It’s been quite some time since the launch of the Ferrari 488 Pista. The track special was launched at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. Reviews have been out for months now and Ferrari dealerships around the world are already busy delivering the car to its lucky customers. Hence, it’s surprising to see Chris Harris reviewing the latest track special from Ferrari almost a year after its unveil. But hey, we are not complaining.
Harris starts off his 488 Pista test at Ferrari’s Fiorano race track, asking if the world really needs a 710 hp track special 488 when the normal car is already so fast that “it bends your face”. But, the cynicism is put aside as soon as the foot is pushed on to the throttle. “It’s a big step up from the 488, particularly in terms of the feel. I don’t care about the numbers. It’s a much nicer car to drive, primarily because of the step up on the engine. It’s got better response, less inertia, it feels more normally aspirated than turbo,” Harris remarks.
Harris also laments on the number of special series, track focused supercars that sit in garages and are treated as “inanimate objects.” “I think they should make that a crime,” he says. Taking into account that most of the cars will only be driven on the streets, the Pista is then put to a test around roads in Maranello, where it again doesn’t fail to impress with its driving dynamics. The only thing to hate about the Pista according to Harris is its interior. “The interior looks old and rubbish to my eyes now. I’m ready for the next generation of Ferrari cabins,” he says.
Instead of using a tweaked 488 GTB engine, the Pista runs the unit from the 488 Challenge race car which means a new cooling system, new camshafts, new intakes and a new exhaust system. Power is up from 661 hp and 561 lb-ft to 710 hp and 568 lb-ft of torque. There is of course more downforce thanks to active aerodynamics on the exterior and it weighs 90 kg less than the standard car. All of these modifications allow the Pista to accelerate from 0–62 mph (0–100 km/h) in 2.85 seconds, 0–124 mph (0–200 km/h) in 7.6 seconds and give the car a maximum speed of 211 mph (340 km/h).
So does the world really need a track-focused mid-engine Ferrari? As Harris puts it, who cares as long as it’s fun.