This is the Ferrari 488 GTB, the company's mid-engine supercar, which replaces the 458 Italia. Launched at the Geneva Motor Show, the 488 features an evolutionary design but is revolutionary in other areas such as its engine.

Most notably, this is one of the first modern Ferraris to use a turbo-charged engine. Certainly, it's the first in Ferrari's lineage of mid-engine supercars (348, 355, 360, 430, 458) to use anything other than a naturally-breathing V8. The turbo-charging has some immediately obvious impacts on its design, too.

First up, the 488 GTB is more powerful than any of its predecessors. It produces 670 horsepower – a figure that eclipses Ferrari's hypercar of just a decade ago, the Enzo. That means it'll rush to 62mph in three seconds dead. And it doesn't run out of steam until 205mph.

Heady stuff, but the problem with turbo-charged engines is that they don't like to rev, they tend not to sound as good, and the throttle response tends to be less instantaneous than a non-turbo car. We won't know whether any of that turns out to be true until we get to sample the 488 GTB on the road – but given that maximum power is produced at 8000rpm, the signs are Ferrari might be on their way to having solved some of the problems typically associated with a turbo motor.


More problematic perhaps, is that turbo-charged engines need force-feeding a lot of air and the turbo needs a lot of cooling in order not to get too hot. This has resulted in the 488 looking the way it does – which is a lot less pure than the 458 – because it's adorned with huge scoops, slats and vents in order to cool the engine then get the hot air out. The upshot is the most aerodynamically efficient Ferrari ever, but also one that's got 50 per cent more downforce than its predecessor. Given those seemingly conflicting bits of physics, that's pretty impressive.

Whether its looks are a big improvement on the 458 is up for debate. We're not saying the new 488 looks bad – we thought it looked awesome in the pictures before Geneva kicked off – but seeing it on the stand at the show we were left feeling slightly less sure.

There are some very cool details though, like the front splitter, the mesh to the side of the engine bay glass and the rear tail-lights. And you're never going to mistake if for anything other than a Ferrari, are you? Even in the grey finish it's clearly the real deal.


Inside it's a similar story. The thematic approach is similar to the 458, everything is covered in lacquered carbon-fibre or super-high quality leather and the switchgear is spare – focused around the steering wheel, from which you operate the lights, wipers, turn signals and the "mannetino" to select the driving mode and level of stability system intervention you want.

We're slightly sad to see the 458's twisting left-v-right air vent stack disappear – its spirit remains in a new design to the right of the instrument cluster, which is less dramatic than before – but the amazing wrap-around seats are a highlight.

As is the way with Ferrari's mid-engine super cars there's no centre screen, and the instrument cluster retains a three-segment approach, with a massive analogue rev counter in the centre and two digital screens to the side.


Ferrari is one of the launch customers for Apple CarPlay, but with no centre touchscreen in this car, it's as yet unclear if the system will make it into the 488. Still, who wants to faff with reading text messages and deciding what music to play when driving a Ferrari? Exactly.

The 488 GTB goes on sale later this year. Expect it to cost around £200,000 once you've gone on an obligatory trip through the options list. And if you've not already got your name down for one, expect to be quoted a 2017 delivery date, as demand for each new Ferrari continues to vastly outstrip supply.