When the 458 Italia was officially unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2009, I thought to myself, “…”; that was exactly it, there was no explanation of what I was feeling because there was never a car that ever caught my attention in such a way. I mean you could say the Ferrari Enzo was special too, but I just couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that within a year’s time, I’d be seeing this car on the streets regularly, whereas the Enzo I have seen once since 2002.
It wasn’t just the looks of the car though that kept me to this day admiring the 458 line, but also the drive that I experienced 3 years later; the vast development compared to its predecessor, the F430, the comfort, the ease of driving, the sounds, the interior stitching, it was everything; it reminded me of my childhood when by dad took me toy shopping on my birthday and I got a Ninja Turtle toy that I had always wanted. It came with all the accessories, the nun chucks, a small skateboard, a bracelet, etc. Let us just say I was overly excited, very similar to how excited I was getting into the 458 Italia for the first time. I thought to myself, “What’s next? What could possibly be better than this?”
Fast forward to 2015, and I got my answer. When the 488 GTB was launched, the reveal pictures were eye candy to me; I did have some debates with some friends about whether or not it was a major change from the 458 Italia. While some people say there’s hardly any difference, people tend to look over the work that Ferrari’s own Einstein in Maranello put in to this beast. Just the aerodynamic changes that were made to the 488 GTB make the 458 Italia look outdated for this time and age, starting from the front bumper splitters, to the mammoth side air vents behind the doors, to the electronic rear diffuser. These were just some of the things that differentiated the 488 GTB from the 458 Italia…until you actually end up getting to drive one, now that’s a whole different story. I was given the opportunity to take the 488 GTB around The Pearl-Qatar.
It may have not been Lusail International Circuit, but it was more than enough. Obviously not going over the speed limits set around The Pearl, the acceleration in the 488 GTB is mesmerizing, literally! Foot down on the pedal, you feel as if your brain has been sent into a vortex and tries to find its way back into your skull. And people were complaining that Ferrari should have stuck to naturally aspirated engines, ha? That was one of my fears to be honest, that the new turbo engine would need more development, but after driving the 488 GTB I realized how far mankind has come in terms of technology. For the first time driving a turbo powered vehicle, I couldn’t notice if there was any turbo lag, that’s how well developed this engine is! The main difference between the 458 Italia and the 488 GTB is definitely the power, actually it’s 100 horses different! The 458 Italia had 570 horsepower while the 488 GTB has 670 Horsepower. Can you comprehend what 100 extra prancing horses could do to a car that was already fast?
Moving on from power, the control. Driving around the Pearl and certainly obeying all traffic laws and not going around corners at high speeds, I couldn’t wrap my head around what Ferrari has developed and kept thinking to myself, “If the 488 GTB is this good in control, how could it possibly get any better?”, I guess we’ll have to wait for a few years to have that question answered, but for the meantime the 488 GTB is an all-round great car for this day and age. While the 458 Italia was seen to be the weekend car for many of its customers, the 488 GTB was developed to make sure people that love the car could comfortably drive it every day. Never was I so sad to hand over the keys after a test drive than the time I had to give the Ferrari dealership back the - new and upgraded remote keyless entry – 488 GTB key. Until we meet again Bella.
Ferrari 488 GTB Technical specifications • ENGINE o Type V8 - 90° Turbo o Overall displacement 3902 cm3 o Maximum power: 492 kW (670 CV) @ 8000 rpm o Maximum torque: 760 Nm at 3000 rpm in VII gear • DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT o Length: 4568 mm o Width: 1952 mm o Height: 1213 mm o Dry weight: 1370 kg o Weight distribution: 46.5% Front - 53.5% Rear • PERFORMANCE o 0-100 km/h: 3.0 s o 0-200 km/h: 8.3 s o Maximum speed: > 330 km/h • FUEL CONSUMPTION: 11.4 l/100 km • C02 EMISSIONS: 260 g/km