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Ferrari 488GTB

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CLUBHOUSE | DRIVING RANGE THE FUTURE OF FERRARI SCORECARD Ferrari 488GTB How much? TBA Engine: Transmission: Performance: Twin-turbocharged 3902cc V8 660bhp at 8000rpm 7-speed twin-clutch automated manual 0-100kph 3.0sec 0-200kph 8.4sec max speed 330kph WITH THE PRANCING HORSE SET TO LAUNCH ITS IPO TOWARDS THE END OF THE YEAR, BEN OLIVER TAKES A LOOK AT THE RECENTLY ANNOUNCED 488GTB – A CAR THAT COULD PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE COMPANY’S FORTUNES. How heavy? 1370kgs Y 32 ou might not be able to afford a Ferrari, yet, but you will soon be derives most of its volumes and profits. Why able to buy Ferrari: or a small slice of it, at least. The world’s most turbocharging? Because it’s the only way to famous carmaker will make its initial public offering later this year, maintain power and performance in the face of probably on the New York Stock Exchange. This is the first time in tightening emissions restrictions in every major Ferrari’s nearly 70-year history that investors – and fans – will have global market. Ferrari doesn’t face the same been able to buy shares in it. It was wholly owned by founder Enzo tough targets as mainstream carmakers, but it Ferrari until 1969, when he sold the first slice to Fiat. The Fiat group now controls can’t escape them altogether. virtually all the stock, bar the ten per cent which Enzo gave to his illegitimate And why might turbocharging be a problem? son, Piero. Because much of Ferrari’s Enzo died in 1988 and Piero is now a very wealthy man. appeal (and thus success) as a The IPO is expected to value the company at around €6bn: But the real test comes maker of road cars has been in some analysts have talked it down to €4bn, but Fiat-Chrysler’s when Maranello takes the edgy and hugely exciting charismatic boss Sergio Marchionne has been encouraging nature of its naturally aspirated the 488GTB off its us to value Ferrari at closer to €10bn. (i.e. non-turbocharged) motor show podium engines. A turbocharger forces If you’re thinking of investing, you can take a look at the financials and decide for yourself. But this new car – the air into the engine under and puts it on the Ferrari 488GTB, just revealed at the Geneva Motor Show – pressure, meaning more fuel road for us to drive. will play a central role in how that investment turns out. And can be burnt, but also allowing maybe you’re actually interested in buying the car itself. a smaller engine to produce The reason for its importance is that it marks Ferrari’s first use of a the same power as a bigger one, and more turbocharged engine in its heartland mid-engined sports car, from which it economically. But a turbocharger can also dull HK GOLFER・MAR 2015 HKGOLFER.COM the sound and responses of an engine, and if that’s the case with the new 488GTB, Ferrari (and you) might have a problem. Ferrari did turbocharging very well in the 1980s. And the statistics for the new 488GTB look very promising: the engine is 600cc smaller than the outgoing 458 Italia’s at 3.9 litres, yet it produces 100 horsepower more at 660bhp. Just as importantly, fuel consumption and emissions improve by around 15%. Greener and much meaner? Aren’t those two supposed to be mutually exclusive? On paper, it looks like Ferrari has cracked it. And given that the Prancing Horse hasn’t made a bad car in over twenty years, its form is good. But the real test comes when Maranello takes the 488GTB off its motor show podium and puts it on the road for us to drive. That’s when we find out if it still feels like a real Ferrari. I look forward to telling you. And this time, it won’t just be petrol heads and potential customers who will be waiting for the verdict. HKGOLFER.COM HK GOLFER・MAR 2015 33



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