The new Ferrari Pista is the 488’s twisted sister

The $645K Ferrari 488 Pista is Maranello’s most powerful V8, ever. Enough said.

By Michael Stahl 22/11/2018

Ferrari’s mid-engined V8 model family stretches back to the elegant, wedge-shaped 308 of 1975 – think Thomas Magnum, P.I. – and has, through eight model generations, introduced countless new owners to the prancing horse brand. At the same time, the V8 series embraces two of Ferrari’s most lusted-after racing homologation editions, in the 288 GTO (1984-’87) and the king of 1980s supercars, the fearsome F40 (1987-’92).

That’s some lineage for Ferrari Australasia to call upon in launching, yesterday in Sydney, the latest and the most powerful of its production-series V8 models, the 488 Pista (priced at $645,000, drive-away). It was the first time ever in Australia that an example of every Ferrari mid-engined V8, including the track-focused Challenge, Scuderia and Speciale variants, had been gathered in the one place.


Ferrari’s latest and most potent V8 model, the 488 Pista

That place was Sydney’s new, $10 million Ferrari North Shore Service Centre, which in the next few weeks will be joined by a new Ferrari North Shore showroom just a few kilometres away to provide Ferrari with retail and servicing on both sides of Sydney Harbour.


Ferrari Australasia CEO, Hubert Appleroth at 488 Pista reveal

The 488 Pista (“track”) has benefited from the development of the hugely successful 488 Challenge and 488 GTE racing models, the latter of which has won no fewer than 35 of the last 50 races in the FIA’s GT Pro and Amateur championships.

Unlike the ancestor V8 Challenge, Scuderia and Speciale, the 488 Pista is not a limited-edition variant, but an ongoing sister model to the 488 GTB and 488 Spider.

Indeed, in August Ferrari revealed a 488 Pista Spider, Australian deliveries of which will commence in mid-2019.

Those familiar with Ferrari’s earlier race-derived V8 models will recognise the Pista story: more power, less weight and improved aerodynamics.

Against the standard 488 GTB model, the Pista sheds 90kg (to a trim 1280kg) through the use of carbon-fibre panels for the engine cover, bumpers and rear spoiler, and a polycarbonate rear window. Lightweight engine internals and an exhaust manifold made from exotic Inconel – more typically found in Formula 1 cars – strip 18kg from the engine.

Those owners eager for even more weight reduction can specify the optional carbon-fibre 20-inch wheels, each fully 40 per cent lighter than the GTB’s standard alloy wheels. The carbon-fibre wheels are produced by Geelong company Carbon Revolution, featured in Robb Report Australia’s debut issue in October 2016.

The Pista’s twin-turbocharged, 3.9-litre engine is Ferrari’s most powerful V8 yet, developing 530kW at 8000rpm and 770Nm torque at 3000rpm. To put that power figure (an imperial 720hp, equalling McLaren’s 720 flagship) briefly into context: the Ferrari F40 of 1987, still regarded as an explosively powerful “widowmaker”, produced just 356kW in its road-going guise – and 515kW in its Le Mans-racing guise.

That combination of power, lightness and a seven-speed F1 gearbox all helps propel the Pista from standstill to 100km/h in just 2.85 seconds, to 200km/h in just 7.6 seconds and on to a top speed of more than 340km/h.

The third aspect of the 488 Pista to benefit from Ferrari’s GT racing program is the aerodynamics, with intricate air management around the front and rear end combining with a rather more obvious tall rear wing and underbody diffuser to produce up to 20 per cent more aerodynamic downforce than the already admirable 488 GTB.


The fit-for-purpose cockpit of the Ferrari 488 Pista

A suite of hugely sophisticated electronics also helps wring the maximum from the Pista’s performance, including Ferrari’s sixth-generation Side-Slip Angle Control set-up, which incorporates E-Diff3, F1-Trac, magnetorheological suspension (SCM) and Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer (FDE).

The 488 Pista has lapped Ferrari’s famous Fiorano test circuit in 1 minute 21.5 seconds – a time bested only by the considerably more expensive (and hard-to-get) F12tdf, at 1m21.0 seconds, and the brand’s flagship LaFerrari, at 1m19.7 seconds.
True supercar stuff – and available now at a Ferrari showroom even nearer to you.

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