The emergence of a new mid-engined eight-cylinder Ferrari is always momentous occasion for automotive aficionados, but the reintroduction of turbocharger technology to the car that encapsulates Maranello's road car offerings best, is nothing short of a sensation.

Forty years since the unveiling of the iconic 308 GTB, the Ferrari has released images and information pertaining to the 488 GTB, the successor to the 458, CAR's reigning Top 12 Best Buy in the Performance Car, ahead of the newcomer's official launch at the Geneva Show.

Powered by a 3,9-litre V8 engine mated with a pair of turbochargers, the 488 is claimed to be "at top of the class for power output, torque and response times. Compared with the 458 Italia's outputs of 419 kW and 540 N.m, the GTB's engine produces 492 kW at 8 000 r/min and, significantly, all of 760 N.m of torque in seventh gear, with a response time to the accelerator "of just 0,8 seconds at 2 000 r/min".

Along with claimed acceleration times of 3,0 and 8,3 seconds for the zero to 100 km/h and zero-200 km/h benchmarks, the 488 is said to be capable of lapping Fiorano in 1:23,00, which is reportedly 0,5 seconds faster than a 458 Speciale and a two seconds quicker than a 458 can.

The transmission features Variable Torque Management (as featured on the Speciale) and although we still need to hear it for ourselves, engineers have fashioned a new, turbocharged soundtrack that is "full, clear and totally distinctive, as expected from any Prancing Horse".

With a drag coefficient of 1,67 (a new record for a production Ferrari), the 488 GTB generates 50 per cent more downforce than the 458 and features such addenda as a double front spoiler, base bleed side intakes and, at the rear, active aerodynamics coupled with a blown spoiler.

Driving dynamics will be aided by an evolved version of Ferrari’s side slip angle control system (Side Slip Control 2 – SSC2). Aside from integrating with car’s F1-Trac and E-Diff, SSC2 also controls the active dampers – which will thrill expert drivers and save inexperienced ones.

The cabin has been redesigned with new satellite control clusters, angled air vents and instrument panel. There classic Ferrari styling elements such as the clear separation between the dashboard and tunnel, the multifunctional steering wheel, the control switch bridge and wraparound seats. The graphics and interface of the infotainment screen have also been completely redesigned.

The date of the 488 GTB's arrival in South Africa has yet to be confirmed.

Technical specifications

Type 90-degree V8, twin-turbocharged
Overall displacement 3 902 cm³
Maximum power 492 kW at 8 000 r/min
Maximum torque 760 N.m at 3 000 r/min (in seventh gear)

Length 4 568 mm
Width 1 952 mm
Height 1 213 mm
Dry weight 1 370 kg
Weight distribution (percentage front/rear) 46,5/53,5

0-100 km/h 3,0 secs
0 -200 km/h 8,3 secs
Maximum speed > 330 km/h

11,4 l/100 km

260 g/km