Race car DNA makes the Ferrari 488 Pista a formidable track weapon

Even Ferrari has a hierarchy. Sure, the current 488 GTB is great, but when it launched everyone knew it was only a matter of time before Ferrari introduced a more hardcore version, in the vein of the previous 458 Speciale, 430 Scuderia, and 360 Challenge Stradale. That car, the Ferrari 488 Pista, makes its debut next month at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.

“Pista” is Italian for “track,” which is appropriate, because that’s where the 488 Pista was designed to spend most of its time. Like its predecessors, the Pista dials everything up to 11, with more power, less weight, and more sophisticated aerodynamic aids. Ferrari claims to have used its racing experience to make the Pista as fast as it can be.

The transformation from 488 GTB to 488 Pista starts with the engine. The Pista uses the same 3.9-liter twin-turbocharged V8 as the GTB, but the engine now produces 710 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. That’s the most power of any road-going Ferrari V8 ever, and an increase of 50 hp and 8 lb-ft over the GTB. The Pista engine borrows its turbochargers, exhaust system, and other parts from the 488 Challenge race car to help shed weight and increase performance.

Speaking of performance, Ferrari claims the Pista will do 0 to 62 mph in 2.8 seconds, shaving 0.2 second off the GTB’s time. The Pista’s claimed top speed is 211 mph, compared to 205 mph for the GTB.

That speed is due not only to the Pista’s increased power, but also to its decreased weight. Ferrari says the Pista weighs 2,821 pounds dry, down from the GTB’s 3,020-pound curb weight. Various racing-inspired aerodynamic tricks also give the Pista 20 percent more downforce than the GTB, which should have a positive effect in the corners.

Like all modern Ferraris, the 488 Pista also features a host of electronics to keep the driver from crashing. The usual F1-Trac traction-control system, electronic differential, and adaptive suspension system with magnetorheological dampers are joined by Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer which uses software to adjust the pressure the brake calipers apply to the rotors for an extra layer of electronic control.

The Ferrari 488 Pista debuts at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show March 6. Details on pricing and a U.S. launch will come at a later date.

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