Written by Eric Becker
The Ferrari 488 GTB (Grand Turismo Berlinetta) had some rather large shoes to fill when it launched back in 2015. Not only did it have to best its much-lauded 458 Italia predecessor, but it marked the start of a new chapter for Ferrari’s V8 mid-engine supercars. Turbochargers. Not since the Ferrari F40 had a turbocharged V8 sat midship in a Ferrari road car. After some 40-odd years of howling naturally aspirated engines, the switch to forced induction was made.
The shift to turbocharging paid dividends. Not only did it leave the mouths of the collective motoring press agape, salivating for more, it also silenced the naysayers decrying the addition of turbochargers would muffle the sound. It didn’t. Ferrari’s return to midship turbocharging could only be hailed as a master class in engine design.
The engine’s performance was so staggering that Ferrari claimed consecutive International Engine of the Year awards in multiple categories, with the engine platform itself winning 14 awards and labeled “the best of the best” in 2018. Judges praised Ferrari’s 3.9-liter F154CB engine for balancing technological innovation and channeling Ferrari’s heritage. “Some engines just move cars,” said judge Sergio Oliveira de Melo. “Others, like this, manage to build emotions.”
Ferrari went to great lengths to craft a turbocharged engine that behaved as if it was sucking air from the atmosphere. A turbocharged engine that feels naturally aspirated, with each individual intake length modeled by computer to find and fit that perfect response. The twin-scroll IHI turbos spin on ball bearings to alleviate any friction, and the turbine itself is made from a titanium-aluminum alloy. The result is an engine devoid of turbo lag, one that produces 172hp per liter and a total output of 662hp at 8,000 rpm and 565 ft/lbs of torque.
And for those still looking for the exhaust’s demented banshee wail, it’s there ‒ just with more audible hisses and whooshes from the turbos. The sprint to 60 mph takes 3 seconds flat, it’ll reach 0-120 in 8.2 seconds, cover a quarter-mile in 10.45 seconds and it will hit a top speed of over 205 mph. To put things bluntly, Ferrari has crafted an engine that delivers an unrelenting level of thrust from 2,000 rpm until the 9,000 rpm redline. The physicality of the acceleration will leave driver and passenger alike bamboozled from the surging wave of torque – something Ferrari intended. Each gear in the 7-speed Getrag dual-clutch gearbox employs a Variable Torque Management system to maximize pickup and allow for a continuous swell of torque throughout all seven gears.
But it’s not all straight-line performance and savage acceleration ‒ this is a Ferrari, after all. So melding levels of comfort with composed control and exploiting the phenomenal performance on offer should come as no surprise. The 488 is just at home meandering along the Autostrada as it is being flogged on a road course. The on-road mannerisms have been properly refined: Press a button on the steering wheel and it will enter “bumpy road mode,” softening the adaptive dampers and tasking the onboard systems with taming even the roughest and nastiest topography. Twist the Manettino dial into “RACE” mode and the docile nature is replaced with scalpel-sharp precision, vibrating with raw energy. There is no end to the intelligent systems present to aid the driver. The 488 also features Side Slip Control 2, which is effectively a drift mode aided by an electronic differential and magnetic dampers. The adaptive dampers are integrated into the car’s Side Slip Control system, the car can adjust not only the locking factor of the differential, but also manage the stiffness at each corner of the car.
It’s no wonder, then, that ‒ like all Ferraris ‒ the driving experience is sublime, so much so that the 488 GTB was named Supercar of the Year 2015 by Top Gear magazine and won the coveted Motor Trend Best Driver’s Car for 2017. “The Ferrari 488 GTB is one of the purest distillations of driving enjoyment ever created,” said Motor Trend Editor-in-Chief Ed Loh. “The way the engine, transmission and chassis systems all work together reflects Ferrari’s deep understanding of high-performance road cars and long history in racing at the highest level.”
Barrett-Jackson is pleased to offer one of the Scuderia’s finest performance offerings during the Online Only July 2020 Auction. Finished in Grigio Silverstone ‒ a nod to the F1 circuit ‒ this 2018 488 GTB (Lot #172) has covered just 350 actual miles since it was purchased new. This car is equipped with a plethora of optional carbon-fiber components, including rear air ducts, side splitter and wheel center caps. A set of 20-inch forged diamond wheels shroud a set of carbon ceramic brakes derived from the LaFerrari hypercar. Completing the exterior is a set of the iconic “Scuderia Shields” adorning the front fenders, and the interior is finished in Rosso Red leather-upholstered Daytona-style seats. Don’t miss your chance to bid on Ferrari’s tour de force that marked a return to forced induction.