Test Ferrari 488 GTB and meet F40

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Test Ferrari 488 GTB and meeting with F40
Subscriptions & booklets

Later, when the biturbo legend F errari F40 and meet the latest biturbo Ross 488 GTB, the sports driver's heart glows with happiness again, but now, right now, you would like to have a fit of rage like ex-Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso in his 'underground' F1 season at McLaren.

Ferrari 488 GTB way too loud to crouch heim

What happened? Hockenheimring, small course, the first fast lap in the Ferrari 488 GTB, but then suddenly someone stands on the track and says we are not allowed to do any more laps. A six-person Scuderia test crew is waiting in the pit, and their team clothing is very similar to the Formula 1 team. The clipboard and stopwatch are ready - a fantastic lap time of the latest cavallino rampante is expected. And then you are forced back to the pits after half a lap.

'Mr. Gebhardt, that doesn't work that way, the Ferrari is way too loud! ', says track manager Klaus Schwenninger, as if you had just stabbed through the Motodrom in a fighter jet. Out of the blue the long promised test time window is then closed again - unfortunately not an isolated case.

After minutes of pleading and begging, we are granted five minutes on the track. Because if it doesn't work out today, the Ferrari 488 GTB back to Maranello without a lap time.

Historic engine change

Press the start button, the Ferrari 488 GTB is allowed to attack again in the test. Under one of the most beautiful shop windows in sports car construction, the previously known V8 naturally aspirated engine (internal F136 FB) has now swapped jobs with the V8 biturbo unit from the new F154 engine family, which has been available in various modifications since 2013 in both the Maserati Quattroporte GTS and the Ferrari California T is used.

A historic event - the F154 engines are the first Ferrari turbo engines since the F120A V8 of the legendary F40 in 1987.Compared to its predecessor 458 Italia, the displacement of the Ferrari 488 has shrunk from 4,499 to 3,902 cubic centimeters, but the nominal power has increased from 570 to an impressive 670 hp. Mamma mia!

The V8 biturbo rages out of the pit lane again after the mandatory break, rumbling thunderstorms. The high-frequency metallic screeching of its predecessor may have disappeared, but the excited gaze from track manager Schwenninger was already praise enough for the new power plant, whose two twin-scroll chargers from IHI compress the intake air with up to 1.3 bar overpressure. It sounds darker now, the bursting speed peaks are history. I like the superior 488 bass, even if the acoustically the 458 is unmatched.

Race mode something for boulevard racers

'Wet', 'Sport', 'Race', 'CT off' or 'ESC off' - the task now is to prepare the red bullet as best as possible for the upcoming five minutes in the border area. As is typical for Ferrari, you can not only select indicators, high beam, damper stiffness and windscreen washer on the carbon steering wheel, but also traditionally adjust the driving modes on the so-called Manettino.

We skip the race mode directly. Why? Forget the race mode, it is something for boulevard racers who want to impress the person sitting next to them. At the limit on the racetrack, the regulatory interventions are far too vehement, and this mode bears its name wrongly.

Those who do not immediately put their full trust in the new Berlinetta can first select the 'CT off' mode. The traction control is deactivated, only the ESP is still lying in wait and catches the Ferrari 488 in an absolute emergency - works great and also allows amazing power oversteer.

But why we put the steering wheel lever directly after 'ESC off 'turn? Because you can trust the biturbo punch and its impact hardness, which has increased by 220 to a maximum of 740 Nm. The Ferrari 488 GTB is not a deceitful one, not one who suddenly lets its tail hang out unexpectedly. Quickly building trust is good if you only get five minutes of test time on the racetrack.

Ferrari 488 GTB with sports tires in the test

You feel at home right away, and not just in the perfectly fitting bucket seats , but also at the limit with the Ferrari 488 GTB. Turbo lag? Mid-engine hectic? Sweaty palms? Nothing like that characterizes the fast lap in the GTB. Since the 458 Speciale, which sadly never visited us for a test, Ferrari is now finally using sports tires for the 488 (but optional here). Instead of the standard Michelin Pilot Super Sport, the 488 now wears Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 sports shoes. The grip level of the sports tires only takes a bit of getting used to when it is wet. In the dry conditions they reach her surprisingly quicklyWorking temperature window.

Pedal to the metal, full throttle - only four minutes, then the route lights will jump to red again for us today. During the test, the 488 GTB turns onto the start-finish straight and takes a run-up . While the central speed needle dives towards the eight thousand mark, five red switch lights in the steering wheel rim light up one after the other. The display next to it is devilishly boosted - if it is turbo, then please with a playful boost pressure display. What the Reds from Maranello are really good at - they transport a maximum dose of emotion at all times - regardless of whether they are fetching bread or just now when the Ferrari 488 GTB is successively downgrading the North and Army Iron bends.

Revving pleasure surprises in the Ferrari 488 GTB

There is a' 1+ with asterisk 'for the performance characteristics of the biturbo V8. Can someone else do better now? With an almost seamless response and a fascinating power delivery from the speed reductions, the Ferrari engine makes any other answer than 'no' almost impossible.

And the high revving power of the biturbo unit is also surprising. For the first few meters, the Ferrari 488 is almost galloping into the rev limiter because one suspects that it can turn even higher. The rated output is 8,000 rpm - 1,000 tours earlier than the 458 Italia. In the upper speed range, the performance characteristics of this turbo engine are almost similar to that of a naturally aspirated engine, which makes us better digest the pain of losing another great V8 aspirator.

Zack, Zack, Zack - also wonderful, like the seven-speed Dual clutch transmission beats down the gears when braking with heart-rending double-declutching thrusts. According to Ferrari, thanks to optimizations, the transmission shifts the gears up 30 percent faster and down 40 percent faster than in the 458.

Certain smoothness in the steering

With the electromechanical power steering, the ideal line is aimed directly at the ideal line as in the 458 Italia. The precision around the middle position still meets a certain ease of movement. This provides quite comfortable and relaxed steering behavior in everyday life, but requires a short time to get used to on the racetrack if you don't want to oversteer the car. Slightly higher holding forces in the limit area would counteract this.

Although the new V8 biturbo weighs around 15 kg more than its naturally aspirated engine, the total weight of the Berlinetta remained almost identical. At 1,544 kilos, the Ferrari 488 GTB weighs only four kilos more than the 458 that once went through the Supertest (issue 8/2010, here for the article). Despite the now slightly more tail-heavy weight distributionfrom 40.7 to 59.3 percent (458: 42.3 to 57.7 percent), the Ferrari 488 GTB impresses with its balanced chassis.

After the direct steering behavior, it pushes into a very, very slight understeer. Certainly the right set-up to make a 670 HP mid-engine sports car with an incredible torque punch not only for professionals, but also for the rest of the customer base - whining at the highest sports car level.

Ferrari 488 GTB with formidable braking value

With air pressure corrections on the front axle and a new set of tires, the driving behavior could have been adjusted even better to the tight corners of the small course. Compared to the 458, however, the Ferrari 488 GTB behaved much more neutral in the test. And there still has to be room for a more radical 488 version à la 'Speciale'.

Until then, the 488 can be celebrated for setting the fastest time of the 458 on the only 2.6 kilometers long sport auto reference distance undercut by 2.2 seconds. 1.08.3 min, 1.08.3 min and 1.08.3 min - more than three timed laps, plus one set of tires, are not possible today. Already mentioned air pressure corrections and a fresh set of tires - unfortunately we cannot offer the Ferrari 488 GTB all of the possibilities that other test candidates of this caliber are allowed to do today. We will definitely invite him again. Under ideal conditions, a lap time just below the 1.08-minute limit is certainly possible.

1.08.3 minutes, but the 'lap times quick shot' is enough for a top position immediately. The 488 GTB laps the short circuit faster than the Porsche 911 GT3 RS (1.08.5 min), the Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 (1.08.6 min), the McLaren 650S (1.08.7 min) and the Porsche 911 Turbo S (1.08.7 min). The 488 GTB also takes down Porsche cult devices such as the 911 GT2 RS (1.08.4 min) or the Carrera GT (1.08.6 min) in Hockenheim. Respect!

Today the 488 does not write history with its lap time, but with its braking speed of 100 km /h. The Ferrari technicians from his super sports car brother, LaFerrari, implanted the sensitive, standard ceramic brake system in him. A deceleration of 12.8 m /s and a braking value of 100 km /h to zero in just 30.2 meters make the GTB the best brakeman of all time in the sport auto test history before the Porsche 911 GT3 (30.7 m) , the Corvette C6 Z06 (31.0 m), the Porsche 911 GT3 RS and the Ferrari F12 (both 31.3 m) and the Porsche 918 Spyder (31.4 m).

GTB also works in the snow without any problems

Change of scene, the spray sprays wildly from the shafts of the rear diffuser. Passionately in between - the rear fog light, whose F1 look is reminiscent of rain battles in Monza. Weather change, three days after Hockenheim. Its lap of honor leads the 488 GTB into the snow-covered Kleinwalsertal.Pirelli Sottozero winter tires instead of Michelin Cup sports tires. Now the 'Wet' mode is active.

It regulates the torque shaft courageously, but at the same time sensitively, so that the Ferrari 488 GTB can be moved easily on wet or snowy slopes. On the chassis side, the Ferrari developers also modified the adaptive dampers, which, among other things, carry new piston rods. The 488 is therefore one of the most comfortable sports cars in everyday life.

But why go to Kleinwalsertal of all places? Because it is there at 1,122 meters above sea level - probably the most beautiful garage in the Alps. And because a sport auto reader has lived there from the very beginning, and he has great confidence in us. Find someone who opens his garage door in this dreary weather and then pushes the ignition key into your hand. Not just any ignition key, no, the ignition key of a legend. 'You can drive him out,' says Manfred Renz. It is thanks to the 74-year-old Ferrari F40 owner that this story, captured so wonderfully in the picture, takes place. We are fast with you, the wavelength is right immediately, the Stuttgart-born Renz is not one of these cliché Ferrari drivers. The gleam in his eyes reveals that it's only the technology that counts, not the status.

Ferrari F40 gives you goose bumps

16,614 kilometers, first owner, best condition - resting heart rate 170. Full bucket seats, mottled green carbon fiber, the dashboard covered with felt, analog instruments, open gate control - the cathedral of street sports car construction, the last series Ferrari presented by company founder Enzo Ferrari, now serves the longing more than ever.

The fact that comfort and weight were still foreign words back then is revealed by the over-sportsman who weighs only 1,254 kilos as soon as the door is closed. Instead of a door handle, a thin wire rope hangs in an A4-sized opening that gapes in the middle of the carbon door panel. And this F40 is already the 'comfort version' - with window cranks and real glass panes in the window frames. The first copies were still delivered with racing-typical plastic panes including sliding windows.

On the subject of the 'F40 door' Manfred remembers an anecdote with a smile: 'After I bought the car in 1991 from Auto Becker in Düsseldorf, I did the door had to be repainted six months later. Ferrari was a disaster in terms of workmanship at the time. After I removed the door panel, I found an empty beer bottle behind it, which a Ferrari mechanic must have forgotten there. ' Today, the high-quality workmanship of the 488 can easily compete with meticulously produced athletes.

The hand wanders to the start button. Pressing, goosebumps, watery eyes - Manfred's F40 no longer has a silencer or a catalytic converter. The V8 weighing 168 kilos without any operating resourceswith a displacement of 2,936 cubic centimeters roars deeply and darkly and whitewashes the garage floor with an oil-fuel cloud. The drumming idle bass sounds more like Le Mans than street legal. Acoustically, the oldie clearly wins against its biturbo grandson 488.

Huge turbo lag

'You can tell without a cat It is clear that he then has more bangs and the turbo lag is not that strong, 'Manfred continues. According to the factory specifications at the time, the 478 hp V8 should then have its maximum torque of 577 Nm without a Kat earlier. Formerly means: from 4,000 tours. With the Kat, the maximum torque of 575 Nm is only available at 4,500 rpm. Quotation from my only borderline experience with an F40 in 2011: 'Silence, silence, silence, 21, 22, 23 ... - the brute turbo-neck blow that messes, enchants and enchants for a lifetime.' Before the analog boost pressure needle twitches, there is a deep turbo lag waiting. Unbelievable what has happened in turbo technology since then.

With a metallic click, the first gear engaged in the open five-speed gate on the rear left. Today there is no full load acceleration, but 500 meters of snow and ice-covered path to the photo point in front of the mountain panorama. Understandably, more is not possible today. 'You're probably the first to have moved an F40 in the snow - with summer tires,' says Manfred, still smiling. Brief information: Twelve F40s between 1.1 and 1.5 million euros are currently being offered on mobile.de.

The operating forces of the perforated clutch pedal require racing cyclists' calves. Narrow shoes are a must - the little toe can feel the turning steering column right next to the clutch pedal. Phew, pulse rate felt 220, then the snowy photo area is reached. While the F40 and 488 shine in the sunset, Manfred tells us how he moves his F40. Enzo would have really enjoyed it.

At night, F40, hill climb

'I drive when the weather is nice at night to the former Oberjoch hill climb, which is not far from here. The next day I look again at my black lines that I drew at night with the F40. They are so beautifully even, the F40 has another one mechanical lock. So that I can see the curves better at night, by the way, I swapped the weak standard lights for xenon last year, 'says the 74-year-old. Birthday party will be celebrating in 2017. What birthday party? July 21, 2017 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the F40 presentation - the chances of a dry Oberjoch mountain race course should therefore be significantly better than today. Arrivederci, F40. Goodbye, Manfred!


Leave a reply

Name *