I’ll admit, I have a soft spot the the 430 and 458. To me these are some of the models that are most true to my heart. A manically revving V8, Naturally Aspirated, Sharp and astute handling.
So when the 488 came in and I finally got behind the wheel, I was hesitant. But after a few laps of Las Vegas Speedway, it became clear that the spirit of the 458 had not in the slightest been tarnished by the new-age turbo.
It’s funny how we become used to a recipe and dub it authentic, but let us not forget, that perhaps one of the most Iconic Ferraris of all time, the F40, came in boosted form.
It was of course the mark of a change in Ferrari’s future, flagging that the days of Large, dinosaur burning v8s were to be limited. The revised bodywork has resulted in a 50% increase over the older Italia, resulting in a Ferrari that pulls more relentlessly and handles more vigorously than ever before.
Throttle response may lag behind that of the 458 by a 10th (not that you’ll notice), but the additional 100bhp and slip angle control means that it becomes irrelevant.
Whilst the mechanical, natural v8 howl has been resigned to the history books, the 488 represents perhaps the finest sounding turbo-charged car of the modern-era.
Slip inside and you’re treated to a car that bridges the La Ferrari and the 458. A premium space where you hold on to dear life as the 661 raging Italian stallions ravage you into the horizon from the twin-turbocharged 3.9 liter v8. 100kph comes in at 3 seconds as the advanced suspension and torque vectoring system gives you the sort of prowess that will have you feeling like you’re in pole position around Silverstone.
There’s a place for nostalgia, but instead of an ever increasing F1-esque crescendo of mechanical mania, you have a growling hiss that sounds adequately insane from the outside. The drama unleashed by a simple tug of the paddle-shift instantly paints a grin on your face. The whole process becomes a nerve-wrecking battle of ambition and outright trust. Despite the ride being absolutely terrifying at times however, around town the 488 exhibits good visibility and a front end that is still high enough not to drag across every undulation that you navigate.
So in all the GTB is somehow this satisfying blend of practicality
Some will argue that at its time the GTB was the greatest Ferrari ever. A bold statement. But one that we simply couldn’t disagree with!