Ferrari has unveiled its latest supercar, the 488 GTB, ahead of its official public debut at next month's Geneva motor show.
This new mid-engined model is an evolution of, rather than a wholesale replacement for, the highly-rated 458 Italia, which was first unveiled in 2009. It will go into production in September.
While the styling may make the 488 look like a beefed-up version of its forbear, the big change is under the bonnet. Gone is the screaming 4.5-litre naturally aspirated V8 engine of the Italia, and in its place is a greener 3.9-litre twin-turbocharged unit – making it the first modern day mid-engined Ferrari supercar to use forced induction.
While the new engine is undoubtedly a step up in terms of power – up from 562bhp to a scarcely believable 660bhp - the move to turbos is likely to prove controversial with fans, with mid-engined Ferraris usually famed for their high-revving naturally aspirated engines.
What the turbos do mean, however, is that the 488 eclipses its closest rival, the McLaren 650S, which produces a mere 641bhp. McLaren is preparing to unveil its new model at Geneva, though, which is expected to put out around 666bhp from its 3.8-litre turbocharged V8.
The 488's new engine is also cleaner and more frugal than the outgoing 4.5-litre V8,, with fuel consumption up 3.6mpg to 24.8mpg and CO2 emissions dropping 47g/km to 260g/km.
Power is sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed twin-clutch automatic gearbox – the sole transmission option. Performance figures are startling. 0-62mph takes just 3.0 seconds, though more impressively, 0-124mph takes 8.4 seconds, and the 488 will accelerate all the way to 205mph.
In terms of styling, the 488 has been tweaked to improve downforce and aerodynamics over the 458. Amongst the additions are a large air vent in the rear haunches, a double front spoiler and a rear diffuser with active, electronically controlled flaps. A new 'blown' spoiler, which is fed air channelled from underneath the glass engine cover, also contributes to the claimed 50 per cent increase in downforce.
Prices for the 488 GTB have not yet been published, but are expected to be slightly higher than the £178,851 charged for the 458 Italia.