Ferrari 488 Pista’s Aussie connection

Ultra-light and ultra- expensive carbon fibre wheels for Ferrari 488 Pista are made in Geelong

Ferrari 488 Pista Serving Jpg

The first Australian example of Ferrari’s fastest-ever V8-powered car came out from under the covers yesterday and it featured a little bit of Australia… actually, quite a big bit…

The Ferrari 488 Pista is an almost-$600,000 track-focused version of the 488 GTB coupe, and features technologies from its Formula One squad and GT racing programs.

It lives in rarified air in terms of competitors, but think Porsche 911 GT2 RS and McLaren 720S and you’re getting near the mark.

The 3.9-litre twin turbo V8-powered sportster can rocket to 100km/h in a claimed 2.8 seconds, and it’s got more aerodynamic trickery than a jet fighter.

Ferrari 488 Pista Wheel Jpg

Of real interest, though, are the carbon fibre wheels that have been optioned on the Argento Nurburgring (silver to you and I) coloured assessment model revealed in Sydney yesterday.

The Carbon Revolution rims hail from a growing company in the Victorian town of Geelong, and they represent a real coup for local manufacturing. It is the only producer of one-piece carbon fibre wheel rims in the world, and the Ferrari deal means that it can expand its operations and start to bring down the cost of the amazingly light but brutally strong wheels.

Oh, I didn’t mention the cost, did I? They are estimated to cost $40,000 a set, on top of the car’s $645,000 driveaway price.

Ferrari 488 Pista Carbon Jpg

For that, the 20-inch dimeter rims shed as much as 3kg of weight per corner when compared to the rims on the donor 488 GTB, which helps to improve handling by reducing what’s called unsprung weight, or weight that moves up and down. This, in turn, helps the suspension work better and allows the car to steer and ride bumps with more precision.

The rims are hand-made in Geelong from sheets of carbon fibre cloth that’s laid into shape, before being cured in a large oven called an autoclave. This is, of course, massively oversimplifying a complex process, which only Carbon Revolution alone has so far managed to perfect.

Ferrari 488 Pista Strope Jpg

The wheels are clear-coated, and there’s an alloy liner on the inside of the rim’s surface to protect it from heat, which is usually the big enemy for carbon fibre bits.

You’ll also see the wheels on Ford’s GT and top-spec Mustang Shelby GT350R, and you can add them to your own supercar, should you have the cash.

Ferrari reckons the average buyer spends another $65,000 on bits and pieces – those painted-on stripes are $16,000, for example, Apple CarPlay can cost over $6700, and the Ferrari shields can run out to $3100 for the pair.

The 488 Pista touches down in Australia next year.


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