The 488 GT3 made its début simultaneously in America and Australia three years ago, on the weekend of 17-20 March 2016, taking part in the first round of the Australian GT Championship and at the 12 Hours of Sebring. How did it go? Very well, because the supercharged coupé from Maranello came first in Melbourne thanks to drivers Andrea Montermini and Benny Simonsen. Meanwhile Alessandro Balzan, Christina Nielsen and Jeff Segal triumphed in the renowned American endurance race.
One of the distinctive features of the 488 GT3 is the relative ease of driving it, ensured by excellent aerodynamics and a powerful engine that is simultaneously “gentle” in its delivery. Its 550 horsepower, 4.0 V8 twin-turbo engine has proved very reliable over time, as has the X-Trac transversal gearbox that it is coupled with.
At the front of the GT3 is a generously-sized splitter, higher in its central part to convey flows towards the rear of the car. At the sides there are flaps to channel the air flow more efficiently at high speeds. On the roof of some GT3s is an opening that has the task of allowing the driver to exit in the event of a locked door. This solution is optional here, whereas it is obligatory on all GTEs. This additional escape route was introduced for the first time in the BMW M6 GT3 and the Corvette C7 GT3-R.
The rear diffuser is the result of new regulations, having several flow deviators with the innovation of four flaps - two each side - behind the rear tyres. The rear wing resembles that of the previous 458 Italia GT3 but in the 488 it is markedly wider, and the incidence can be adjusted depending on the aerodynamic load opted for. The exhausts have been separated, unlike in the 458 where they were combined. Another distinctive feature of this 488 GT3 is the inclusion of aggressive slits both on the wheel arches and on the openings close the door hinges, behind the front wheels. The function of these is to reduce the turbulence generated by the spinning of the tyre.