Ferrari debuted the new 488 Pista several weeks ago in late February. However, the 2018 Geneva Motor Show provides an opportunity to see this very special Prancing Horse in the real world and not just in staged press photos. Under the lights in Switzerland, it's still an absolute stunner.
Gallery: Ferrari 488 Pista
The Pista is for folks that desire even more speed and exclusivity from the 488. Ferrari turns up the output from the 3.9-liter biturbo V8 to 711 horsepower (530 kilowatts) and 568 pound-feet (770 Newton-meters) of torque, which makes the mill the most powerful road-going V8 in the brand's history. New cams, a larger intercooler, strengthened pistons, titanium connecting rods, and Inconel exhaust manifolds are among the many mechanical changes versus the 488 GTB's standard powerplant. Revisions to the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox also allow for shifts in just 30 milliseconds when drivers enter Race mode.
The most obvious visual changes for the Pista are at the front end. Air passes through the front bumper and ducting directs it through a huge vent in the hood, which creates more downforce over the nose at speed. It gives the coupe quite an aggressive face, too. Inside, Ferrari makes greater use of materials from motorsport like carbon fiber and Alcantara.
Pista means track in Italian, and this explains where Ferrari intends this coupe to go. To turn quicker lap times around a circuit, the company's engineers shed 198 pounds (90 kilograms) from the standard 488 GTB, including using carbon fiber for the hood, bumpers, and rear spoiler. Optional carbon fiber wheels are 40 percent lighter than the ones on the GTB, too. The firm also introduces a new oversteer management system that allegedly makes the car easier to control at the limit.
Check out what Ferrari owners themselves are saying about the new 488 Pista at FerrariChat.com
Gallery: Ferrari 488 Pista at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show
The Ferrari 488 Pista: the synthesis of extreme, track-level
power and driving exhilaration for the road
Ginevra, 6 March 2018 – The Ferrari 488 Pista is powered by the most powerful
V8 engine in the Maranello marque’s history and is the company’s special series
sports car with the highest level yet of technological transfer from racing. In fact
the name, meaning ‘track’ in Italian, was chosen specifically to testify to
Ferrari’s unparalleled heritage in motor sports.
Technically, the Ferrari 488 Pista encompasses all of the experience built up on
the world’s circuits by the 488 Challenge and the 488 GTE. For over 25 years,
Maranello has been organising the most prestigious of all one-make
championships, the Ferrari Challenge, in which over 100 drivers split into three
continental series do battle at the wheel. Last year saw the introduction of the
488 Challenge, the first model in the ser
first for Ferrari. The overall result is that the 488 Pista is an impressive 90 kg
lighter than the 488 GTB.
As with the three previous special series, the Challenge Stradale, 430 Scuderia
and 458 Speciale, this new berlinetta is the perfect marriage of extreme
performance and track car-style handling.
The vehicle dynamics were designed for unique driving feedback and to make
the car’s full potential available to all drivers, professional or otherwise. Specific
vehicle controls were developed with this in mind, first and foremost being a
new oversteer management system usable in the manettino’s CT-OFF position
and designed to make the car’s performance on the limit easier to reach and
A new gear-shift strategy in the RACE position delivers a far more sporty
experience, very similar to that of a track car. In other words, the Ferrari 488
Pista offers drivers of all abilities an exceptional and exhilarating experience that
normally only a competition car could deliver, setting a whole new benchmark
in terms of driving pleasure for the Ferrari range.
The Ferrari 488 Pista’s extreme design is underlined by the optional livery that
highlights the aerodynamic innovation of the S-Duct. The car’s lines were
developed to underscore its sporty soul and cleverly combine the purity of the
488 GTB with some of the hugely successful racing and functional elements of
the 488 GTE and 488 Challenge while staying true to Ferrari’s traditional
The Ferrari 488 Pista can punch out 720 cv at 8000 rpm, giving it the best
specific power output in its class at 185 cv/l, while torque is higher at all engine
speeds, peaking at 770 Nm (10 Nm more than the 488 GTB). An extreme
evolution of the turbo engine elected overall International Engine of the Year in
both 2016 and 2017, this is the most powerful V8 in Ferrari history.
The 50 cv power increase over the 488 GTB’s engine is also the largest ever leap
in engine power for a Ferrari special series car and a remarkable 115 cv more
than the previous model, the 458 Speciale. In short, this V8 is the new
benchmark not only for turbo-charged power units, but for all engines.
The development of this sportier version of the 488 GTB thus presented
Ferrari’s engineers with the highly complex challenge of improving on what was
already acknowledged as the world’s best engine. To do so, they had to test out
a string of leading-edge solutions, drawing on Ferrari’s successful experience in
the competition world. The result is that the Ferrari 488 Pista’s engine has over
50% of new components compared to that of the 488 GTB.
The Ferrari 488 Pista also fully exploits new features developed for the 488
Challenge, not least the engine air intake layout with the intakes moved from
the flanks to the rear spoiler area where they are connected directly to the
plenums. This drastically reduces fluid-dynamic load losses and ensures a higher
volume and cleaner flow of air to the engine, thereby contributing to the
increase in power.
Moving the air intakes from the sides to the rear also freed up space for a larger
intercooler. Thanks to a cooling layout derived from the 488 Challenge and
featuring radiators with an inverted rake so that they are inclined towards the
rear, the hot air flow is channelled to below the flanks, well away from the side
intakes for the intercooler. This guarantees that power is maintained even in
critical situations, such as in the wake of another car.
Specific valves and springs combined with a new cam profile give this engine a
more aggressive, racing character. The pistons and cylinder heads have been
strengthened to cope with the higher loads - up to an extra 10% of pressure in
the combustion chambers. Particular attention was also focused on reducing
internal friction by introducing, for example, DLC-coated piston pins.
The Ferrari 488 Pista’s engine also benefits from all the lightweight components
featured on the Challenge version, resulting in a weight reduction of 18 kg
compared to the 488 GTB. The exhaust manifolds are now made from Inconel
while the crankshaft and flywheel are both lighter too. Titanium con-rods have
also been introduced and the reductions in the weight of the rotating masses
cut inertia by 17%. Drivers feel the impact of these reductions very clearly as the
driver can see the revs increasing much more rapidly.
The 488 Challenge also provides the turbos with integrated rev sensors.
Response times are instantaneous and even faster than the 488 GTB thanks to a
new control strategy developed specifically for this model. A new pedal map
also makes driving on the limit even easier.
Lastly, the Ferrari 488 Pista’s engine sound is unique and unmistakable, as such
a special version of the Ferrari V8 sports car warrants. The new Inconel exhaust
manifolds and an optimised exhaust bypass logic contribute to the superior
quality and the intensity. The level of sound is also higher than the 488 GTB in
all gears and at all engine speeds, up to a maximum of 8 dB more, in
proportion with the progressive increase in power.
The sporty driving feedback is further enhanced by the high-performance gear
shifting, typical of a thoroughbred race car. The new gear shift strategy,
available in the manettino’s RACE position, reduces shifting times by 30 ms
with positive acceleration when the higher gear engages that the driver can feel
This model also adopts the hugely successful Ferrari Variable Torque
Management strategy for all gears. To adapt it to the car’s extreme sporty spirit,
all of the curves were redesigned to deliver a feeling of consistently smooth,
powerful acceleration all the way to the red line.
The aim of the Ferrari 488 Pista’s dynamic development was to produce a car
that offers blistering mechanical performance in terms of lap times and
standing starts, driving pleasure and accessibility of performance to drivers of
To achieve these objectives, Ferrari’s engineers had to work on several fronts,
starting with introducing numerous lightweight solutions as well as evolving
both a new generation of the Side Slip Control System (SSC 6.0), improving the
efficiency of the braking system and developing a new specific tyre, the Michelin
Sport Cup 2.
The Ferrari 488 Pista is 90 kg lighter than the 488 GTB, which brings huge
advantages in terms of its agility and responsiveness. To maximise on this, the
weight reductions are concentrated in the most weight-sensitive areas of the
car, such as the unsprung masses and components away from the car’s centre
The body shell was designed to keep the car as light as possible and features
ultralight materials such as carbon-fibre for the bonnet, the front and rear
bumpers and the rear spoiler, and Lexan for the rear window.
This is also the first time that a 20” (optional) single-piece carbon-fibre wheel
rim has been used in the Ferrari range. Entirely in carbon-fibre, it is around 40%
lighter than the 488 GTB’s standard wheel rims and features a special coating
developed for the aerospace industry to the channel and spokes which
efficiently dissipates heat generated under braking.
The evolution of the Ferrari 488 Pista’s dynamic vehicle control systems saw the
introduction of a new actuation system that flanks those featured on the 488
GTB and is integrated into the new version 6.0 of the SSC concept.
The 488 Pista also hails another first for a Ferrari road car – a lateral dynamics
control system that uses Ferrari software to adjust the brake pressure at the
callipers. The Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer (FDE) is available when the manettino
is in the “CT-OFF” position. It regulates the lateral dynamics variables,
including side slip angle estimation. The control system intervenes in advance,
lightly actuating the callipers through, and exiting corners.
As a result the system manages the evolution of the side slip angle, making
control of the lateral dynamics in high performance situations more intuitive,
controllable and predictable. So it is not a stability control system, but a
maximum performance-focused system.
The introduction of the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer into the integrated SSC 6.0
system thus gives drivers extra confidence so that they can more easily handle
even lengthy oversteer situations. It also makes performance on the limit easier
to reach and control even for less expert drivers.
The Ferrari 488 Pista is extremely efficient in dealing with rapid changes of
direction and offers drivers a unique sense of predictability. The recalibrated
SCM-E dampers and the 10% stiffer springs contribute to this improved
As the Ferrari 488 Pista was developed for mostly road use but also to unleash
impressive performance on the track, the braking system was modified to
improve cooling, particularly under extreme use, and also to cut the time it
takes to get up to temperature. The 488 Challenge’s brake servo was adopted
to enhance the sporty pedal feel and deliver smooth, consistent braking even in
These interventions, combined with the lightweight solutions adopted, have
shortened the 200-0 km/h stopping distance by a metre compared to the 488
In-depth aerodynamics research played a big part in improving the Ferrari 488
Pista’s performance. Working on a concept focused on uncompromising
innovation allowed considerable engineering freedom in developing significant
solutions. The already-exceptional aerodynamic efficiency of the 488 GTB has
been improved by 20%, with major benefits in terms of absolute speed and lap
times on medium-fast tracks as well as sheer fun behind the wheel.
Essential to the development of the Ferrari 488 Pista’s aerodynamics was the
wealth of knowledge Ferrari has built up on previous and parallel projects where
the aerodynamics department was able
which is being used for the very first time on a road car. The air from the intake
on the front bumper passes through an aerodynamic duct with calibrated
sections and exits through a vent on the bonnet, creating downward force over
the front axle.
Furthermore, the front intake is completed by a central lower wing profile that,
on the one hand, acts as a splitter which, thanks to its curvature, accelerates the
flow and increases the amount of air passing through the S-Duct, thus
improving its performance while, on the other hand, creating a low pressure
area under the front underbody thanks to the acceleration of the flow generated
on its lower surface, further boosting downforce.
This introduction of this particular solution accounts for 18% of the overall
increase in downforce compared to the 488 GTB, but barely a 2% increase in
The exterior sections of the bumper ahead of the wheels were also extensively
redesigned with solutions modified from the 488 Challenge and reinterpreted
so successfully that they are responsible for 23% of the increase in downforce
compared to the 488 GTB. Radical scoops in the front bumper allow
aerodynamic elements to protrude in areas where they can be most efficient.
The volume of the front bumper extends towards the wheelarch to deflect the
flow ahead of the wheels outwards, generating suction from the wheelarch and
thus from the front underbody, which is equipped with diffusers, all to the
benefit of front downforce.
At the rear, two elements contributed to the achievement of the downforce
target: the blown spoiler system and the venting behind the rear wheels.
The spoiler is higher (+30 mm) and longer (+40 mm) compared to the spoiler
on the standard production car. Development work focused on the efficiency of
the bleed under the spoiler to adapt it to the change in the car’s overall
downforce. The calibrated sections have been optimised and the direction in
which the air is blown has been modified: the angle is now upward, aided by
the deflection of the flow by the upper surfaces of the spoiler, to generate even
more rear downforce. The evolution of the spoiler system and its bleed has had
a significant impact on downforce, accounting for 25% of the overall increase
compared to the 488 GTB.
The increase in drag caused by the new blown spoiler system is compensated
for by the shape of the air flows venting from the rear bumper below the tail
lights. Furthermore, the vents have been optimised to exploit the pressure field
generated by the spoiler to encourage evacuation from the rear wheelarches,
increasing intercooler efficiency by 3%, on the one hand, and incorporating the
wake from the wheels on the other, allowing the diffuser to be struck by a
cleaner, more energised flow, boosting the rear downforce it generates.
As is always the case with each new Ferrari, the 488 Pista’s underbody has been
specifically redesigned to ensure it delivers as efficient a Cl figure as possible.
The first big difference compared to the 488 GTB is how the hot air from the
radiators is deflected to the underbody ahead of the front wheels. This choice,
made to enhance the cooling layout and lower the car’s drag coefficient,
however shrinks the surfaces that can be used to generate downforce. To make
up for this and further boost downforce, the designers decided to exploit other
areas of the underbody.
The Ferrari 488 Pista was thus equipped with front diffusers, made possible by
the change in the inclination of the front radiators and the elimination of the
dams ahead of the wheels. Thanks to a ramp already optimised for the 488
GTE, the diffusers accelerate the flow, venting it into the wheelarches, creating
strong suction that in turn is responsible for 12% of the overall downforce
increase compared to the 488 GTB.
The vortex generators on the underbody have also been optimised and now
generate 20% more downforce, thanks to modifications to their profile and
The rear diffuser is also derived directly from Ferrari’s World Endurance
Championship experience and has the same double kink line as the 488 GTE’s,
amplifying the extraction and downforce generation capacities of a traditional
diffuser. As in the 488 GTB, the diffuser is equipped with a system of 3 active
flaps which rotate 14° in minimum drag configuration to completely stall the
diffuser and thus significantly reduce the car’s drag.
Aerodynamic demands guided the work of the Ferrari Design Centre team. The
488 Pista’s forms have been meticulously sculpted to ensure they are more
performance-oriented than ever, with huge attention lavished ensuring that
while aerodynamic demands were met, the Maranello marque’s signature
styling elements and aesthetic canons were respected.
The designers used innovative elements, such as the aerodynamic S-Duct at the
front, as an opportunity to visually shorten the car’s nose, creating an original
floating wing effect. The black, omega-shaped edging on the front bumpers and
the side flicks reference the prominent aerodynamic underbody motif of the 488
Most notable on the flanks is the fact that the splitter in the side air intakes of
the 488 GTB has been removed. At the front, the aerodynamic profiles that
start at the front bumpers run sleekly along the side miniskirts all the way to the
side appendages of the rear diffuser.
The concept of the front is echoed in the dolphin-tail rear spoiler which appears
suspended to provide an impression lightness and efficiency, while the rear
volumes add a sense of power to the tail. The rear diffuser juts out and has been
developed in width: its design was inspired by that of the 488 GTE.
The Ferrari 488 Pista features a two-tone livery that runs the entire length of the
car, starting at the front bumper, then diving into the S-Duct and continuing all
the way to the rear spoiler.
The interior has a distinctive racing feel with all superfluous elements
eliminated. The extensive use of lightweight, exclusive technical materials such
as carbon-fibre and Alcantara works brilliantly with the meticulous crafting and
sophistication that is the signature of all Ferrari cockpits. Contrasting handstitching,
tread plates and heel rests in triangular pattern aluminium and
particularly fluidly sculpted door panels are fine examples of this.
The glove compartment (normally incorporated into the dashboard directly in
front of the passenger) has been removed and replaced by handy storage
pockets on the rear bench and the doors. The effect is to significantly visually
slim down the volume of the under-dash area.
Imagines of the new Ferrari 488 Pista can be downloaded from the Ferrari media site:
Ferrari 488 Pista
Type V8 - 90° twin turbo
Overall displacement 3902 cm3
Max. power output* 530 kW (720 cv) at 8000 rpm
Max. torque* 770 Nm at 3000 rpm in VII
Specific power output 185 cv/l
Max. engine speed 8000 rpm
Compression ratio 9.6:1
DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHTS
Length 4605 mm
Width 1975 mm
Height 1206 mm
Front track 1679 mm
Rear track 1649 mm
Kerb weight** 1385 kg
Dry weight** 1280 kg
Dry weight/power ratio 1.78 kg/cv
Weight distribution 41.5% front – 58.5% rear
Boot capacity 170 l
Fuel tank capacity 78 l
Front 245/35 ZR 20 J9.0
Rear 305/30 ZR 20 J11.0
Front 398 x 223 x 38 mm
Rear 360 x 233 x 32 mm
TRANSMISSION AND GEAR BOX
F1 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox
ELECTRONIC CONTROLS E-Diff3, F1-Trac, High Performance ABS/EBD with
Ferrari Pre-Fill, FrS SCM-E, SSC with FDE
0-100 km/h 2.85 s
0-200 km/h 7.6 s
100-0 km/h 29.5 m
Max. speed > 340 km/h
Fiorano lap time 1’21.5”
FUEL CONSUMPTION/C02 EMISSIONS
Fuel consumption*** 11.5 l/100 km
Emissions*** 263 g CO2/km
* With 98 octane petrol
** With optional content
*** ECE+EUDC Combined Cycle with HELE: under homologation