This is the 288 GTO race car that should have been.
Before Ferrari was able to unleash a proper 288 GTO Group B racer, competing against the likes of the Audi Sport Quattro, BMW M1, Porsche 959, and others, the racing series was dissolved, spanning just four years from 1982 to 1986. Nonetheless, one designer is still dreaming of a hardcore, Group B racer based on the 288.
Artist Zoki Nanco has digitally imagined a mean-looking 288 GTO racer, complete with wings, louvers, and diffusers aplenty. He calls it the 288 GTO R, the 'R' undoubtedly stands for race. The concept is a bit less dramatic than the 288 Evoluzione that debuted in 1987, but still presents a number of aggressive cues either way.
Apart from the orange exterior, the concept wears a strutted front splitter, matching side skirts, and a massive diffuser. An equally daunting wing out back assures aerodynamic properties while on the track, and a set of HRE Wheels come wrapped on Yokohama rubber. Ignore its "stanced" persona, and the concept would undoubtedly make for a unique Group B addition.
Gallery: Ferrari 288 GTO R Rendering
We can only hazard a guess as to how much power would be found under the hood. The 288 GTO came standard with a 2.9-liter biturbo V8 good for as much as 395 horsepower (294 kilowatts) and 366 pound-feet (496 Newton-meters) of torque. The more powerful Evoluzione version delivers 650 horsepower (484 kilowatts) and was capable of reaching a top speed of 225 miles per hour (362 kilometers per hour). The conceptualized R version, we’d guess, would be somewhere closer to 500 hp (372 kW).
Sadly, the 288 GTO R will live on as just a rendering. Those eager in bringing the concept to life could hypothetically buy a base GTO and convert it to the concept seen here, but it would take some seriously deep pockets to do so. For what it's worth, we'd love to see it happen.