Turbocharged, for better and worse. The Ferrari 488 GTB…
I came away from my drive in the 488 not entirely sold. I mean, how could I not fall in love with a twin turbo 661hp Ferrari?
Well, turbos come with pros and cons. You get a lot more raw power – the 488’s usable powerband is so much more vast than the 458 it replaced. But in exchange for that boost, you give up the razor sharp response of the drivetrain that helped make the 458 such a sharp, connected experience.
The spool time makes you feel more like you’re operating a machine rather than it becoming an extension of your body the way a 458 does.
Don’t get me wrong, the handling, steering, and chassis feel just as competent and connected with the driver as they do in the 458.
But when you add gas there is a disconnect between what your brain is telling the car to do and what actually happens. When the boost comes, you don’t know exactly how hard it’s going to hit. Needless to say, the traction control kicked in a lot, especially when I went to 2nd gear. I eventually found it easier to just keep it in 3rd and use the torque.
When the 488 hits boost with grip, it is nothing short of explosive. I mean, it hits 100mph in just 6 seconds, before my Miata is even going 60mph 😂. The level of performance it delivers is beyond excessive, especially for the street, but that’s the fun of it, right?
The 488 is a Ferrari of the new era, and the turbos make it a better car for the way most customers will typically use it on the street… perfect for a fast blast down an open highway.
On a track, where most other Ferrari’s I’ve driven have truly shined, I found it a bit clumsy compared to the 4.0 GT3 I drove right before. It was all because the powertrain comparatively lacked the fine precision of the other naturally aspirated machine. Ferrari has seemingly traded in their metaphorical scalpel for a broad sword.
In addition, the seats in this car lacked the side bolstering of the other cars, so I had to fight to stay in place during hard corners. I think it was light on options because that’s not a problem I had in the 458.
The 488 is a supercar best for the road with some give and take from the 458.