By on November 2, 2016

Ferrari 488GTB

By all accounts, the Ferrari 488GTB is an incredible machine. Twin turbos coax 661 horsepower from V8 displacing a scant 3.9 litres (my own 3.9-litre V8 cannot accomplish this feat), hustling its 3,362 pounds to felonious speeds in under four seconds. Slick aero and really weird door handles contribute to the 488GTB having 50-percent less drag and 50-percent more downforce than its predecessor.

Like the Porsche we examined a few weeks back, Ferrari has perfected the art of making doryloads of money on each transaction. Buyers can spend upwards of $100,000 on superfluous options that don’t make the quarter-million dollar supercar go any faster. A zero-option Ferrari exists only in the realm of unicorns and healthy fast food. But what would the 1 percent find in their driveway if they custom ordered such a machine? Let’s find out.

No matter the configuration, the 488GTB comes with a V8 engine mounted amidships, cranking out 661 of the finest Italian horses and 561 lb-ft of twist. Those numbers are not far off the sheep’s-head ugly Ferrari Enzo of a few years back. When the 488GTB appeared with its turbochargers and downsized engine, purists wrung their hands while conveniently forgetting that the best Ferrari ever made — and, incidentally, the last Ferrari personally approved by il Commendatore himself — had twin snails hanging off its 90-degree V8.

Massive aero gains are on tap for all 488GTB drivers, regardless of their choice of options. Aero pillars take high-pressure air impacting the nose and sluice it under the car to its left and right radiators. A six-finned diffuser at the rear deploys  three hinged flaps at high-speed to reduce drag and raise top speed. At 155 mph, seven hundred pounds of downforce pushes the 488GTB into terra firma with nary a wallet-hoovering option in sight. Fail to exercise restraint, though, and the bottom line changes dramatically.

Goldrake racing seats (available in small, medium, and large, just like gift-shop t-shirts) run $10,800. Diamond-cut forged 20-inch hoops are in the ballpark of $8,000 while those nifty Scuderia fender shields are $1,700. The filthy rich can also blow nearly $60,000 on carbon-fibre options.

It’s decreed somewhere in the ancient Italian texts that all Ferraris must be red, and Rosso Corsa is indeed on tap as a standard paint option. Historical colors, however, such as Azzurro California or Blue Swaters (which actually sounds like a down-on-his-luck lounge singer) ring the bell in the neighborhood of $12,000. Essentially, then, one can choose either special paint for their Ferrari or a Chevy Spark. The Spark has a standard backup camera, by the way. It’s a $6,074 option in the 488GTB. At least the Ferrari includes a forward-facing camera as well.

Thrifty 488GTB buyers will be sure to spec out a red or yellow tachometer for $0 while leaving the white and aluminum tachometers on the floor; apparently the latter two colors cost Ferrari $964 to apply, costs they happily pass on to their customers.

So a true Ace of Base? Not quite, as the steering wheel mounted shift-point LEDs and passenger side speed readouts are fantastic party tricks, but it’s close. If anyone reading this can afford a 488GTB, exercise some restraint and keep the MSRP close to its quarter-million dollar opening bid. By doing so, you’ll add a 661-hp supercar to your fleet with enough il denaro leftover to buy a Z06 when you feel like slumming it.

Oh, and by the way, does not go where you think it will go.

Not every vehicle at the entry-level end of its price spectrum has aced it. The ones which have? They help make our automotive landscape a lot better. Naturally, feel free to roast our selection and let us know if there are other models you’d like included in this series.

The model above is shown with American options and is priced in Freedom Dollars.

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21 Comments on “Ace of Base: Ferrari 488GTB...”

  • avatar

    I wonder if Ferrari (the Italian automaker) is aware of

  • avatar

    If you buy this Ace of Base 488 GTB, Ferrari will provide scheduled maintenance for 7 years. Not sure if there is a mileage cap.

  • avatar

    AoB – Ferrari 488 GTB

    How about NO.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I love the article Matthew, however, I would like more pricing information to determine if this is truly AOB worthy. I am not a Ferrari aficionado so I guess I will have to take your work that the entry point is $250,000 and builds from there.

    I suppose it is also possible, that unlike let’s say, you can’t build your own on the Ferrari web site to pricing options.

  • avatar

    Thanks for taking my suggestion and featuring a Ferrari!

    My experience is that dealers pressure buyers into ordering crazy options on these cars using a kind of YOLO philosophy. And obviously more options = more dealer profit.

    My brother-in-law ordered like $45k in options on his yellow California (I know…) because he wanted it to be really special. My dad kept his recent option sheets relatively short at about $17k apiece, and those are the lowest-optioned 458 and F12 cars I’ve seen yet, aside from my daughter’s F12 that has just one seat and was delivered free with Prime.

    • 0 avatar

      Has anyone managed to buy one of these? My understanding is that you had to buy at least one used Ferrari before the company would consider you worthy of owning a new Ferrari. And just how are you supposed to convince them of your worthiness by buying a “base” Ferrari?

      Nice idea, but even less likely to work than the “base” Porsche (which might even get filled by a factory order).

  • avatar

    Ordering a high end car is about the status.

    Pulling up to the country club in a “base” 488 without the BS options is worse then showing up in a Spark. An essential part of the premium car ownership experience IS bragging about spending 10,000 extra on the seats.

    The kind of person who’d order a base Ferrari for the sake of enthusiast driving would probably save their money and drive something else far less showy and socially polarizing . A modded Supra won’t impress the country club set, but you can drive it anywhere without car paparazzi , a police escort , or general haterade from the rest of society.

    • 0 avatar

      Try going anywhere in the United States in a Mk IV Supra and see what sort of attention you get.

      May as well be a Ferrari. You can park a brand new 911 anywhere and come back and there won’t be people posing for pictures next to your car, or sitting ON THE HOOD, or waiting around to ask you if you’ll sell it.

    • 0 avatar

      A 488 GTB is not playing the base Ferrari game right.

      Try pulling up to the country club in a $50k 308, or if you’re feeling ambitious, a $30k Mondial. It might work.

  • avatar

    This would’ve been a fascinating ace of base. Unfortunately, you still got into the options. I’d be very curious to find out what a no options Ferrari 488 GTB actually looks like. As an aside, I’m among those that would never buy this car no matter what with those snails on that engine. It’s not that I am inherently opposed to them, but the problem is they replace one of the most magnificent sounding and feeling engines in automotive history. This 3.9 simply lacks the charisma, and yes, passion and soul, of the 9000 rpm 4.5 in the 458. That was that cars saving grace since Ferrari has seen fit to deprive us of manual transmissions.

  • avatar

    F12berlinetta or GTFO.

  • avatar

    If you pull into the gas station on a mountain road driving one of these, does the attendant say things like, “Did you pass any low-flying planes?”

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