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Ferrari 488 Pista revealed with racing-derived V8

22nd Feb 2018 10:09 am

The best supercar in the world just got lighter, punchier and even more focused; at 721hp, it's the most powerful V8 Ferrari produced, so far.

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The 488 Pista is a more powerful, lighter variant of the 488 GTB, just as the 458 Speciale was to the 458. The newcomer dispatches the 0-100kph benchmark with an impressive time of 2.85sec. The official quoted figure for the Italian carmaker's halo model, LaFerrari, is “under 3.0sec”.

The model uses the most powerful V8 in Ferrari’s history and is described as an “extreme evolution” of the turbo unit that won International Engine of the Year in both 2016 and 2017. The Pista's 3.9-litre twin-turbo engine produces 721hp at 8,000rpm and 770Nm of torque at 3,000rpm. Its top speed is up to 340kph. Performance figures from its key rival – the range-topping Porsche 911 GT2 RS – are near-identical, achieving 0-100kph in 2.8sec and a matching top speed of 340kph.

Ferrari claims the 488 Pista is “a significant step forward” from the previous special series in terms of sporty dynamics and the level of technology carried over from racing. The name – the Italian word for ‘track’ – is a nod to the brand’s motorsport heritage.

The engine, vehicle dynamics, weight-saving and aerodynamics are all derived from the 488 GTE and 488 Challenge race cars. Ferrari says that the result is a car that offers track-like performance on the road and on circuits. The 488 Challenge also supplies the Pista's turbos with integrated rev sensors, while the air intake line has been moved from the flanks to the rear spoiler so as to help achieve better airflow. The car's torque is higher than the 488 GTB’s at all engine speeds, and the quality and intensity of the engine sound, Ferrari says, are higher than the 488 GTB in all gears and at all revs.

The dry weight is 90kg less than a standard 488 GTB’s, at 1,280kg. In addition, an extra 50hp in engine power has ensured this to be Ferrari’s most powerful V8 yet. The decrease in weight comes from features used on the 488 Challenge. These include Inconel exhaust manifolds and a lightweight crankshaft and flywheel; as well as titanium con-rods and carbon-fibre intake plenums.

Ferrari has also updated its Slideslip Angle Control system, which was first seen on the 458 Speciale. It offers advanced stability control, akin to a drift mode. The car uses Ferrari’s magnetorheological suspension set-up. The Pista will be available with 20-inch carbon-fibre wheel rims – a first for Ferrari. Other carbon-fibre parts on the car include the engine cover, bumpers and rear spoiler.

Overall, there is a 20 percent improvement in downforce, according to Ferrari. The Pista has an F1-inspired S-duct and redesigned front and rear diffusers from the 488 GTE.

The arrival of the 488 Pista, which has been rumoured for many weeks, follows in the footsteps of models such as the 458 Speciale, 430 Scuderia and 360 Stradale – all considered the halo variants for their respective models. None was a limited-production model but was typically in production for only two or three years.

The Ferrari 488 Pista will officially debut at the Geneva motor show, in March.

Also see:

2018 Ferrari 488 Pista image gallery

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