Ferrari released a topless Spider variant of its 488 GTB back in 2015, but it's still missing one very important model: a higher-performance version built with the track in mind. The 488's predecessor, the 458, had the track-focused Speciale that proved to be one of the best-handling models to roll out of Maranello. Now, a report from Autocar suggests Ferrari plans to revive the storied GTO moniker for a 488 track day special.
Recent spy shots show a camouflaged 488 that's believed to be the upcoming track-ready 488 GTO model. Not wanting to be outdone by the soon-to-be released Porsche 911 GT2, the GTO will be built on the 488 platform with additional power, improvements to the chassis, and a healthy dose of weight reduction.
The 488's mid-mounted 3.9-liter twin-turbo V-8 produces an impressive 661 hp and 561 lb-ft of torque in standard trim. For the GTO, Ferrari will likely turn up boost pressure and improve engine internals in order for it to surpass 700 hp and gain additional torque. The GTO will likely go through similar weight saving measures as the Speciale, including removing sound deadening and non-essential interior components like the audio system, and installing lightweight carbon-fiber components, thinner glass, and lighter forged wheels and brakes -- all for the sake of performance.
According to Autocar, the weight savings should reduce the curb weight of the 488 GTO to under 3,000 pounds, allowing the Ferrari to hit 62 mph in 2.7 seconds. If true, that would make it quicker than the 488 GTB, which Ferrari estimates will do 0-60 mph in 3.0 seconds. It's also not that far off the LaFerrari's Motor Trend-tested time of 2.4 seconds. Autocar's sources also claim that the 488 GTO will receive an updated version of the Italian automaker's Side Slip Angle Control software and additional aero to help with generating more downforce.
Ferrari has yet to comment on the development of the model, but testing has moved to public roads as Autocar's spy shots show, meaning it's possibly on schedule for its purported 2018 release date. Like all track-focused variants, expect the GTO to be more expensive than the 488 Spider's estimated starting price of $275,000.
The standard Ferrari 488 GTB is pictured.