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Ferrari 488 GTB: celebrating the 308 GTB’s 40th in style

7 February, 2015

It’s been 40 years since Ferrari came out with the legendary 308 GTB, the marque’s first mid-engined V8 model, and now we have this — the Ferrari 488 GTB. It looks a little like a 458, doesn’t it? Don’t go thinking that this is just a normal 458 with some garnish, though — the most notable change is not aesthetic, but mechanical.

The 458’s brilliant 4.5-litre V8 is out of the picture here, replaced with an all-new turbocharged 3.9-litre V8 developed by Ferrari’s Formula 1 and World Endurance Championship engineers. How does 661hp and 560lb·ft sound? That’s said to make the 458 GTB good for the 0–100kph dash in three seconds, and 0–200kph in just over eight seconds. Fiorano is dispatched in one minute and 23 seconds, a full two seconds quicker than the 458.

Power isn’t everything, and you can bet Ferrari weren’t going to leave it at slapping a pair of turbos onto the engine. Aerodynamically, the 488 GTB is reported to produce 50 per cent more downforce and a reduced coefficient of drag, thanks to the double front spoiler, base-bleed side intakes, and active rear diffuser and spoiler. The F1-Trac and E-Diff work in conjunction with a revised Side Slip Control 2 (SSC2) system, keeping the 488 GTB stable around corners.

Inside, it’s all modern Ferrari, with the steering wheel the main business hub, and the rest of the cockpit tastefully finished. The 488 GTB is set to make its debut at the International Geneva Motor Show in March this year.

Saltwater Creek Garage

After passing by this building for many years, I decided to call in and ask the owner about his garage and the car that had been parked there. It was a 1982 Hyundai Pony 1200 TLS that he’d inherited from his mother who had bought it when it was nearly new. I was fortunate enough to buy it from him — many had approached him over the years but were turned away. After sitting out there for that long you could not imagine how dirty it was. At least it had never been wet in all that time. The interior is a mid-blue and almost like new — in fact his mother, Irene, had still retained the original factory-fitted thick clear-plastic cover over the mid-blue vinyl door panels.

Lunch with … Roger Bailey

Roger’s story is a classic illustration of what hard work, honesty to the point of brutal frankness, a ‘can-do’ approach, and a racer’s brain can get you in this sport of car racing. Roger, or ‘Boost’ as he’s known up and down the pitlanes of America, was who Kenny Smith turned to when he was dragging a reluctant teenager around the different pit garages at Laguna Seca.
“Scott [Dixon] kept complaining that it was too hot and he just wanted to go back to the hotel pool. I had to tell him that I was trying to secure his future — we weren’t getting much of a look in until we saw Roger who knew everyone and set about introducing Scott as New Zealand’s next big thing.