Ferrari 488 Pista revealed ahead of Geneva premiere

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Ferrari always unveils something new and show-stopping each year at the Geneva motor show and this year it is the 488 Pista – its most powerful V8 yet.

Succeeding the 360 Challenge Stradale, 430 Scuderia and 458 Speciale that formed Ferrari’s V8-engined special series, the 488 Pista is described as a “significant step forward” in both its handling and its technology.

Ferrari says the latter is carried over directly from the brand’s racing programmes and the Pista name is a direct homage to Ferrari’s motorsports heritage. The car has been developed using experience from Ferrari’s involvement in the FIA World Endurance Championship – winning five Manufacturers’ titles and 29 of 50 races in the GTE class in the six years since the series’ inception, and 25 years’ experience running the Ferrari Challenge one-make series.

Light in weight

The Pista weighs 90kg less than its 488 GTB base model and combines this with the biggest power boost ever applied to a special series car. The 50hp increase, taking peak power to 720hp, makes this the most powerful V8 Ferrari road car ever produced – it passes 62mph from rest in 2.85 seconds, and 124mph in 7.6 seconds, going on to a terminal speed of 211mph.

Ferrari 488 Pista The Car ExpertMeasures directly adopted from motorsport include powertrain lightening – extending to the exhaust manifolds, crankshaft and flywheel, while also adding titanium con rods and carbon-fibre intake plenums. The air intakes have been moved to the car’s rear spoiler to smooth out the airflow, while the turbochargers come from the 488 Challenge and are fitted with integrated rev sensors.

Downforce increase

Aerodynamic advances on the Pista include a duct on the car’s front derived directly from F1 racing, a bespoke angle for the front diffusers, redesigned vortex generators, a double-kinked rear diffuser and a longer, higher and optimised rear spoiler. Ferrari quotes a 20% increase in downforce.

Meanwhile, the car’s mechanical and electronic controls have been enhanced and combined to particularly improve the Pista’s on-the limit performance, making the car’s full potential easier to both reach and control.

Among much new technology a world first is claimed for the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer – this uses software to adjust the brake pressure at the callipers, improving performance through and when powering out of corners.

Ferrari is not yet quoting a price for the 488 Pista, but industry observers expect it to cost from around £215,000.

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.

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