2016 Ferrari 488 GTB Quick Review

By Scott Newman, 01 May 2016 Car Reviews

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2016 Ferrari 488 GTB Quick Review

Maranello’s latest mid-engine masterpiece will redefine your concept of speed

STRENGTHS

  • Speed, oh my, the speed. The 488’s 3.9-litre V8 has two turbochargers which help it produce a staggeringly powerful 492kW/760Nm. Ferrari claims it can jet from 0-200km/h - yes 200km/h! - in 8.3sec and we have no reason to doubt it.
  • Handling. You might expect a Ferrari to be brilliant to drive, but it hasn’t always historically been the case. These days, thankfully, it is, and the Ferrari 488 is one of the best. Apart from its crazy acceleration, it’s not at all intimidating to drive and has very clever electronics to keep everything pointed in the right direction.
  • It’s easy to drive. While the 488’s width has to be taken into account, vision is reasonable and the dual-clutch gearbox makes this Ferrari a doddle to drive in traffic. Having all the controls - indicators, wipers, lights etc. - located on the steering wheel does take some getting used to, but it’s actually a very neat solution.
  • Looks. In the metal the 488 has serious supercar presence; photographs don’t really do it justice. It can quite literally stop traffic and attracts smartphone paparazzi like moths to a flame.
  • It’s practical. Well, by supercar standards at least. There’s a ‘boot’ in the nose large enough for a few squishy bags or a small suitcase or two and there’s more space behind the seats. Press the ‘Bumpy Road’ button the steering wheel and the suspension is even reasonably comfortable, absorbing bumps that would bother plenty of other super sporty machinery.
  • Maintenance. Every new Ferrari comes with seven years complimentary scheduled maintenance. Yes, we’re serious. Buy a Ferrari and you won’t pay for a service for the first seven years of its life.

WEAKNESSES

  • Build quality. Ferraris have come a very long way in the quality stakes, but the passenger seat rattled in our test car and there was a persistent buzzing in the dash that became very irritating. It could’ve been – and probably was – an isolated case, but for this amount of money probably shouldn’t be.
  • Options pricing. The base price of the 488 is $469,988 but it’s all too easy to swell that figure by $100,000 or more by delving into Ferrari’s extensive options list, and that’s before exploring Maranello’s almost limitless personalisation options. Granted, prospective buyers are likely to care little but some of the gear could (and should) be standard.
  • Availability. If you’re keen on adding the 488 to your collection, the bad news is you’ll be waiting a while, as the current queue is in excess of 18 months. Ferrari is eager to keep its exclusive status, and that means only building so many cars.

Any rivals I should consider?

Lamborghini Huracan, Audi R8 V10 Plus, Porsche 911 Turbo S, McLaren 650S