personalized appearance accessories, wheel and brake upgrades, and even a LaFerrari-style telemetry system. High-end 1,280-watt audio is offered, but all models come with Apple CarPlay compatibility, letting you share smartphone apps with a colorful screen interface.

Ferrari 488 Spider versions are joining the lineup later in the 2016 model year and include a special two-piece retractable hardtop arrangement with a glass rear window and a unique design treatment from the roofline back—including an extended (and aerodynamically functional) engine cover in place of the elongated rear window.

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