2017 Ferrari 488 GT3 race car
Test mules for Ferrari’s 488 successor are already out and about, but before the redesigned car arrives we’ll see a more hardcore version of the 488 GTB, just as the 458 Italia spawned the 458 Speciale before being replaced.
According to Autocar, the hardcore 488 will revive the storied “GTO” badge which Ferrari last used in 2010 for the 599 GTO.
Applying the badge to the 488 would certainly be more credible than the last time, since Ferrari actually races the 488 in international GT3 competition as well as in the GTE class of the World Endurance Championship. The “O” in GTO stands for Omologato, Italian for “homologated.”
A 488 GTO would also make an awesome spiritual successor to the 288 GTO of the 1980s, another mid-engine model powered by a twin-turbocharged V-8.
1985 Ferrari 288 GTO – Image via Mecum Auctions
Autocar reports that the hardcore 488 will stick with the 488 GTB’s 3.9-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 but see the engine’s output dialed up to around 700 horsepower, up from the current 660-hp rating. There would also be upgrades to the aerodynamics and chassis as well as a weight-saving program that could see the car’s dry weight drop below 3,000 pounds. The 488 GTB weighs in at 3,020 lb, dry, while McLaren’s 720S comes in at just 2,800 lb.
We won’t speculate on the car’s performance, but Autocar thinks it will hit 62 mph in a little more than 2.7 seconds and 124 mph in just 7.5 seconds. Those numbers seem overly optimistic, so we’ll just have to wait and see. McLaren says the 720S will do 0-62 mph in under 3.0 seconds and 0-124 mph in 7.8 seconds.
The hardcore 488, whatever it ends up being labeled, is expected in 2018, one year before the 488 successor is due.
By the time it arrives, Porsche should have its new 911 GT2 ready to face it. No doubt the McLaren 720S and Lamborghini’s Huracán Performante would also give it a run for its money.