Ferrari’s 488 GTB launches in Sydney with a two year wait!

Ferrari 488 GTB | Australian Launch Review

Article written by – Peter Anderson

MyDrive | Ferrari Australasia - Ferrari’s new mainline sportscar – and replacement for the spectacular 458 Italia -  has reached Australian shores. The 488 GTB launched to the media today in Sydney at the historic Inglis Thoroughbred stables, with new cars due in customer’s hands by December.

Presented by a very pleased-looking local boss, Herbert Appleroth, the new car has already sold out the first two years of Australian allocation, before these customers even knew the final price and specification.

The 488 GTB is now officially on sale for a mildly surprising $469,888, a nearly $50,000 price cut from the outgoing 458 Italia.

Speaking to MyDrive at the launch, Ferrari Australasia MD Herbert Appleroth was in a buoyant mood.

“This is a strategy we started with the 458 Speciale and then the California T. Midway through the lifecycle of the 458 Italia, the currency moved, we provided that back to the clients in the form of $56,000 of options. With this car we’ve decided to re-price it and give that money back to client and decide where to spend it on the options.”

the new car has already sold out the first two years of Australian allocation, before these customers even knew the final price and specification.

Australian spec cars have recently become the best specified Ferraris in the world, with electronic seats, rear parking sensors and iPhone integration. Out of the 458 spec the notable absence is the lift kit, formerly standard, as were the lovely enamelled shields on the guards, now an option again.

Appleroth told us that customers spend upwards of $60,000 adding options to their Ferraris.

For the 488, local customers – already numbering 100 – have been big fans of the carbon fibre steering wheel with LED tachometer lights and those Scuderia shields, both of which had recently become standard inclusions on the 458 Italia.

Ferrari now offers a three year unlimited kilometre warranty and a seven year scheduled servicing program included, something Appleroth believes gives prospective owners fewer reasons to choose another car.

You’re talking twenty percent more power and 15 percent less emissions than the 458

Which serves up something of a conundrum for the local arm. While hammering out a good spec for Australian customers, the business has what many would consider a good problem to have – they can’t get enough cars to satisfy demand.

“My job is not to sell Ferraris, it’s to get more cars for our customers. The demand is so strong that I need to be a great negotiator trying to get more cars for Australia. Luckily we’ve been able to get more cars for Australia.” He confirmed that those cars are coming from a slowdown in Europe and China. “A slowdown elsewhere is great for me!”

Ferrari aren’t keen on talking specifics around sales, but Ferrari has seen huge growth in Australia, already eighty percent up on the 2014 figure. This figure is largely due to the popularity of the new California T, taking sales from a five year average of about 110 cars per year to almost two hundred.

For the 488, local customers – already numbering 100

“458 Speciale surprised everyone. And we’re seeing unprecedented levels of people coming to the 488, from other brands, people we’ve never spoken to before. We’re in a unique position, we’ve invested heavily in our dealerships. We’ll have an entirely renovated network by the end of the year and three new dealerships.”

Images supplied to MyDrive Media

Turning his attention to 488, the question of customer acceptance of naturally-aspirated versus the 488′s new turbo engine came up.

“The throttle response is only .06 seconds slower than the 458. The first response of people who drive the 488 is ‘I can’t tell it’s a turbo.’ And that’s the most important thing. And whether it’s a turbo or naturally-aspirated, I don’t think that is the core message because our engineers have been able to create a car that feels like a Ferrari.”

“We’ve got two years of orders before anyone has even driven the car. You’re talking twenty percent more power and 15 percent less emissions than the 458.”

Appleroth drew the parallel of when Porsche switched from air-cooled engines to water-cooled, believing the change will benefit plenty of customers, particularly those with 458s and Speciales being sought-after as “the last of the naturally-aspirated V8s.”

The GTB’s launch in Australia came hours after the announcement of the 488 Spider which will debut in Frankfurt and should be in Australia in the second quarter of 2016. Before the photos were released, there’s already 100 orders.

We’ll have to wait until around October to get local drive impressions. It’s going to be a long wait.

SPECIFICATIONS

ENGINE

Type > V8 – 90° turbo – dry sump 3902CC

Maximum power > 492 kW (670 CV) at 8000 rpm

Maximum torque > 760 Nm at 3000 rpm in VII gear

DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT

Weight and Distribution > 1475 kg (3252 lb)

Weight distribution > 41.5% front – 58.5% rear

TRANSMISSION AND GEARBOX

7-speed F1 dual-clutch transmission

PERFORMANCE

Maximum speed > 330 km/h (205 mph)

0 – 100 km/h (0 – 62 mph) > 3.0 s

0 – 200 km/h (0 – 124 mph) > 8.3 s

0 – 400 m (0 – 437 yd) > 10.45 s

0 – 1000 m (0 – 1093 yd) > 18.7 s

Fiorano lap time > 1’23”00

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For details on Ferrari and the 488 GTB, click > www.ferrari.com

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