Following the outstanding, high revving, naturally aspirated Ferrari 458 Italia, which was then arguably the best handling mid engined supercar on sale, the 488 GTB had its work cut out. It was especially hard to follow the mighty 458, because all the enviromental regulations forced Ferrari to do something we couldn’t quite get our head arround when we first heard it. Ferrari decided to switch to turbocharging, which was a first in their mid engined V8 lineup since the iconic Ferrari F40 in 1987.
Gone was the old ‘polar bear killing’ 4.5 liter naturally aspirated V8, with 570 HP, and the 3.9 liter twin turbo V8 Ferrari 488 GTB was introduced. Like an Italian supermodel with 670 of rampaging stallions under the bonnet, its presence was never in question, but some were still quite sceptical about this decision to go turbo. You could say that revvs and noise were replaced by monstruous 761 Nm of torque, but you just couldn’t arque with the performance on offer. Dispatching all of its 670 HP through rear wheels only, achieving 3 seconds flat to 100 km/h and more than 330 km/h of top speed, still is a force to be reckoned with, even 5 years after its launch.
But the main thing that just keeps popping up about this car, is the uniform praise of that very turbocharged engine, some had so much to say about. That was before they actually drove one. Every automotive journalist that ever drove one said, that this is the most turbo-lag free, and therefore the most naturally aspirated feeling turbocharged engine they had ever driven in a supercar. Normally those high strung supercar engines are laggy at first, then giving you everything at once, when the turbos spool up. Not this one though. In Ferrari 488 GTB the engine is super progressive towards the red line, building its power gradualy with peaking at 8.000 rpm, which is just at the redline. No matter what gear you are in, or what speed you are traveling at, just press the GO pedal and miliseconds later, off you go.
You quickly forget about those few decibels of extra ‘N/A’ noise, when you have 100 extra HP and 221 Nm of extra torque on your disposal in the new twin-turbo engine.
Bottom line, Ferrari really pulled it of with the 488 GTB. Some sound and revvs sacrifised for better economy, usability and monumental performance is trully a small compromise to be had considering the whole package.