Pista resistance

Ferrari’s 488 Pista aims light artillery fire at its track-focused supercar foes

DANIEL GARDNER

FOCUSED FOREBEARS

458 Speciale

The 488 Pista continues the bloodline of hardcore mid-engined V8 Ferraris, including its predecessor: the 445kW, 4.5-litre 458 Speciale, which represents a high-water mark for Maranello’s atmo V8s.

430 Scuderia

For the most potent 430, Ferrari created the Scuderia, named after the F1 team. The Scud produced 375kW, featured F1-Trac electronics and was the nemesis of the 997 GT3 RS and the Lambo Gallardo Superleggera.

360 Challenge Stradale

Pista’s 2004 progenitor seems tame now, with a 4.1sec 0-100km/h time, but the 313kW 360CS shed 110kg and pinched the Enzo’s ceramic brakes, binned the radio and adopted Lexan windows in the name of lap times.

FERRARI has finally uncovered its eagerly anticipated performanceenhanced 488 special edition, confirming that the manic roadracer will wear the Pista moniker.

The news puts to bed speculation that the car would recycle one of the company’s numerous rare-breed nameplates, such as GTO, Competizione, Speciale, Stradale or Scuderia, instead opting for a name that translates, rather prosaically, into English as ‘track’.

Drawing directly from 488 GTE and 488 Challenge homologated race-car engineering, Ferrari says the Pista offers the closest thing to a road-registrable racing 488, yet does not require the deft touch of a professional driver in order to tap its potential.

In keeping with its racing pedigree, the 488 Pista was put on a crash diet, which dropped 90kg from the not-exactly-portly 488 GTB’s kerb weight, to arrive at a bantam dry weight of 1280kg with all weight-saving options in place.

Shedding kegs is just the start of the Pista party, with the 488’s 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 also fettled by Maranello to turn out an extra 38kW for a vicious peak of 530kW. Torque is up 10Nm to 770Nm.

This weight loss and power gain has whittled the zero to 100km/h acceleration to a blistering 2.85 seconds. Standstill to 200km/h takes just 7.6sec and top speed is in excess of 340km/h.

For comparison, Porsche’s 911 GT2 RS makes the benchmark dash in 2.8sec while Lamborghini’s Huracan Performante does it in 2.9sec. Intriguingly, the Pista’s power and torque figures exactly match those of the McLaren 720S. The Pista is also reputed to be quicker around the Fiorano test track than Maranello’s last hypercar, the LaFerrari, which lapped in 1m 19.70sec.

As you might expect from a car hell bent on obliterating bends, the 488 Pista has been upgraded with racing aero lifted from the GTE including more aggressively angled front diffusers, redesigned underbody vortex generators and a bigger rear spoiler. Downforce is claimed to be up by 20 percent.

Not only have the 488 Pista’s Michelin tyres been specifically formulated, but the suspension set-up has been completely retuned for its track focus. Other adjustments have been made to the various electronic stability systems to optimise the extra power and potential, including a new Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer (FDE) which can adjust the brake pressure at individual calipers for handling that’s “even more effortless, intuitive and predictable”, according to Ferrari.

If you want a Pista of your own you may be disappointed. Ferrari Australasia CEO Herbert Appleroth told Wheels that the number of Pistas assigned to Australia would be similar to its 458 Speciale predecessor. However the company has received more than twice the demand for our allocation and all examples have now been assigned to Ferrari’s most loyal customers.

DANIEL GARDNER

C-Change

Mercedes-Benz has given its big-selling C-Class a mid-life makeover, with a trim-level-specific front bumper redesign and tweaks to the rear valance. Safety improvements include semi-autonomous tech and a suite of improved lighting options. The new C-Class features uprated front seats with adjustable side bolsters and lumbar support as well as a massage function. The infotainment now runs on a 7.0-inch centre screen or an optional 10.25-inch unit. It does without virtual instrument as standard, but a digital 12.3-inch display can be selected as a cost option.

Something like a Fenomenon

Lancia’s iconic Stratos rally car will be reborn as a limited-edition road car by Italian manufacturer Manifattura Automobili Torino (MAT). Lancia homologated 492 Stratos HF Stradale road cars between 1973 and 1978. However, the reborn ex-Fenomenon Stratos will be limited to just 25 cars, and sends up to 447kW to the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox. It’ll cost you A$784,340, plus a Ferrari 430 Scuderia donor car, to add a new Stratos to your garage. Currently MAT is offering three variants – a GT-spec race car, a safari homage to the original rally car, and a sports car for regular road duties. Alitalia decals are up to you.