It’s a sad day in Ferrari history, but a day that we all knew was coming: the naturally aspirate 458 is dead. Despite the fact that we lay to rest its high-revving V-8, we must also celebrate the introduction of a new model that is not only more powerful, but also cleaner running and more fuel efficient. Dear readers, I introduce to you the 2016 Ferrari 488 GTB.
If it looks familiar then Ferrari definitely succeeded in its goals. Clearly, the Prancing Horse wanted to retain a lot of the 458’s styling, but mixed in there is a little LaFerrari and some classic 308 GTB. The evolution from 458 to 488 GTB is a subtle one at first glance, but with the cars side-by-side, you can see the clear differences up front and in the back, plus the 488 GTB features those scalloped intakes that pay homage to the 308 GTB.
While the exterior is stunning and absolute perfection in my opinion, the real meat sits just behind the seats. This is where Ferrari’s new, 3,902 cc (3.9-liter), turbocharged V-8 calls home. This power plant churns out an incredible 660 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and 560 pound-feet of twist. Compared to the 458 Italia’s 4.5-liter V-8, this smaller-displacement engine has 98 more horsepower and a whopping 162 more pound-feet torque. On top of the extra power, the 3.9-liter emits just 260 grams of CO2 per km to the 458’s 307 grams per km, and gets 21 mpg highway to the 458’s 18 mpg.
Thanks to the extra oomph, the 2016 488 GTB can sprint to 62 mph in just three seconds and up to 124 mph in 8.3 seconds. Top speed doesn’t come until the 488 is screaming at more than 330 km/h (205 mph). These numbers are rock solid next to the 458’s 3.4-second run to 60 mph and 202-mph top speed. The last little nudge to the 458 is the fact that the 488 ran the Fiorano track in just 1 minute and 23 seconds, a half-second faster than the 458 Speciale.
On top of speed, the 488 GTB is also a downforce-creating monster. Ferrari tuned the model’s aerodynamics to produce 50 percent more downforce than the outgoing 458, thanks to its double front spoiler and the active rear aerodynamics.
The cabin is pretty standard ware for Ferrari. It includes loads of carbon fiber, heavily bolstered seats, and a multifunction steering wheel.
The 488 GTB will make its full debut at the Geneva Auto Show in March 2015, and I’m sure we’ll learn much more there.