Can a juiced-up go-kart beat out a limited production Ferrari supercar in a series of tests? To find out, Driven Media secured a drag strip where it could pit a 488 Pista against a Superkart to see which is best. Can a purpose-built pint-sized racer take on a mid-engined 488 Pista and win? Let’s find out.
Superkarts are built to help racers transition into the world of open-wheel racing in series like Formula 3, Formula 2, and eventually Formula 1. These pint-sized racers utilise a 2-stroke 250cc (0.25 litre) two-cylinder engine that produces around 80 bhp. This tiny engine is mated to a 6-speed sequential transmission.
A typical Superkart can sprint from 0 to 60 in under 2 seconds in perfect conditions and even holds outright lap records on certain tighter tracks beating our Formula 3 and GT3 race cars. The simplicity of a supercar makes them an affordable racing machine that can take drivers to the upper limit of what's possible on the track.
To compete with the superkart’s simple formula we have the complex Ferrari 488 Pista. The 488 ushered in a new age for Ferrari when the turbocharged 488 GTB replaced the naturally aspirated 458. After years of refinement, the 488 Pista was introduced at the end of the 488’s production run ask a hardcore track-focused Ferrari variant. Power comes from a 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 engine that produces 710 bhp (530 Kilowatts) and 568 lb-ft (770 Newton Metres) of torque. This power is sent to the rear wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission that was programmed to shift faster than the normal 488 GTB.
Which of these track-focused cars is the best? To find out let’s see who will win the drag race, rolling race, brake test, and moose test.