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Just How Speciale Is The Ferrari 488 GTB?

by Sam Jemielity

Just days ago, we shared a video courtesy of Ferrari of the new 488 GTB, including footage of actor Keanu Reeves at the wheel. Now automotive journalist Jethro Bovington takes his turn in Ferrari’s latest creation in a video for EVO. Bovington kicks off his review by taking a spin in two epic predecessors of the 488, the Ferrari 458 Speciale and the F40 with one question in mind: Can the 488 outperform its fantastic forebears?

As Bovington races along in a 458 Speciale, which he terms “the benchmark” for Ferrari performance, he notes how it is “joyously, shockingly precise.” Bovington marvels: “How can the 488 match the sheer excitement of this car?” On the other hand, in the F40, Bovington applauds its “all-consuming fury.” Summing up the gauntlet thrown down for the 488 GTB, he says: “Imagine a car with the instantaneous response of the Speciale and the fury and drama of the F40. Is that asking too much of the 488?”

Certainly, in terms of pure speed, the 488 is quicker than the Speciale. Its 3.9-liter twin turbo V8 makes 661 horsepower at 8000 RPM, with 560 lb-ft. of torque. That delivers a ridiculous 0-62 mph clocking of 3.0 seconds, and an even more ridiculous 0-124 mph sprint of 8.3 seconds. The review delves into other special performance features of the 488, including Ferrari’s Variable Torque Management, which optimizes pickup in every gear. The 488 chassis also has the Side Slip Control Angle 2 (SSC-2), as does the Speciale, which sets the car a target slip angle. Essentially, this feature makes the car easier to drive, gives you more stability, giving 12% greater acceleration out of corners.

Does all this mean the 488 rises to the challenge of its predecessors. Not quite, according to this reviewer, at least. Bovington says the 488 GTB just doesn’t quite bring about the goosebumps the Speciale evokes in Covington. “This car is magic,” he says. “Just not quite as magic as a Speciale.”

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