2017 is the year Ferrari is celebrating its 70th anniversary and what better way to celebrate if not by introducing a new model? Sure, it has already done that by unveiling the 812 Superfast, but another new model would be the delicious icing on the birthday cake. We will have to wait and see whether this intriguing 488 GTB test vehicle will evolve into a production car before end of the year. It’s difficult to pinpoint the prototype’s identity as it could be all sorts of things, depending on whom you’re asking.

Some will say it’s a 488 Speciale / Scuderia fitted with a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) while others suggest it’s an early mule for the Dino revival. There are also reports Ferrari is prepping a hardcore 488 GTO due in 2018 with a rumored 700 horsepower from an upgraded biturbo 3.9-liter V8 - the winner of the 2017 International Engine of the Year Award. For what it’s worth, YouTuber Marchettino spotted a somewhat similar car back in August 2016 when he heard one Ferrari engineer telling another not to turn on the vehicle’s KERS.

With Ferrari already confirming all of its prancing horses will boast some form of hybridization by 2019, the odds are we’re looking at a KERS-equipped 488, though it’s better not to cast out all scenarios since talking about prototypes is in many cases tricky business. If this is indeed a Ferrari with KERS, it means the energy that would otherwise be lost – such as the one coming from the brakes - will be brought back into the system to further boost performance.

A best-case scenario regarding the car’s official premiere would have to be the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. We will have to patiently wait to discover what Maranello has in tow for the near future, but we’ll be happy with any of the scenarios detailed above. After all, a new Ferrari is always something to get excited about.

Video: Automotive Mike

Gallery: Ferrari 488 GTB prototype screenshots from spy video

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