A new spy video suggests once again that Ferrari might be looking to electrify the 488. If not, then it appears that a hybrid version of the model could be on the way.
The machine is at the beginning of the video above, and the three extractors in the bonnet immediately identify it as something different. In comparison, the 488 Pista (above centre) has a single, large hole at the front. The 488 GT3 (above right) is a little more similar with an array of inlets in the bonnet, but they aren't as large as the ones on this test mule.
In profile, you can also see the huge, roof-mounted snorkel that no production 488 has. The piece gives the coupe a much more aggressive silhouette and should send plenty of air into the engine bay.
Things get even weirder at the rear where the test mule provides a window into its heart. Unfortunately, the video doesn't offer a very clear view of what we are looking at. After discussing the clip among members of the Motor1.com and InsideEVs.com teams, we think there's evidence of this being a battery pack both because of the visual appearance and the fact that this 488 doesn't make much more than tyre noise, in comparison to later, louder cars. However, one person thought the device looked like a flux capacitor, so maybe Ferrari has cracked the problem of time travel.
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There has been speculation of Ferrari creating a hybrid version of the 488. Spies have allegedly caught the model testing, but none of the mules have had the roof-mounted snorkel like this one.
Before his passing, Ferrari Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed the brand's launch of a hybrid powertrain as soon as 2019. At the time, the Prancing Horse hadn't decided in what model to install the electrified setup. However, most pundits thought the brand's upcoming SUV was the most likely candidate.