Ferrari 488 Pista Debuts in Geneva

With 710-Horsepower, the 488 Pista is the most powerful V8 model in the company’s history.

byRahul Raman|
Ferrari News photo

Following in the legacy established by the Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale, 430 Scuderia, and 458 Speciale, the company unveiled its next hard-core track monster at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. The 2019 Ferrari 488 Pista, which stands for "track" in Italian is the latest member of the "race car with a license plate" family in Ferrari's portfolio. 

The Pista incorporates everything Ferrari has learned so far from the 488 GTE, GT3 and Challenge race cars. The revised 3.9-Liter twin-turbocharged V8 in the Pista pumps out an eye-watering 710-horsepower at 8000 rpm and 568 pound-feet of torque at 3000 rpm (this is an increase of 49-hp and 7 pound-feet of torque over the 488 GTB). With this modest bump in performance, Ferrari claims that the 488 Pista will hit 62 mph from a standstill in 2.9 seconds, will hit 124 mph from zero in 7.6 seconds and has a max velocity of more than 211 mph. 

Compared to the 488 GTB, the Pista is 0.3-inches lower, 0.9-inches wider, and 1.5-inches shorter in overall length. Because of many weight reduction measures throughout the vehicle, the 488 Pista is nearly 198 pounds lighter than the 488 GTB. When weighed dry (without any fluids), the Pista is less than 44 pounds heavier than the 488 GTE and 488 GT3. 

The 488 GTB is already a competent track monster but in order to make the 488 Pista an even more potent track monster, Ferrari has fitted it with the GTE's angled front splitter, a reshaped front bumper, revised rear diffuser, a dolphin-tail spoiler, and has added additional air-exiting holes into the rear fenders. However, the 488 Pista's party piece is the steep channel carved into the hood. Aerospace and racing engineers refer to this as an "S-duct," a design which increases the downforce on the front axle by funneling air from the bottom of the diffuser and directs it upwards in an S pattern, which creates a suction effect between the channeled air and the surface of the car. When all of the aerodynamic enhancements are combined, it results in a 20 percent increase in downforce on the 488 Pista. 

Ferrari's Side-Slip Angle Control, which is in its sixth version in the Pista, controls the electronic limited-slip differential, the traction and stability control, and the response of the magnetic dampers. The system can also vary how hard the brake calipers bite. The cockpit of the 488 Pista is business as usual, but it features additional microsuede trim, red stripes, and five-point seatbelts, which can be installed after the owner drives their 488 Pista off the showroom floor, at least in the U.S.

Ferrari has yet to announce the pricing on the 488 Pista.  However, considering that a 488 GTB starts around $260,000, expect the 488 Pista to cost well north of the $300,000 threshold.