What you need to know about the Ferrari 488 Pista

23w ago


Perfection. It's something manufacturers only dream of. And while some get it about as wrong as you can get while still being a car, others miss it by agonisingly minuscule distances. I'd say the Ferrari 488 Pista is precisely that. Slightly imperfect perfection.

Let’s start by saying that Ferrari has done a brilliant job at making sure that people know that this is different from the standard 488. It’s something like the difference between a regular snake and deadly one: both of them killing machines, one of them absolutely brutal, leaving no chance to anything crossing its path.

T he Pista looks angry, very angry. Almost, but not quite, as angry as a Lamborghini. And that’s a very difficult thing to achieve indeed. Its front is enraged, and its rear looks like it’s yelling the scariest things you’ve ever heard. The whole exterior is basically a giant warning sign scaring off any unwelcome visitors on track day.

The interior is also fantastic. While it greatly resembles the interior of many track cars, it’s got an air of Alcantara-clad comfort, and is really quite simple as far as supercars go; a mostly electronic dashboard, jagged air conditioning vents, a few prominent buttons, an automatic gearbox, and paddle shifters behind the wheel. All in all, nothing like most German or Japanese sports cars, loaded with so many controls and buttons all over the place that you’re scared of pressing any of them. This is not too much, not too little. Just right.

A single yellow dial is the monument to analogue in the Ferrari of 2019.

So what lies beneath the bonnet of this fearsome Italian stallion? Again, as is their habit, Ferrari have not gone overboard on this. They took a simple 3.9 litre V8, and spent time squeezing every last fraction of power out of it, then added two turbochargers just for fun. The car, surprisingly, is rear wheel drive, and, as mentioned, the gearbox is a dual clutch transmission.

After all this, you’re probably left wondering how this is anything out of the ordinary. Though you will notice I left something out when writing down the specs- the power. Just how much did they squeeze out?

A heart-stopping 537kW/720HP. From a V8. If that isn’t insanity I don’t know what is.

The stats? A crazy 0-100 in 2.8 seconds. The top speed is 340 km/h.

All this, in a car which not only maintains its grip around corners, but also can be made to drift. Yep, because it’s rear wheel drive, you can send this car sideways as much as you want. This is thanks to a system which takes the power away from you when your drift starts to go wrong, but when it feels you’re going to drift around a corner, it brakes just enough to send the car sideways. I’m positive this system will save many imprudent drivers from turning their car into yet another Ferrari wreck.

But maybe the Pista is too close to mechanical perfection for its own good. Sometimes imperfections are what makes a car interesting, and while I think this car is incredible as it is, I feel the electronic training wheels should be removed to make it the ultimate V8 instrument. I feel this should be a car which really tests the very best of drivers. That, I'd say, would be perfection.


645K (AUD); 3.9-litre twin-turbocharged V8; 537kW/770Nm; 7-speed dual-clutch automatic; RWD; 0-100km/h in 2.8 seconds; 340km/h; 1385kg