What happens if the near-perfect Ferrari 488 GTB is injected with the racing genes of the 488 Challenge, bolstered by a hefty dose of 488 GTE’s championship features? There is only one answer: we would get a car that is the true embodiment of the racetrack experience. Enter Ferrari 488 Pista*!
At Maranello, there is a special laboratory that carries out experiments horrifying to mere mortals. In their secret lair, Ferrari’s top engineers cross super sports cars with racetrack beasts. The results of these experiences are absolutely breathtaking every time.
In 2003, the 360 Modena was crossed with the 360 Challenge. The result was encouraging: The Ferrari Challenge Stradale had 20 hp more power and was as much as 110 kg lighter than the series 360 Modena. No wonder the experiment was repeated in 2007, this time under the watchful eye of Michael Schumacher. A standard F430 model received weight loss therapy (-100 kg) and got a power boost (+20 hp). As if that wasn’t enough, the 430 Scuderia got new gearbox control software and improved vehicle aerodynamics. Combining the genes of race cars with road cars clearly appealed to Ferrari engineers, as the year 2013 saw the launch of yet another such model: the 458 Speciale. The noticeably modified body was lighter (-90 kg), more aerodynamic and featured an engine that was 35 hp more powerful. At the Fiorano Circuit, the new model was over a second faster than the 458 Italia.
One TV commercial shows viagra accidentally getting into the tank of a Fiat 500, turning this city car into a muscular, dynamic crossover. The Ferrari 488 GTB never needed the blue pill, but the mad scientists at Maranello still cooked up a treatment for it. They injected it with a hefty dose of genes of the most powerful versions of the 488 — Challenge and GTE —transforming it into an athletic performer with an extremely strong heart. They called their creation the 488 Pista — Italian for “racetrack”.
The solid dose of racing technology must have changed the 488 GTB’s features. 488 Pista is even more assertive, expressive and defiant. The redesigned front bumper conceals additional ailerons whose shape has been transplanted directly from the 488 GTE. The large air outlet on the boot lid reveals yet another trick: an F1-style “S” duct, leading the airflow from the bumper to the bonnet and to the sides of the car. The side intakes, which served the dual function of improving airflow and cooling the intercoolers on the GTB, focus only on the latter task in the case of the new model. Air enters the engine through new openings, under a noticeably enlarged and more efficient blown spoiler at the rear. Below the spoiler are large base bleed openings, routing air out of the wheel arches. The rear of the 488 Pista is complemented by a powerful diffuser, the parameters of which also come straight from the GTE. All new components are made of carbon fibre, making the Pista 90 kg lighter than the 488 GTB.
The interior of the 488 Pista uses carbon fibre while removing all unnecessary components.
The transplantation of engine parts from the 488 Challenge went smoothly, without leaving any scars. Under its bonnet, the Pista has two turbochargers straight out of a racing model, equipped with engine speed sensors. The lightweight crankshaft and flywheel, titanium connecting rods, modified intake system and carbon fibre manifold components are also from the Challenge, as are the exhaust manifolds made of Inconel (a superalloy of aluminium, nickel and chrome). The larger intercoolers with a peculiar louvre arrangement also come from the racing model. Whilst the engine is 10 per cent lighter than that used in the 488 GTB, it offers up to 720 hp in return — more than any of Ferrari’s series V8 engines.
Although the 488 Pista has gained a generous dose of genes from the most extreme models, it has no killer character. Drivers can safely use all of 488 Pista’s power thanks to the assistance of the Side Slip Angle Control. The sixth generation of this system manages the operation of the E-Diff3 differential, the F1-Trac traction control system and the stiffness of the electromagnetically controlled SCM suspension. A new feature of this package is the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer (FDE) system, which electronically controls brake system pressure to discreetly assist the driver in the event of oversteering. On top of this, the new car provides a superior and more direct steering ratio.
To ensure that the 488 Pista doesn’t lose touch with reality and the road, it was fitted with new Michelin tyres designed specifically for this model. These can be mounted on 20-inch carbon-fibre rims. The carbon-fibre rims are yet another heirloom of its racing relatives — weighing 40 per cent less than aluminium ones, they will be available for the first time on a road-going Ferrari. The carbon-fibre wheels, more aggressive lines and colours that refer to the brand’s best traditions — featuring a classic stripe along the body — make the Ferrari 488 Pista a one-of-a-kind car.
* Pista – (wł) tor wyścigowy