Ferrari 488 Pista – Making the best of both worlds

Ferrari 488 Pista – Making the best of both worlds

Successor to the Ferrari 458 Speciale

The Ferrari 488 Pista was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show this year as the successor to the 458 Speciale. The 488 Pista benefits company’s motorsport cars namely the 488 GTE and the 488 Challenge. It makes more power, torque, makes 20 per cent more downforce and is lighter than the GTB coupe, tipping the scales at 1385kg.  The 3.9-litre twin -turbo V8 supercar makes 710bhp and 770Nm of torque, propelling the car to 100kmph in just 2.9 seconds. 200kmph comes in a blisteringly quick 7.6 seconds with a top whack of 340kmph. It also comes loaded with a lot of electronic tech-trickery that include the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer (FDE) and Side Slip Angle Control System (SSC 6.0) to extract the maximum potential from the car while making it more driver friendly.


The 488 GTB’s twin-turbocharged 3.9-litre V8 has been enhanced, with power now 710bhp at 8000rpm, up from 661bhp at 6500rpm, and torque increased by 10Nm to 770Nm still at 3000rpm. Changes include the 488 Challenge racer’s turbos, plus reprofiled cams and a diamond-like carbon coating for the pistons. Titanium con rods, a lightened crank and flywheel, carbonfibre intake plenums and Inconel exhaust manifolds contribute to an 18kg weight reduction for the engine alone.


The Pista is 90kg lighter than the GTB overall, which, in combination with numerous suspension tweaks, should boost agility. The dampers are remapped and the springs are ten per cent stiffer, while an all-carbonfibre 20-inch wheel is an option. Ferrari’s sixth-generation Side Slip Control is joined by the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer, which tweaks the brakes to modulate lateral movements. And Michelin has developed Pista-specific Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres.

Body and aerodynamics

The heavily modified bodywork features a carbonfibre bonnet and bumpers, plus a Lexan rear window. Aerodynamic efficiency has been improved by 20 per cent over the GTB, while novel additions include a larger, ‘blown’ rear spoiler and a front underbody diffuser. The biggest change to the redesigned nose is the adoption of a F1-style S-duct that channels air over the front axle for greater downforce. Active aero includes moveable flaps set into the rear diffuser.

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Ferrari undoubtedly has a tough task with the Pista. Replacing the 458 Speciale – arguably the firm’s greatest creation in recent memory – won’t be easy. Yet the mouth-watering specification of the Pista suggests that Maranello is tackling it head-on. The Pista bristles with new technology, developed to strike straight at the heart of the astoundingly talented McLaren 720S. Ferrari could have just given the already excellent 488 GTB a power boost and left it at that, but the substantial changes to the body and aerodynamics suggest that nothing other than total domination of its rivals will do for Ferrari. Of all the cars of 2018, this could just be the most eagerly anticipated.

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