According to Autocar, Ferrari is in the process of completely re-engineering the 488 GTB to go head to head with Porsche’s most recent track special, the 911 GT2 RS.
The 488 GTB will undergo a complete rework from the ground up starting with the removal of all non-essential parts such as the sound deadening from its interior and engine bay. It will also feature an array of lightweight components including thinner (and lighter) glass, forged wheels alongside a ceramic brake setup.
Ferrari has also been busy reworking the cars software and aero bodywork starting with the Side Slip Angle Control to give the car additional downforce and increased cornering speeds. Autocar claims that the team at Maranello has been busy improving the standard 488’s aero profile to increase the downforce via a series of changes including larger air intakes and a remodelled rear diffuser. In standard form, the 488 produces 325kg of downforce at 155mph so any track ready special should improve on this number by some margin as a result of these changes.
The 3.9-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine will receive a power boost thanks to internal modifications and an increase in turbo pressure to produce a headline figure of 700bhp. All of this additional grunt will be enough to propel the 488 GTO from 0-62mph in just 2.7 seconds along with a 0-124mph time of around 7.5 seconds thanks in part to a reduced sub 1,400kg kerbweight.
Now for the reasoning behind the rebirth of the iconic name. Ferrari is rumoured to be reserving the GTO moniker for the car which has only been used in three previous models. The first two were full spec racing cars with the 250 GTO and the 288 GTO. The most recent being the much sought after road-legal 599 GTO. In past years Ferrari has given its lightweight V8 specials iconic titles with the 360 Challenge Stradale, 430 Scuderia and the most recent the 458 Speciale. Hence, the use of the GTO title could be seen as a natural progression for what will be the exotic carmakers fastest ever V8 powered lightweight track-day special.
While Ferrari themselves has yet to comment officially on the upcoming model, recent sightings of test mules in light camouflage serve to suggest that a revised lightweight 488 is close to being finalised for a 2018 reveal. As usual with these things, no price has been confirmed, but expect any GTO model to carry a substantial premium over the standard car with a starting price of £215,000 plus.
Do you think that the lightened track focused Ferrari 488 is deserving of the GTO name? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.