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Ferrari 488 GTB

by Barry Green,reviewed August 2016

DRIVE ANY FERRARI and it is nigh-impossible not to gush performance. But when it’s the model that trumps other Ferrari road cars, then the gush becomes a downpour.

Such is the 488 GTB, with its mighty 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 that pumps out a record 126kW of specific power and 195Nm of specific torque per litre. Just days before our road test, the aforesaid power plant blitzed the prestigious International Engine of the Year Awards, winning overall as well as taking out several categories.

As with other new car reviews, we could talk about whole-of-ownership (practicality, warranty, servicing, equipment, fuel consumption, etc.),

but let’s cut to the chase – the drive experience.

It starts vividly the moment you slide behind the wheel and into the rib-wrapping driver’s seat, surrounded by a fusion of quality leather

(in virtually any colour you desire), state-of-the-art carbon fibre and gleaming aluminium.

Choose your drive mode with a twist of the Manettino switch; thumb the starter button and the flat plane crank V8 roars into life. Select first

in the seven-speed, dual clutch gearbox by tapping the right-hand paddle shift and the magic carpet ride begins.

With nil turbo lag, acceleration is phenomenal. Zero to 100km/h comes up in just 3.0 seconds and – should a runway or drag strip be handy – 0-200km/h flies

by in a staggering 8.3. Peak power and torque are 492kW @ 8000rpm and 760Nm @ 3000rpm (the latter vectored to peak in seventh gear only).

What speeds up must slow down, of course, and the six-caliper front and rear brakes provide linear bite and sustained stopping power.

Just 2.0 turns lock-to-lock makes for incisive steering. Grip and traction is prodigious – broad 20” rubber and quantum amounts of aero downforce see to that along with the F1-Trac (traction control), E-diff (electronic differential) and SSC2 (Side Slip Control 2) working in unison. The latter also controls the active dampers in delivering optimum cornering dynamics and the ride can be made agreeably compliant by enabling a Bumpy Road setting. 

So, what we have here is the power – and the glory.

Paradoxically, this is a supercar that is as easy to drive slow as it is fast. Pootling around town while casting a sideways glance at your reflection in shop windows, the 488 surprises with its tractability and good manners.

The bad news? If you want a 488 GTB, you’re not alone – the waiting time for owner delivery stretches towards 2018.


Performance, panache, presence.


Too much switchgear on steering wheel, long waiting time.

Car Details

Vehicle make Ferrari
Vehicle model 488 GTB
Year 2016
Price when new 479,000
Current price range $ - $

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Warranty 3yr/unlimited km
Engine 3.9-litre DOHC 32v twin-turbo V8
Max power 492kW
Max torque 760Nm
Acceleration to 100 km/h 3.0 seconds
Driving wheels Rear
Fuel type 98 PULP
Economy ADR 11.4 litres/100km

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This review is based on road testing conducted by The Road Ahead. Further vehicle reviews, in-depth comparisons and coverage of consumer motoring issues can be found in the Club's magazine. Prices listed were current at the time of review and are manufacturers list prices and do not include statutory and delivery charges. Prices can vary from time to time and dealer to dealer.