New Ferrari 488 Pista: official video shows hardcore 488 in action on track

Following its public debut at the Geneva motor show, the Ferrari 488 Pista hits the track in a film showcasing the new supercar.

Ferrari has released a video featuring the 488 Pista in action at the Circuito de Almeria following the car’s full reveal at the 2018 Geneva motor show. While the short film from Ferrari offers little in the way of new information, a sequence of well executed slides and full-throttle blasts only adds to our anticipation as we wait to drive the 458 Speciale successor.

A pair of Ferrari 488 Challenge race cars open the video before splitting on the straight to make way for a Ferrari 488 Pista. The decision to feature the Challenge cars is clearly intended to highlight the technology transfer from Ferrari’s motorsport programme directly into the new 488 Pista.

> McLaren 720S review

Elsewhere in the video a few choreographed slow motion shots show the car’s motorsport-inspired aesthetic and finer visual details of the most powerful V8 Ferrari model in history. There’s also plenty of opportunity to see the car breaking traction with the smooth drifts possible performed with the aid of Ferrari’s new Side Slip Angle Control System (SSC 6.0). The system was pioneered for the Ferrari 458 Speciale to help initiate, maintain and arrest powerslides. According to Ferrari, the latest version of the technology in the 488 Pista ‘renders the car’s dynamic behaviour during complex manoeuvres even flatter and more stable.’

Later on, the official video provides the first chance to hear the Pista accelerating hard down a straight. Inhaling through its carbonfibre intake plenum and exhaling through new inconel exhaust manifolds, the 710bhp V8 has a sharper-edged motorsport note than the engine in the standard 488GTB

Ferrari 488 technical details

There’s now a new name to be added to the golden lineage of Challenge Stradale, Scuderia and Speciale: that of ‘Pista’. This is the new Ferrari 488 Pista, following in the illustrious tyre tracks of its hardcore V8-powered predecessors, and due to make its debut at this year’s Geneva motor show.

> Ferrari 488 GTB review

Like those lightweight Ferrari specials before it, the 488 Pista takes inspiration from Ferrari’s current motorsport cars, namely the 488 GTE and the 488 Challenge. Keen to emphasise the credentials of the Pista, Ferrari points out that the GTE has taken 29 class victories in the past 50 WEC races and five championships, and that it has also now been running its one-make Challenge series for 25 years.

The Pista follows the time served pattern by offering more power to move less weight, and with further developments in electronics and aerodynamics. It is set to be the most powerful V8-engined Ferrari in the company’s history, with 710bhp at 8,000rpm from the turbocharged 3.9-litre engine and 568lb ft of torque at 3,000rpm - the latter figure quoted as being released in seventh gear due to the engine’s sophisticated torque mapping, which gives any 488 the sensation of being powered by a naturally aspirated powerplant. With an extra 49bhp over the 488 GTB, the 488 Pista boasts a larger increase in power over the standard car than any of the 360-, 430- and 458-based ‘specials’.

Performance figures are suitably sensational, with 0-62mph quoted as 2.9-seconds and 0-124mph as 7.6 - numbers that put it firmly into McLaren 720S territory. The top speed is said to be 211mph. Below we have built up a table showing the Ferrari's figures against its key rivals, and as you'll see the numbers are almost spookily similar when compared to the McLaren 720S, Lamborghini Huracan Performante and Porsche 911 GT2 RS. 

> McLaren 720S review

As well as being more powerful than the standard GTB, the 488 Pista’s engine is lighter, too, thanks to the use of inconel exhaust manifolds and a lighter crankshaft and flywheel from the Challenge car, plus the use of titanium conrods and a carbonfibre intake plenum. The Pista’s torque output is higher at any engine speed than the GTB’s, and the response from the turbochargers is said to be even quicker. 

Naturally, the Pista’s weight loss program extends to its body, where the engine cover, front and rear bumpers and the rear wing are made from carbonfibre. It’s also possible to order 20” wheels with a carbonfibre rim, and with all lightweight options specified the 488 Pista weighs a commendable 90kg less than a GTB coupe, tipping the scales at 1,280kg dry. 

The first pictures of the car show a 488 strongly influenced by aerodynamic thinking. There’s an F1-inspired S-Duct at the front along with a diffuser similar to the GTE car, while the car’s underbody has been redesigned with new ‘vortex generators’. At the rear, the diffuser features a ‘double kink’ design again inspired by the GTE-spec racer. With its larger and higher-set ‘blown’ rear spoiler, and a front end dominated by a raised section that looks almost like a complete front wing mounted on the car, the 488 Pista offers a 20% increase in downforce over the 488 GTB. 

> Best supercars 2018

Perhaps even more influential than its sophisticated aerodynamics is the Pista’s formidable arsenal of electronic systems, designed, as Ferrari puts it, to create a ‘completely symbiotic relationship’ between car and driver. The firm stresses how the 488 Pista can be enjoyed on the limit by any driver and not just a professional, but with 182bhp/litre from the V8 and immense cornering grip, it’s fair to say it has little choice but to incorporate technologies that help drivers with the necessary size of wallet to buy one, but not always such extensive driver skills to safely exploit such a car. It’s inevitably a sign of the times, and of the rapid increase in potency of cars in this niche over recent years.

Helping to make the ‘limits approachable’, according to Ferrari, is Version 6.0 of its Side Slip Angle Control System, or SSC 6.0. This suite of tech incorporates E-Diff3, F1-Trac, the latest adaptive dampers (SCM) and, for the first time, something called the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer (FDE). Ferrari claims FDE is a world first, and describes it as ‘software that adjusts the brake pressure at the calipers’. All together, it’s a massive amount of computing power helping to make a 700bhp+ mid-engined car more friendly on the limit. 

Time will tell whether the 488 Pista can live up to its forebears; not just great Ferraris, remember, but some of the finest driver’s cars ever built. But based on what we know so far, Ferrari clearly hasn’t held back in attempting to advance the genre further still.

Ferrari 488 PistaMcLaren 720SLamborghini Huracan PerformantePorsche 911 GT2 RS
I.C Engine3.9-litre V8, twin-turbo4-litre V8, twin-turbo5.2-litre V10 3.8-litre flat-six twin-turbo
Total max power710bhp @ 8000rpm710bhp @ 7250rpm631bhp @ 8000rpm690bhp @ 7000rpm
Total max torque568lb ft @ 3000rpm568lb ft @ 5500rpm443lb ft @ 6500rpm553lb ft @ 2500-4500rpm
Transmission7-speed dual-clutch7-speed dual-clutch7-speed dual-clutch7-speed dual-clutch
Weight (dry)1280kg1283kg1382kg1470kg (DIN)
0-62mph2.9 secs2.8 secs2.9 secs2.8 secs
0-124mph7.6 secs7.8 secs8.9 secs8.3 secs
Top speed211mph212mph201mph+211mph
Base pricena£208,000£207,925£207,506

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