The Ferrari Owners’ Club
of Great Britain

488 GTE Breaks Cover

30-08-2015

488gte_1The new Ferrari 488 built to the 2016 GTE rules ran for the first time earlier this month, the Italian manufacturer has revealed. These pictures by John Brooks show the car in action.

The car was given what Ferrari GT racing director Antonello Coletta described as “just a shakedown” at Vallelunga with factory drivers Gianmaria Bruni and Davide Rigon sharing the driving. “It was really just a shakedown and we plan to start proper development of the car next month.”

“Then we will go with the other manufacturers to the Balance of Performance test at Ladoux [a Michelin proving ground] at the end of the month.”

Ferrari has finally gone public on its plans for the 488 GTE after photographs of the car emerged from the Vallelunga test. The 488 is powered by the same 3.9-litre twin-turbo engine as the roadgoing car that was premiered at the Geneva motor show in March.

The 2016 rules grant new freedoms, particularly in terms of aerodynamics, which should result in an increase in performance over the existing breed of GTE cars. “The simulations say between one and a half and two seconds, but I prefer to wait to see it on the stopwatch,” Coletta said.

488gte_2Coletta explained that the focus of the 488 programme was a continued factory assault on the World Endurance Championship with the AF Corse team. He would not be drawn on whether the car would be ready in time for January’s Daytona 24 Hours, the opening round of next year’s IMSA SportsCar Championship (formerly the USC), should a customer team such as Risi Competizione want to run one in the GT Le Mans class.

Testing of the GT3 version of the 488, which is built around the same base as the GTE car, is scheduled to begin in the next 15 days, according to Coletta.

Deliveries to customers of this car will start in time for the 2016 racing season.