The Ferrari 488 GTO will be the most hardcore V8 supercar to leave the gates of Maranello when it is launched next year
Harder version of 488 GTB is under development with an anticipated 700bhp, making it a natural rival to Stuttgart’s Porsche 911 GT RS
The Ferrari 488 GTB is due to be revealed this year as the brand’s most hardcore, track-focused model – and new leaked specifications appear to show it’ll use a 700bhp engine derived from motorsport.
Images posted onto Ferrari Photo Page appear to show internal slides of the car, where there’s mention of a 10% lighter engine that is based on that used in the 488 Challenge racer, making it the marque’s most powerful production V8 yet produced.
Most likely, the 488’s mid-mounted twin-turbocharged 3.9-litre V8 engine will be boosted with increased turbo pressure and internal modifications to produce its anticipated 700bhp, with torque also increasing substantially on the standard car’s 561lb ft.
The car, a hotter version of the 488 that will go toe to toe with the Porsche 911 GT2 RS, will essentially be a replacement to the discontinued 458 Speciale, which is widely regarded as the best driver-focused Ferrari to date. It has been spotted testing outside Ferrari’s Maranello base on numerous occasions.
The changes to these spotted development cars are largely hidden, but the leaked slides suggest the 488 GTO will feature an extensive list of carbonfibre parts for the body and interior. The bonnet, bumpers and rear spoiler will be made from the material, as will large sections of the cabin, including the dashboard.
The standard 488 produces 325kg of downforce at 155mph, but the 911 GT2 RS produces up to 340kg. Ferrari’s aerodynamicists, who have access to the brand’s Formula 1 wind tunnel, will be keen to rival that figure. Expect large intakes for the more potent powertrain, a bigger front lip and more prominent rear diffuser. The slides suggest a 20% improvement in overall aerodynamic efficiency for the 488 GTO.
There’s also mention of 20in wheels made from carbonfibre, saving 40% in weight compared with the standard 488 rims. They’ll come wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber.
That’s where the information on the slides ends, but Ferrari tradition suggests engineers will also remove non-essential parts from the interior and sound deadening from the car’s engine bay, as well as fitting other lightweight parts such as thinner glass for the windscreen and side windows, and lighter ceramic brakes – like with the 458 Speciale.
Additionally, the brand’s technical boffins will give the car its own unique settings for the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and Slide Slip Control management, with the latter likely to enable even greater angles of yaw before fully intervening.
Ferrari is rumoured to be reserving the GTO name for the car, but the final moniker has yet to be officially revealed (in the leaked slides, it’s referred to as a ‘New V8 Sport Speciali Series’). GTO has only been applied to three Ferraris before – the first two of which, the 250 GTO and 288 GTO, were racing machines. The latest, the 599 GTO, was a road-legal version of the track-only 599XX, leading many to claim it wasn’t worthy of its racing title.
For this reason, the harder but still road-legal 488 could adopt a new tag that continues the trend set by its spiritual forebears, the 360 Challenge Stradale, 430 Scuderia and 458 Speciale.
Ferrari has refrained from commenting on the model, but recent sightings of a car in light covers suggest development has moved to an advanced stage. This ties in with the schedule for a car that our sources expect will go on sale this year.
Prices will increase significantly over the 488 GTB. An entry-level figure of more than £215,000 is possible.