German car magazine Sport Auto set of time of 7:21.63, quicker than any other known lap by a Ferrari road car.
Ferrari doesn’t really indulge in setting lap times on the Nurburgring Nordschleife. But that’s not to say everyone can’t, either. If you have a Ferrari and some talent, have at it.
German car magazine Sport Auto recently managed to get hold of a 488 GTB to find out how quickly it can go around the ‘Ring.
Extremely quickly, as it turns out. With Sport Auto’s grim-faced resident wheelman Christian Gebhardt at the wheel, the 488 GTB scorched round in 7 minutes, 21.63 seconds.
That’s a whole 6.37 seconds quicker than the same magazine managed in the 488’s predecessor, the 458 Italia, a few years ago. It’s even 3.58 seconds quicker than the fastest known lap by an Enzo. Indeed, it is the fastest Ferrari road car there has ever been on the ‘Ring.
It should be noted that another German car magazine, Auto Zeitung, set an even quicker lap time in the 488, recording a time of 7:21 flat. But no video of that lap exists.
Happily, we do have on-board footage of the full lap from Sport Auto. And two things jump out, besides the massive speed. First, though its twin-turbos produce a slightly flat note, the 488’s V8 motor does sound deliciously angry.
Second, the 488 is incredibly stable. Apart from a couple of kicks sideways over the notoriously tricky bridge at Exmuhle, there are no real oversteer moments, no bucking like a bronco over the bumps. It’s a weirdly calm and composed lap. (We obviously don’t what - if any - level of electronic intervention Gebhardt had dialed in.)
We’ve seen similar performances from the latest Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and the Alfa Romeo Giulia QV. It seems chassis tuning and tires have become so good that the days when a car had to be wrestled around a fast lap of ‘Ring have gone. I’ll leave you to decide whether or not that’s a good thing.