How to Blow $109,000 on Ferrari 488 GTB Options
Sure, the base model is already $250,000. But what are you, some kind of cheapskate?
Like the guy with a drawer full of $800 Vicuna socks, some people spend more on auto accessories than a normal person spends on an entire car. A luxury newbie might think that a Ferrari 488 GTB, that 661-horsepower Maranello mauler, would come stuffed to its pretty gills for its $249,150 base price. But no: The version I recently drove tagged on $109,000 in options—enough to buy a 650-horsepower Corvette Z06, with change left for a used Silverado.
Ferrari isn’t alone, of course. Porsche is notorious for its encyclopedic options lists, including such gotta-have additions as a $380 leather-lined fuse box for its 911. Cadillac and Jaguar are among luxury brands taking a page, however gilded, from mainstreamers like Hyundai by undercutting rivals’ base prices but leaving plenty of room to load up with optional goodies. Audi’s relentless move upmarket has seen it cheerfully adopt the no-free-lunch strategies of Mercedes-Benz and BMW; those wursts look delicious and semi-affordable in the window, but wait until you see what they charge for mustard. At Rolls-Royce, the typical customer now spends another 20 percent beyond the sticker price to flatter their sense of personal style. Since the most affordable Rolls-Royce, the Ghost Series II, starts at $300,000, that means buyers are spending $60,000, minimum, in options. Bills rise quickly with extras like the Starlight Headliner, a fiber-optic universe best thought of as a mobile for extremely spoiled babies. Price, $10,000 to $15,000.
For the moment, the Bentley Bentayga SUV takes the pricey cake with its optional, self-winding dashboard clock, the Breitling Mulliner Tourbillon. For just $160,000, you’ll know it’s time for your psychological exam.
That winds us full circle to the Ferrari. How, exactly, does one stuff $109,000 in options into a car that just fits two occupants, some soft luggage, and a 3.9-liter V8? Hang onto your wallet and let’s do the math, starting with a stripper 488 GTB at its $249,150 base price. Or build your own here.
Carbon Fiber Everything
Someday, the fixation on carbon fiber trimmings may run its course. This is not that day. Our Ferrari racked up $64,078 in CFP show-offery, nearly enough to buy an Italian car that’s largely made of carbon fiber, the Alfa Romeo 4C, which many people confuse with a Ferrari anyway. That includes $34,000 to flaunt its exterior weave in a way that Beyonce would never dare. The (admittedly gorgeous) carbon-fiber rear splitter is $9,600, which leads your eye to the $7,900 engine cover displayed under glass. Next, $8,600 for fiber-rich underdoor surfaces, $4,600 for rear air ducts, and $3,600 for side air splitters. Moving inside—after wiping Prada moccasins on the $1,900 door sill kicks, naturally—we have the “carbon fiber driver zone,” including those must-have LED tracer lights on the steering wheel, for about $7,600; fiber door panels, at $6,900; another $6,700 for various dashboard inserts; a $2,900 console bridge; and $4,000 to wrap the center tunnel, lest it feel bad about itself when it meets that fancy console bridge.
Performance at a Price
If you’re going to venture on track in a Ferrari, you’ll feel naked without the Goldrake racing seats, with their carbon-fiber shells, cool cutout between your thighs, and pass-throughs for a racing harness. Small, medium, or large, for $10,800. The star-patterned, 20-inch forged painted alloy wheels are $6,200, but at least you get four. Titanium exhaust pipes play to the tune of $2,500. Painted brake calipers, here in black, are $1,500.
You’ve come this far with your decadent Italian treat, so it’s time for a few cherries on top, beginning with a $12,500 paint job in classic Rosso Corsa. “Mi scusi,” a prospective buyer might ask. “Aren’t all Ferraris red? So it comes from the factory in bare metal?"
"Signor,” we imagine the salesman replying, dolefully shaking his head. “This is not some old Ferrari 308, belonging to, how you say, Magnum P.I.? No, this is Rosso Corsa Metallizzato. See how it reflects the sunlight, and the cheekbones of your beautiful wife. Very special.”
At that point, it’s a short step to matching red leather on the lower dashboard, for $1,350; a pair of adorable red horsies stitched on headrests, for $1,265; matching seat stitching, at $750; and, what the hell, one more pony for the outside—a Scuderia fender shield for another $1,700.
If you’re feeling sorely used in any way, the salesman will throw in the yellow tachometer—the sunlit center of the Ferrari universe—Michelin-brand tires, and a vehicle personalization, plate free of charge. Grand total: $358,393. Mortal buyers might say, “Are you out of you goddamn mind?” But people with the connections and cash for the illustrious 488 GTB will sigh and offer a sweeter response: Mille grazie, Ferrari.