Expert Reviews

UK Drive: Ferrari 488 GTB

Friday 06 January 2017

UK Drive: Ferrari 488 GTB

There’s always a great deal of fuss when a new Ferrari arrives on the scene, and the 488 GTB is no exception. Maranello’s latest V8 supercar is charged with the unenviable task of bettering its predecessor, the 458 Italia, and it’s wading into battle with what looks like slightly damp powder.

Whereas the 458 had a stunning 4.5-litre V8, the 488 only gets a paltry 3.9 litres of displacement. However, it makes up for this by adding a pair of turbochargers to the mix, and the resulting headline figures of 661bhp and 760Nm of torque.

Looks & Image

There’s no doubting that the 488 is a pretty piece of machinery. The sculpted body, rounded air intakes and stylish lights give it the perfect supercar aesthetic. No, it doesn’t have the bonkers image of a Lamborghini Huracan, but it’s sexier, somehow, and it’ll turn just as many heads.

Space & Practicality

Supercars are hardly renowned for their day-to-day usability, but the 488 is more practical than you might imagine.

Because the space where the back seats and the boot ought to be is taken up by a raucous V8 and its turbocharger hand luggage, the 230-litre boot is in the nose. It isn’t especially capacious, but there’s more than enough room for a couple of weekend baggage or a few days’ worth of shopping.

In the cabin, you get a cupholder and a tray for sundries such as keys and mobile phones, while the tiny glovebox offers you a bit of hidden stowage space.

Behind the Wheel

As you’d expect, the 488 GTB is an incredible driver’s car. That much is apparent from the moment you slide into the supportive seats and instantly find yourself in the perfect driving position. Even the visibility, which is notoriously problematic in fast Italian sports cars, isn’t too bad.

Once you’re underway, you’ll notice the 488’s innate ease of use. The steering wheel-mounted buttons make life a little tricky if you want to, say, indicate on a roundabout, but once you get used to it you can adapt with relative ease.

The hyperspace lever under your right foot, however, will stop you ever getting too comfortable with the 488. Once the two turbos are on song, you’ll be sprinting past the speed limit within the blink of an eye, each gear change bringing with it yet another ferocious sledgehammer-blow of power and speed. With that cacophonous soundtrack, it truly is an assault on the senses.

For the figure fanatics, the sprint to 60mph is dealt with in three seconds, and at full chat you’ll be doing a stonking 205mph.

The 488 is about more than just power, though, displaying an elegant poise we’ve come to expect from Ferrari’s beautifully balanced V8 mainstays.

Value for Money

At £185,000, plus the value of several horrifically expensive options, the 488 GTB is never going to be described as cheap. That said, though, it’s a car that won’t depreciate much and it’s competitive in its increasingly costly segment.

Actually, who are we kidding? There’s no justifying a car like this. The 488 is a heart-over-head purchase. If you can afford one and you want one, you’ll have one.

Who would buy one ?

The 488 is perfect for those who want the most modern iteration of the definitive supercar. Some will argue that it’s an unimaginative, go-to choice, but we think Ferrari’s V8s are definitive for a reason – they’re absolutely brilliant.

Facts at a Glance

Model: Ferrari 488 GTB
Engine: 3.9-litre twin-turbocharged V8
Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic
Performance: 0-60mph in 3.0 seconds, top speed 205mph
Power: 661bhp, 760Nm
Economy: 24.8mpg (combined)
Emissions: 260g/km CO2

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