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by David Zalstein

The first-ever Ferrari 488 GTB has debuted at this week’s 2015 Geneva motor show, accompanied by the first full video of the twin-turbocharged mid-engined V8-powered successor to the 458 Italia in full attack mode.

Coming 40 years after Ferrari launched its first-ever mid-rear-engined V8 berlinetta, the 308, the new 488 GTB launches with a dry-sump 3.9-litre V8 developing 492kW at 8000rpm and 760Nm at 3000rpm.

Sounding noticeably deeper in its exhaust note then the aurally stimulating 425kW/540Nm naturally aspirated 4.5-litre V8 used to power the 458 Italia, the 488 GTB – or Gran Turismo Berlinetta – claims a 3.0-second 0-100km/h time and 0-200km/h in 8.3sec.

Ferrari 488 GTB - 5

With the aid of a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and a ‘Variable Boost Management’ system designed to “optimally” distribute torque, a 330km/h-plus top speed is also claimed along with an 11.4L/100km fuel consumption figure – the latter a 15 per cent improvement over the 458.

Despite being 41mm longer and 15mm wider than the 458, the 2015 GTB is 50 kilograms lighter. Sitting on an identical 2650mm wheelbase, the new Italian road weapon rides on 20-inch wheels wrapped in 245mm-wide rubber up front and 305mm-wide treads out back. Its front and rear tracks have also expanded 7mm and 41mm respectively over the Italia.

Featuring the latest version of Ferrari’s ‘Side Slip Control System’ (SSC2), which premiered in the 458 Speciale and incorporates the car’s F1-Trac and E-Diff technologies, the car maker claims the 488 GTB is flatter and more stable during “complex manoeuvres”.

Ferrari 488 GTB - Engine

Now also controlling the car’s active dampers, Ferrari says SSC2 makes it “so that less expert drivers can enjoy its [the car’s] potential to the fullest”.

Ferrari Australasia president and CEO Herbert Appleroth told CarAdvice that while it’s too early to talk about local pricing just yet, in Europe, the retail price is on average 2.5 per cent more than the 458 Italia – a $525,417 (plus on-road costs) proposition in Australia.

“We have just launched the European price as the car was launched this week in Geneva,” Appleroth said.

“[And] we have similar pricing strategies all over the world.”

Ferrari 488 GTB - 4

Based on this estimate, the Ferrari 488 GTB will likely start north of around $538K, though full Australian pricing and specification details will be announced closer to its local launch.

Appleroth said initial reaction to the car has been “overwhelming”.

“This reaction is somewhat similar to what we used to experience pre the GFC [global financial crisis]. The sensation is that people are again treating themselves to their dream Ferrari and with the stock market and property prices performing so well, it is a great signal that the underlying economic state is solid.”

Watch the Ferrari 488 GTB video now and tell us what you think of the new Ferrari and its new sound.




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