Set to be unveiled at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show next month, the Ferrari 488 GTB is that long-awaited evolution of the 458. It’s a mid-cycle refresh of the current car and the updated model gets a GTB suffix (short for Gran Turismo Berlinetta) to tie it to Ferrari’s first production mid-engined V8 car, the 308 GTB.
However, that’s not as important as the number 488. That indicates a new engine, but it doesn’t displace 4.8 liters as the name suggests. Instead, it’s an all-new twin-turbocharged 3.9-liter V8 that isn’t shared with any other Ferrari model.
There’s been a lot of speculation about a turbocharged 458 derivative, but none of it anticipated this engine’s raw power. It produces 660 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque. That’s more than the 597 hp and 398 lb-ft of the outgoing 458 Speciale! All of that grunt will accelerate the 488 GTB from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.0 seconds, and on to a top speed of over 205 mph. It will also lap Ferrari’s Fiorano test track half a second quicker than the hardcore 458 Speciale. That acceleration is managed by a seven-speed dual-lurch transmission and a chassis Ferrari says has been tuned with lessons learned from the XX program of track cars like the Enzo-based FXX.
The original 458 styling is still recognizable, but Ferrari claims 50 percent more downforce for the new model, with less drag. That’s thanks to a double front spoiler, the enlarged side pods, and a flat underbody.
To help drivers harness all of that performance, the 488 GTB is equipped with the latest Ferrari electronic aids. That includes a version of the slip-angle control system that debuted in the 458 Speciale. Called Side Slip Control 2, it’s supposed to be less invasive than the original system, and works with the car’s F1-Trac traction control E-Diff differential, and adaptive suspension. The interior gets some updates, but the layout is the same as in the 458.