Ferrari reveals lighter, more powerful 488 Pista at Geneva Motor Show

Ferrari 488 Pista delivers extreme, track-level performance on the road

Following the release of its first images, Ferrari held the global premier of the new 488 Pista at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, powered by the most powerful V8 engine in Maranello’s marque history. 

The Ferrari 488 Pista encompasses all of the experience built up on the world’s circuits by the 488 Challenge and the 488 GTE. Its engine adopts numerous solutions from the 488 Challenge, but the power output has been increased to 720 cv. 

The new titanium con-rods and carbon-fiber intake plenums contribute to the Pista’s lighter weight. The inverted radiator cooling system is also derived from the Challenge with the radiators raked rearwards (rather forwards as in the 488 GTB), improving cooling and maintaining optimal performance levels even in high thermal stress situations.

The car’s aerodynamics are derived from both the 488 GTE and from Formula 1, specifically the S-Duct at its front, the rear spoiler and diffuser profiles, which boost efficiency by 20% compared to the 488 GTB. Other solutions have been carried over from the track to shave off further weight, including the lithium battery (from the 488 Challenge) and also the new carbon-fiber wheel rims - a first for Ferrari. The overall result is that the Ferrari 488 Pista is an impressive 90 kg lighter than the 488 GTB.

Its engine can punch out 720 cv at 8,000 rpm, giving the best specific power output of 185 cv/l, while the torque is higher at all engine speeds, peaking at 770 Nm (10 Nm more than the 488 GTB). The 50 cv power increase over the 488 GTB’s engine is also the largest ever leap in engine power for a Ferrari special series car and a remarkable 115 cv more than the previous model, the 458 Speciale. In short, this V8 is the new benchmark not only for turbo-charged power units, but for all engines.

Benefitting from all the lightweight components of the Challenge version, the 488 Pista’s engine is 18 kg lighter than the 488 GTB. The exhaust manifolds are now made from Inconel while the crankshaft and flywheel are both lighter, too. Titanium con-rods have also been introduced and the reductions in the weight of the rotating masses cut inertia by 17%.

The Ferrari 488 Pista’s form has innovative elements such as the aerodynamic S-Duct at the front, as an opportunity to visually shorten the car’s nose, creating an original floating wing effect. The black, omega-shaped edging on the front bumpers and the side flicks reference the prominent aerodynamic underbody motif of the 488 GTE.

Most notable on the flanks is the splitter in the side air intakes of the 488 GTB has been removed. At the front, the aerodynamic profiles that start at the front bumpers run sleekly along the side miniskirts all the way to the side appendages of the rear diffuser.

The interior has a distinctive racing feel with all superfluous elements eliminated. The extensive use of lightweight, exclusive technical materials such as carbon-fiber and Alcantara works brilliantly with the meticulous crafting and sophistication that is the signature of all Ferrari cockpits. Contrasting hand-stitching, tread plates and heel rests in triangular pattern aluminum and particularly fluidly sculpted door panels are fine examples of this.