2019 Ferrari 488 Pista Prototype – Pure Adrenaline Rush

by Editorial Staff

The Ferrari 488 Pista has been highly acclaimed and is considered one of the best cars that  the Prancing Horse has manufactured. So how do you top a great car? Simple, by giving it 710 hp and remove about 200 lbs from its weight. But it doesn’t end there as the folks at Maranello improved the aerodynamics and the software too.

Design

The 488 Pista is a part of the Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale which consists of powerful mid-engine road cars. Without a doubt the 488 Pista is the best of the bunch in terms of power and performance, and the ironic thing is the 2019 model also happens to be the easiest one to drive.

The chassis has been upgraded and it feels stronger and has better integration with the tarmac. Even so it still feels lighter compared to those on other cars, so riding in the 488 Pista is smooth thanks to the redesign of the other components. The springs are stiffer and the shock absorbers have been re-calibrated, ensuring body motions are better handled.

Engine Power

Ferrari has equipped their cars with a lot of engine power, but they have never used one as powerful as the one on the 488 Pista. With 710 horsepower and 8,000 RPM, the car combines the muscular power of a turbo engine with a naturally aspirated revving engine.

This means you get 567 lb ft of torque under 3,000 RPM when you shift into 7th gear. The torque configuration also means the level will keep going up as you shift into higher gear. Another thing: with most engines they automatically bring down the boost, fuel and spark as the red line draws near. With the 488 Pista you’re allowed to keep the V8 twin turbo 3.9 liter engine at that level.

Performance

With those kinds of specs you’’d expect the 488 Pista to fly on the tracks and it does.  Acceleration is rapid, but at the same time it’s seamless and smooth. As you speed on you’ll see the upshift lights turn red.

You can just keep on driving on the straight and feel the speed, but if you need to go through tight turns just use the torque. Need to shift gears? The 488 Pista is equipped with a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. All of this sounds impressive and it is, but it’s really when you’re behind the wheels you feel the rush.

A lot has been said about how good the 488 Pista is on tracks and they’re all true. But what isn’t always mentioned is how smoothly the car rides even on bumpy roads. Thanks to its unique design the car absorbs impact much better than other sportscars when on the road.

The steering wheel has a bit more weight than the typical 488, but that’s not a bad thing given how fast the car can go. And really the extra weight doesn’t make a difference since the Michelin Sport Cup 2 tires provide excellent grip.

The 488 Pista doesn’t have much sound reduction so you’re going to hear the car. Drive this over gravel and you’ll them under the car, but that’s all right as it doesn’t affect performance.  While this car is built for racing, it’s also suited for daily driving.

Speed wise the 2019 488 Pista is 1.5 seconds quicker than the typical Pista, but what’s even more remarkable is that the car is also accessible to regular drivers. Even when the car is pumping out 710 horsepower, the SSC dynamics give you full control.

The SSC assists the driver, but it doesn’t do the driving for you. What it does is aid drivers to go faster while evaluating your reactions relative to the car and makes the appropriate adjustments.

Driving

When you switch to Race mode you’ll feel the effect of the re-calibrated transmission. The shifts are faster and harder, and it definitely carries more power than a manual transmission. In an ordinary car you have to be careful with the downshifts and corners to keep the car happy.

But that isn’t an issue with the 488 Pista since it has the Side Slip Control 6.0 or SSC. What the SSC does is keep an on the downshift, steering, braking, yaw motions and everything else. With this feature you’re assured that downshifting won’t cause the wheels to lock up.

The bottom line is you’re going to love driving this car. It is responsive, fast and takes you where few other sports cars can get to.

Verdict

Any way you look at it, the 488 Pista is a winner. It is powerful, stylish and carries the brand name that has become a legend in the sports car industry. As good as the original 488 Pista is, the 2019 version is even better, and that’s saying a lot.

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