Ferrari 488 Pista

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Last week, Ferrari pulled the covers off an all-new razor-sharp variant of the already blistering 488, called the ‘Pista.’ As with most mid-engined V8 missiles from Ferrari, the Pista slots in under the ‘Speciale’ banner as more of a track-bred stallion rather than a prancing horse. Being based on the 488, it takes on a much more focused look at the word supercar and performance.

When Ferrari first announced the 488, I was left feeling a little bit disappointed. Although the styling looked even more outlandish than the outgoing but gorgeous 458, they went and added a couple of huffers to the engine which I felt killed the fantastic N/A sound and along with it part of the soul which has been the defining characteristic of Ferrari since I can remember.

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Yes, I’m aware that every other super car manufacturer has had to adapt to the forced induction mythology, but the blitzing naturally aspirated induction wail of an Italian V8 being driven in anger has been impossible to match by any other manufacturer - it was purely Italian harnessed passion that just made Ferrari who they are.

However, my initial disappointment with the 488 may be about to change with this latest addition to the lineup. Pista – a name which loosely translates to ‘Track’ in Italian, immediately characterises the focus of this edition, and when you consider some of their previous names, the ‘Superfast’ or the iconic, but ridiculously named ‘Ferrari LaFerrari’ I think they have absolutely nailed the name of this special-edition 488.

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So what does the name ‘Pista get you? Well Ferrari’s boffins have added an extra fifty horses to the existing and already mind blowing 661hp of the 488 GTB and lifted the torque figure to 568lb-ft, which will rocket the 488 Pista from 0-100 to a staggering 2.8 seconds (or 2.85 for those that are overly anal).

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All those numbers aside, the part that has absolutely leapfrogged the 488 Pista ahead is its new styling and aerodynamics. They have gone and added F1 inspired diffusers to up the downforce 20% over the “standard” 488 and the new rear spoiler is bigger (which is always better – obviously) and wider. Now designing a car that is dictated by the movement of air can create some serious monstrosities, but from these initial press release photos i think it has created something of elegance.

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Rumour has it that these will retail at $645,000 in Australia, until you start ticking the inevitable options boxes like the $28,000 Carbon Fibre Wheels. The Pista should be some serious competition for the McLaren 720s, Porsche GT2 RS and Lamborghini Huracan Performante.  Its public debut is due at the Geneva Motor Show in two weeks, March 8 – 18 so I’m confident we’ll have some concrete information to get our chequebooks out to. It might still have two turbochargers strapped to the 3.9L V8, but I think looking at the unveiled form of the 488 Pista, that Ferrari soul may be back in force.