Ferrari’s 488 Pista has won acclaim as one of the best driver’s cars of 2018 since its unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
The much-praised Ferrari is the successor to the Italian marque’s limited-edition 458 Speciale from 2013 and is a direct rival to race-derived models including the Porsche 911 GT2 RS and the McLaren 600LT.
The Pista is based on the standard 488 supercar but also takes features from Ferrari’s crop of current racing machines, including a sizeable carbon-fibre diffuser and stripped-out cabin.
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Here is what else you should know about Ferrari’s hardcore supercar, and the critics’ verdicts:
Price and release
Orders for the 488 Pista are already open, with prices kicking off at £251,590.
Although the 488 Pista is Ferrari’s most hardcore mid-engined V8 supercar to date, it’s surprisingly easy to drive on the bumpy roads of Britain, says Autocar.
In fact, the ease with which the Pista can “absorb the road beneath without giving away anything in body control” is “remarkable”, says the magazine, which claims the car is arguably more forgiving for drivers than Ferrari’s 812 Superfast grand tourer.
“Unless you’re downright clumsy with the throttle, or spectacularly misjudge that crest or camber up ahead, the Pista feels as trustworthy as a Land Cruiser in the outback,” Autocar adds.
Meanwhile, Top Gear praises the 488 Pista’s 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 engine. Turbo engines often experience lag - when the engine takes a fraction of a second to react to the driver pressing the accelerator - but this isn’t a problem with the Pista, which immediately responds to throttle inputs, the website says.
As a result, the driver can accurately place the car through corners by applying small throttle inputs.
However, says Evo, the engine note isn’t as “musical” as Ferrari’s naturally aspired cars. The engine is also “louder” than the standard 488, though it isn’t intrusive enough to impact on everyday driving.
Nevertheless, James May sums up the 488 Pista in The Sunday Times as an “utterly delightful” car for, say, “a lengthy drive around the back roads of Emilia-Romagna” in Italy.
“There are few activities to match the excitement of piloting a special-edition Ferrari with a rabid engine snarling away right behind your head. It makes me sick with a sort of machine paraphilia,” May concludes.
While the Pista is based on the regular 488 GTB, Ferrari has heavily reworked the mid-engined supercar’s bodywork in the quest for speed.
The front of the car has a new bonnet and front splitter, giving it a more aggressive look, and a large air intake has been sculpted into the bonnet, to help air flow and generate more aerodynamic grip.
At the back, the 488 Pista is fitted with a large carbon-fibre diffuser, ike that on the firm’s GTE endurance racer, to further improve aerodynamic grip and reduce drag. The bumper design is also different from the standard 488, mimicking the rear of the 458 Speciale.
The revised bodywork and the addition of a larger rear spoiler helps the 488 Pista generate 20% more downforce than the base car, reports Auto Express.
Inside, the cabin features carbon-fibre highlights in several areas, including on the dashboard and steering wheel, says Autocar. The new supercar also features thinner windscreen glass and significantly less soundproofing, to lower its weight.
The 488 Pista is equipped with “the most powerful V8 engine in Ferrari’s history”, according to Auto Express.
The hardcore supercar features the same 3.9-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine as the standard 488, the magazine says, but the power has been upped from 661bhp to 710bhp.
Thanks to that power boost, and the weight reduction, the 488 Pista can go from 0-62mph in 2.8 seconds, with a top speed of 211mph, reports Motor1.
The 488 Pista has a number of hardcore track-focused rivals. These include the McLaren 600LT, the Mercedes-AMG GT R and the Lamborghini Huracan Performante.
The 488 Pista’s 711bhp twin-turbo V8 motor is considerably more powerful than the GT3 RS’s 513bhp flat-six engine. This helps the Italian supercar sprint from 0-62mph 0.4 seconds faster than the German car’s time of 3.2 seconds.
According to The Sunday Times, the 488 Pista’s 1,385kg kerb weight is 45kg lighter than its rival, which should make the car easy to handle on track.
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