The new Ferrari 488 GTB has arrived in Australia with a sharp price tag that undercuts its predecessor by more than $50,000 and a waiting list that’s already blown out to 2017.
Ferrari Australasia president and CEO Herbert Appleroth confirmed that “well over 100” Australian customers signed up for a 488 GTB long before today’s pricing announcement, however, which means that anyone ordering a vehicle today would have to wait up to two years to get behind the wheel. The first Australian customer deliveries will begin in December.
Appleroth explained the keener pricing is a reaction to a currency shift that occurred halfway through the lifecycle of the 458 Italia. Then, the company decided to keep the price the same but make more than $50,000 worth of options standard. Now, the brand has opted to pass on the savings, removing some of the previously standard options and giving customers the choice of how they want to option up their vehicle. Appleroth insists, however, that Australia's standard 488 GTB is better equipped than its equivalent in any other market in the world.
Some of the 488 GTB’s other important figures are also smaller than those of the 458 Italia.
The first of those is the engine, which is down from a 4.5-litre V8 to a 3.9-litre V8, though it’s now fitted with two turbochargers. The switch to forced induction sees power rise 73kW to 492kW while torque gets a massive 220Nm boost to 760Nm.
Teamed with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, the powerplant launches the Ferrari 488 GTB from 0-100km/h in 3.0 seconds (down 0.4sec from the 458 Italia), from 0-200km/h in a staggering 8.3 seconds (2.1sec quicker than the 458), and on to a top speed upwards of 330km/h.
Appeasing overseas governments, downsizing and turbocharging has also helped reduce combined cycle fuel consumption by 15 per cent (now 11.4 litres per 100 kilometres) compared with its predecessor.
Also aiding efficiency are the aerodynamic enhancements incorporated into the 488 GTB’s design. The blown rear spoiler and vortex generators in the underbody are just two of the many features that make the 488 more than 53 per cent more efficient through the air as well as delivering 50 per cent more downforce.
Further enhancing its ability to stick to the road and track is a new version of Ferrari’s Slide Slip Control System (SSC2), which now also controls the active dampers in addition to the F1-Trac and E-Diff. Ferrari claims the SSC2 makes the 488 GTB flatter and more stable during complex manoeuvres and therefore easier to drive.
While a quick glance may suggest the 488 GTB is little more than a facelift, Ferrari calls it a completely new model, with 85 per cent new parts.
The front takes inspiration from Formula One, with two pylons in the intake, a deflector channelling air towards the underbody and a dual grille opening sending air to the twin radiators.
Sculptural flanks and large air intake scallops along the sides are a nod to the original 308 GTB that launched 40 years ago.
The tail features the unique blown spoiler while the exhaust pipes have been repositioned to accommodate the great height required for the diffuser.
The driver-focused cockpit features a lighter and more horizontally compact dashboard while maintaining typical Ferrari traits such as the clear separation between dashboard and tunnel, the multifunction steering wheel, and the control bridge on the tunnel.
The 488’s new Sport infotainment system has also been overhauled for improved usability and aesthetics. New on board is a telemetry system that recognises immediately when the 488 GTB hits a racetrack anywhere in the world and delivers unprecedented levels of digital information and feedback for drivers.
The 488 GTB will be joined in Australia by the just-unveiled 488 Spider convertible during the second quarter of 2016.
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