2018 Ferrari 488 Pista prototype first drive: Even better than the GTB

No sane person ever stepped out of the Ferrari 488 GTB and muttered 'I wish it had more power, less weight, and could make me look like a drifting guru'. And while we’d stop short of questioning the sanity of Ferrari’s engineers, there’s no doubt that they think rather differently to the rest of us. Hence the arrival of the Ferrari 488 Pista, the next evolution of Ferrari’s mid-engined V8 sports car. Guess what? It’s more powerful, lighter, and can help you look good on the race circuit.

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2018 Ferrari 488 Pista prototype

First impressions

You’ll have to seek out our gallery of the new Ferrari 488 Pista at its unveiling to see what it looks like finished, as this test drive was conducted at the wheel of a pre-production engineering prototype, wrapped in a vaguely trippy black and white design. That can’t disguise the sharper lines of the Pista, though, nor the enhancements that have lead to a 20 percent improvement in aerodynamic efficiency.

The biggest talking point is what Ferrari calls the ‘S-Duct’ up front, which means a completely new front end. Some of the air hitting the nose goes through the bumper and exits over the plunging bonnet line, creating downforce with very little extra drag. Ferrari says it took other aerodynamic ideas from its 488 GTE racer and yet the Pista manages to look more menacing than the GTB wi...