Ferrari has built its replacement for the 458 Speciale.
The Italian marque’s super-hardcore track weapon leaked online earlier this morning, confirming reports the prancing horse was readying a rival for the likes of Porsche's GT2 RS and the McLaren 720S.
Official press images of the new and potentially final 488 model were posted on Ferrari Chat and appear legitimate, given they replicate details in teaser images shared by Ferrari on its own Facebook page last week.
The images clearly show the new ‘Pista’ name on the rear plate and inside across the Alcantara dash next to 488 badging.
Translating from Italian as ‘track’, the Pista is the successor to vehicles before it including the 360 Challenge Stradale (road) and 430 Scuderia (team), and it appears it won’t adopt the legendary GTO badge as first rumoured.
A secret internal presentation given to top-shelf Ferrari customers last month, which was subsequently leaked on the internet, revealed that along with more power and less weight engineers and designers increased downforce on the Pista by 20 per cent to 340kg at 250km/h, giving it 15kg more negative lift than the 488 GTB while equalling the 911 GT2 RS.
Indeed, the aerodynamic changes to the 488 Pista are extreme, with the new scalloped bonnet showing hefty modification changes and Ferrari adopting modified versions of the front and rear splitters used on its 488 GTE race car that won the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship. They are joined by more fins, air dams and a new rear wing design.
Further modifications include a more powerful version of the 488 Challenge's lightweight 3.9-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine that is expected to produce near 538kW of power and 770nm of torque and met with an almost 100kg reduction in heft, bringing the vehicle's total weight to 1279kg – power, torque and weight specifications almost exactly in-line with the carbon-fibre chassis 720S.
The specs should help the stallion hit 100km/h in less than three seconds.
Unique 20-inch wheels are made from carbon-fibre and larger brakes will likely be carbon ceramic as standard, and the track-focused model will have retuned suspension and a re-calibrated version of Ferrari’s Slide Slip Control traction management system tailored for track use.
A new race-shift setting for the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is also under development to debut in the hardcore 488.
Inside, the Pista does without floor mats and shows a carbon-fibre foot well with an inspired shift selector on the centre console a la LaFerrari. Carbon fibre trim also features on the dash and are met with plenty of Alcantara and a unique 488 Pista badge near the passenger side vent.
Ferrari has already confirmed development of the 488 Special Series and given the brand’s penchant for secrecy we might not hear much more until its expected debut at the Geneva motor show next month.