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Ferrari unveils stunning new 488 GTB

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Ferrari has lifted the covers of its latest sports car, the 488 GTB.

Due to be officially unveiled at next month’s Geneva motor show, the 488 GTB is the successor to the highly rated 458 Italia, though is more of an evolution rather than a wholesale replacement.

The biggest change is under the bonnet – or rather the glass engine cover behind the seats. Gone is the screaming 4.5-litre naturally aspirated V8 engine, instead replaced with a more frugal 3.9-litre turbocharged unit. Don’t think this has watered down the car’s potency though, as the GTB develops an astonishing 661bhp – an increase of 99bhp over the outgoing model.

Despite the increase in power, both fuel economy and emissions have improved. The 488 GTB will return nearly 25mpg, while emitting CO2 at a rate of 260g/km.

That engine is mated to a seven-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission for lightning-fast gear changes. A full complement of F1-inspired electronic driver aids will massage a driver’s inputs to make them faster on track, and will even intervene to prevent them having an embarrassing accident.

In terms of styling, the 488 is heavily influenced by Ferrari’s flagship hypercar, the LaFerrari. It wears similar headlights and features a heavily sculpted bonnet. The front bumper, meanwhile, has been transformed into one large air vent.

The side profile is similarly designed, with huge, sculpted side vents behind each door. The rear, however, is much simpler than before, with the 488 ditching the three-exhaust-pipe arrangement of the 458 for a more traditional dual-pipe set-up.

The interior features the hallmarks of modern Ferrari design, with cockpit centred around the driver and a steering wheel festooned with buttons for all of the major ancillary controls.

The Ferrari 488 GTB is due to go on sale later this year, with full price and specification details expected to be confirmed in the coming months. However, it is expected to command a premium over the £178,551 currently charged for the 458 Italia.

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