The new Ferrari 488 GTB is an absolute beast

Horses for courses. The 488 GTB was launched at Inglis Newarket Stables in Sydney on Tuesday.

Ferrari unveiled its latest prancing horse in Australia today, and four decades after its mid-rear-engined V8 berlinetta, the 308, the Ferrari 488GTB is bound to both thrill and horrify fans.

Around 85% of the car has been designed from scratch, but the big change that will have purists arguing until the chequered flag is waved is the 3902cc V8 is now turbo-charged, both for power and environmental reasons, punching out 492kW, a jump of 18% on its predecessor, the 458, with a maximum torque of 760Nm, up a whopping 41%, Ferrari Australasia CEO Herbert Appleroth said at Wednesday’s launch.

You’ll hit 100km/h in 3 seconds, 200km/h in an astonishing 8.3 seconds via the 7-speed F1 dual-clutch transmission. More importantly, the improved braking means you’ll stop using 8% less distance. If you can find somewhere to keep the pedal down, top speed is 330km/h. And diehards will be impressed that the 488 will cross the line at Ferrari’s Fiorano test track 0.5 second in front of the 458 Speciale.

There’s a whole bunch of new tech in the design, with its 308-inspired flanks, delivering better performance all around, with engine and command response times of just 0.8 and 0.06 seconds respectively.

But there is some bad news. Even with a starting price tag of just under $470,000, the 488 is already sold out on its initial Australian allocation, so now there’s now a two-year wait. Demand for Ferraris is back at pre-GFC levels, with the high-end sports car market booming. Ferrari has nearly matched its annual sales of around 110 cars already in 2015.

You’ll start seeing the first 488s whizzing past on Australian streets in December.

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