The inimitable Enzo Ferrari said it best when he observed, “What’s behind you doesn’t matter”.
And it is this philosophy that came to life last when Ferrari introduced its latest debutant, leaving its peers for dead. In a fitting tribute to the Prancing Horse the momentous occasion was marked amid the majestic surrounds of the Inglis Newmarket stables. Here, the country’s best horsepower by the hand of both man and God came together – poetry in motion for any lead foot.
It was the first time Australia glimpsed the vehicle following its International Premiere at the Geneva Motor Show in March. Boss Hunting had the privilege of being in attendance, where we were welcomed by a vintage sampling of 40 years of Ferrari V8s, a spectacle surpassed only by the exultant entrance of the 488 Gran Turismo Berlinetta.
No stone has been left overturned, and what’s more polished to perfection. They have quite literally thought of everything. Even the freaking exhaust headers are engineered to enhance the tonality and clarity of the car’s engine sound. When presented with the facts & figures it became clear there was a careful science behind this virtuosity.
Where to start?
Fusing experience from the spheres of F1 and GT, Ferrari has conceived the most potent V8 engine the manufacturer has produced to date, exceeding the 458 Italia by 100 horsepower. This core is augmented with two turbochargers and mounted in the middle of the chassis, beneath a pretty little window. It is this heart that means the 488 GTB sprints from 0-100km/h in 3 seconds flat and boasts a track-ready 0.06-second response time. Phwoar. These not-so-modest improvements make the GTB 18% more powerful than its predecessor, the Italia (just quietly the most awarded car of all time), and 21% faster.
The 488’s braking system hails from its forebear, the brazen LaFerrari hybrid car, improving stopping distances by 9 percent. They have even dreamt up features like “an ion-sensing system which measures ionising currents to control ignition timing and adaptively predict misfires.”
The 488 has even overcome the ultimate automotive dilemma, managing to increase downforce — by a full 50 percent relative to the previous model — whilst achieving a decrease in drag. The result? The 488 GTB is now the most aerodynamic road-going Ferrari ever.
There’s as much as style to the 488 as there is substance. It exhibits fiercer lines and angles than the 458 yet it preserves the look of a natural predator. A scalloped edge for the first time in 40 years and a more pronounced bonnet are among the developments. We can best describe the 488 as a harmonious dichotomy that marries unprecedented aggression with seamless elegance, one that makes for a fluent silhouette unlike any other on the market.
It doesn’t end there. Ferrari’s visceral experience is underscored by its soundtrack. After an in-depth study of the relationship between speed and sound at varying engine speeds means improved harmonics and tonality for the more musical among us. In effect, as revs rise, so too does the trademark Ferrari purr, with clarity and volume ascending as power increases.
By ensuring maximum control functionality, Ferrari opens the road to drivers of all abilities. However, prospective buyers need not fear being mistaken for mere civilians for there is also an extensive suite of bespoke adjustments available. The 488 even has its own colour. As you do. ‘Rosso Corsa Metallizzato’ has been specifically formulated “to underscore this model’s supremely sporty character as well as its unique elegance and exclusivity.” Boss.
Ferrari is not about getting from A to B. It’s a full on assault of the senses, an emotive experience imitated by many but afforded to few. And there is no better showcase of this approach than the Ferrari 488 GTB. Whilst we have attempted to describe this near-religious encounter, only ‘til you get behind the wheel will you comprehend the significance of the car’s own hashtag, Words Are Not Enough.
For more information on the 488 GTB, visit Ferrari Australia.