For many, the pure sound of a naturally aspirated V8 or V12 is what makes a Ferrari worthy of the Prancing Horse badge. But in the drive to make its cars faster, lighter and more environment-friendly, even tradition had to bend at the Italian carmaker.
So after the turbocharged California T, we now have the sort-of turbo version of the 458 Italia. Only it’s not called the 458 T, but its own name: the 488 GTB. The stunning red (what else?) supercar was launched this week in the local Ferrari showroom in Bonifacio Global City. Special guests from Maranello were also on hand to lend support and information about their newest product.
"It is an honor to be part of this milestone event," said Wellington Soong, chair and president of official Philippine distributor Autostrada Motore. "Ferrari has once again raised the benchmark for ultra-luxury sports cars, and continues to pave the way for the future of automotive engineering."
The 458’s 4.5-liter V8 gets downsized to a 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8. The turbos up the power to 660hp and the torque to 760Nm. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission helps achieve a 0-100kph time of only three seconds, with 0-200kph gone in a mere 8.3 seconds.
You can still see a lot of the 458’s lines in the 488, but you can’t miss the new enlarged air inlets behind the doors. And when you look at the rear, you can see the complex aerodynamic work Ferrari did to increase downforce. Overall, the 488 is almost every bit the stunner that the 458 was.
In a rare opportunity--even for us--we were able to sit in the cockpit of the 488, and we found that the driving position is sublime. The drive settings and the engine-start button are set directly on the steering wheel, continuing the very driver-centric layout Ferrari has been doing. But the feeling of luxury is still very present. Leather that wouldn’t be out of place in a Ferragamo handbag covers the seats, the dashboard and the center console.
No price was given for the 488 GTB, but as we had been told before, all four units destined for our market had been sold already. We look forward to seeing this exotic on the streets of Manila.
Photos by Igor Maminta