In order to be placed on the market, passenger cars carry out a series of tests to verify their compliance with regulations.
The tests to assess fuel consumption, CO2 and pollutant emissions are carried out in the laboratory and are based on specific driving cycles. In this way, the tests are reproducible and the results comparable. This is important because only a laboratory test, which follows a standardized and repeatable procedure, allows consumers to compare different car models.
On 1 September 2017, the new Worldwide harmonised Light-duty vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) came into force in Europe and will gradually replace the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) protocol.
NEDC (New European Driving Cycle): it has been the European driving cycle used so far for the measurement of fuel consumption and emissions from passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. The first European driving cycle came into force in 1970 and referred to an urban route. In 1992 it was also considered to have an extra-urban phase and since 1997 it has been used for measuring consumption and CO2 emissions. However, the composition of this cycle is no longer consistent with current driving styles and distances travelled on different types of roads. The average speed of the NEDC is only 34 km/h, accelerations are low and the maximum speed is just 120 km/h.
WLTP procedure: WLTP uses new Worldwide harmonised Light-duty vehicle Test Cycles (WLTC) to measure fuel consumption, CO2 and pollutant emissions from passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. The new protocol aims to provide customers with more realistic data, better reflecting the daily use of the vehicle.
The new WLTP procedure is characterized by a more dynamic driving profile with more significant acceleration. The maximum speed increases from 120 to 131.3 km/h, the average speed is 46.5 km/h and the total cycle time is 30 minutes, 10 minutes more than the previous NEDC. The distance travelled doubles from 11 to 23.25 kilometers. The WLTP test consists of four parts depending on the maximum speed: Low (up to 56.5 km/h), Medium (up to 76.6 km/h), High (up to 97.4 km/h), Extra-high (up to 131.3 km/h). These parts of the cycle simulate urban and suburban driving and driving on extra-urban roads and motorways. The procedure also takes into account all vehicle’s optional contents that affect aerodynamics, rolling resistance and vehicle mass, resulting in a CO2 value that reflects the characteristics of the single vehicle.
The WLTP procedure will gradually replace the NEDC procedure. The WLTP applies to new passenger car models from 1 September 2017, to all passenger cars registered from 1 September 2018 and is mandatory for all EU Member States.
Until the end of 2020, both fuel consumption and CO2 emission values in WLTP and NEDC will be present in the vehicle documents. Indeed, NEDC values will be used to assess the average CO2 emissions of cars registered in the EU throughout 2020. In addition, some countries may continue to use the NEDC data for fiscal purposes. From 2021 onwards, WLTP data will be the only consumption/CO2 emissions values for all cars. Used vehicles will not be affected by this step and will maintain their certified NEDC values.
Road consumption and emissions of passenger cars
The new WLTP test procedure is more representative of current driving conditions than the NEDC procedure, but it cannot take into account all possible cases including the effect of the driving style that is specific to each individual driver.
Therefore, there will still be a difference between emissions and consumption measured in the laboratory and those resulting from the use of the vehicle in the real world, and the extent of this difference will depend on factors such as driving behavior, the use of on-board systems (e. g. air conditioning), traffic and weather conditions that are characteristic of each geographical area and each driver.
For this reason, only a standardized laboratory test allows to obtain values with which it is possible to compare vehicles and different models in a fair way.
What changes for customers
The new WLTP procedure will provide a more realistic criterion for comparing the fuel consumption and CO2 emission values of different vehicle models as it has been designed to better reflect real driving behavior and take into account the specific technical characteristics of the individual model and version, including optional equipment.
The values of fuel consumptions and CO2 emissions shown were determined according to the European Regulation (EC) 715/2007 in the version applicable at the time of type approval The fuel consumption and CO2 emission ﬁgures refer to the WLTP cycle.
It delivers 670 cv at 8,000 rpm with a specific power output of 172 cv/l, a new record for a road-going Ferrari, maximum torque of 760 Nm in seventh gear and a throttle response time of just 0.8 seconds at 2000 rpm in third gear. Consequently, the 488 GTB sprints from 0-100 km/h in 3 seconds flat and from 0-200 km/h in just 8.3.
These superb performance figures are the result of a focus on achieving maximum efficiency across the board. In terms of combustion, this means new specially-shaped high-tumble intake ports combined with 200-bar direct fuel injection.
The new V8 also has an ion-sensing system which measures ionising currents to control ignition timing and adaptively predict misfires, as well as a multi-spark function.
Mechanical efficiency is guaranteed by an oil pump that supplies oil either at high pressure or low pressure. Cylinder heads with roller finger followers reduce the power absorbed by the valvetrain by 10 per cent at low revs thanks to reduced friction. The use of flat-plane crankshaft architecture guarantees maximum compactness, lower mass and helps improve the engine’s internal fluid-dynamics.
Numerous components contribute to the powertrain’s exceptional response times. The turbos are on ball-bearing-mounted shafts to reduce friction and the compressor wheels are in TiAl, a low-density titanium-aluminium alloy, which, thanks to its lower inertia, ensures maximum spool-up speed. In addition, twin-scroll technology directs the exhaust gases from each cylinder through separate scrolls and increases the efficiency of the exhaust pulses for maximum power.
As the revs rise, the V8’s soundtrack increases in volume and clarity, in line with the increase in power. Pivotal to the sound in the cabin are the exhaust headers with longer, equal-length tubing and the flat-plane crankshaft. The soundtrack was further enhanced by an in-depth study of the harmonics and tonality at different engine speeds.
To turn the 488 GTB’s extreme power into unadulterated driving pleasure regardless of conditions, Ferrari drew on the vehicle dynamics experience it has built up in competition and through its laboratory cars on the various circuits worldwide.
Subsystem and electronic control development focused principally on maximum responsiveness to the accelerator and total control with response times (0.06 seconds) comparable to those of a track car.
The gearbox features specific ratios to make the most of the engine’s incredible torque. Variable Torque Management delivers increasing amounts of torque up through the gears. As a direct result of these solutions, the 488 delivers track-style gear-shifting: it takes just 6 seconds to go from standstill in first to the limiter in fourth gear.
The evolved version of Ferrari’s Side Slip Control System, SSC2, is more precise yet less invasive, analysing various parameters to boost longitudinal acceleration out of corners by 12 per cent (in the Race and CT Off Manettino positions). Aside from just integrating with the car’s F1-Trac and E-Diff, the SSC2 now also controls the active dampers, rendering the car’s dynamic behaviour during complex manoeuvres even flatter and more stable.
The 488 GTB’s excellent dynamics are due in part also to the SCM 3 magnetorheological damping system which has a faster ECU to modify the magnetic field in the dampers, as well as three new sensors on the car body. This all translates into a feeling of greater body control with better bump absorption. The latest evolution of the ESP guarantees even more efficient ABS intervention in low-grip situations.
Thanks to the new Brembo Extreme Design braking system, the 488 GTB’s stopping distances are 9 per cent shorter than the previous model. Derived from the LaFerrari, the brakes also have new callipers that allow optimal cooling under extreme driving. They also feature new materials that ensure they reach optimal operating temperature faster and are more durable.
Aerodynamic solutions derived from Maranello’s experience on the track augment downforce without increasing drag, resulting in an efficiency figure of 1.67, a record for a road-homologated Ferrari. Downforce is 50 per cent higher than on the previous model despite drag being reduced.
The front of the car is dominated by the central Aero Pillar and an F1-inspired double spoiler which boost the efficiency of both the radiator and downforce generation.
The 488 GTB has an innovative aerodynamic underbody that incorporates vortex generators, special curved aerodynamic appendages which accelerate the air thereby reducing pressure. The result is that the car’s underbody is “sucked” down to the ground and downforce is higher but drag is not. This contributes to overall downforce generation of 325 kg at 250 km/h.
The large rear diffuser has curved fences which optimise the expansion of the huge amount of air channelled under the car. It also features variable flap geometry controlled by a CPU, integrated with other vehicle control systems, which adjusts the balance between increased downforce (flaps closed) and drag reduction (flaps open).
The Ferrari-patented blown spoiler is a new solution. Air enters an intake at the base of the rear screen and exits via the bumper. This guarantees increased downforce and avoids having to extend the height of the rear spoiler and thus helps keep drag low.
The "Base Bleed" air intakes on the car’s sides are divided by a central flap. The flow over the upper part of the flap, which is also used for the engine air intake, is deflected and exits from the tail area to reduce the drag caused by the low-pressure wake directly behind the car. The flow from the lower part of the flap goes to the intercoolers to cool the intake charge.
Designed by the Ferrari Styling Centre, the 488 GTB features very sculptural flanks which are the key to its character. Its large signature air intake scallop is a nod to the original 308 GTB and is divided into two sections by a splitter. The front is characterised by the dual grille opening which channels air into the two radiators. There is also a double front spoiler which, on close inspection, looks very like those of the F1 single-seaters. At the centre two pylons are combined with a deflector which channels air towards the flat underbody.
The bonnet has pronounced, raised central section and two side channels. These channels have the dual function of making the car look more sporty and channelling the air from the two vents in the bumper which have been skilfully hidden from sight in the front view to keep the lines clean. The tail is dominated by the blown spoiler and the large air vents which help improve the car’s aerodynamics. The new exhaust tailpipes have been repositioned to accommodate the greater height required for the diffuser. The overall result exudes a sense of power and performance. A new colour, Rosso Corsa Metallizzato, was developed to underscore this model’s supremely sporty character as well as its unique elegance and exclusivity.
Seen at close quarters, it has a surprising depth and glossiness achieved by using a triple-layer formulation in which millions of micro-particles are suspended in the paint.
The 488 GTB’s cabin was designed to exude extreme sportiness without sacrificing occupant comfort. This heightens the impression of a cockpit tailored around the driver’s needs: the commands not clustered on the steering wheel are on the wraparound satellite pods which are angled directly towards the driver.
The new lighter, horizontally more compact dashboard features ultra-sporty air vents inspired by military jet air intakes.
The overall result is an effortless marriage of innovative volumes and compact, functional forms. The design references typical Ferrari traits, such as the clear separation between dashboard and tunnel, the multifunctional steering wheel, the control bridge on the tunnel. All beautifully handcrafted with materials and trim that are both elegant and sporty, with a strong emphasis on creating functional spaces. The characteristic longitudinal F1 bridge has become a Prancing Horse icon and, in practical terms, frees up plenty of storage space for small items while the main function buttons are now in a more ergonomic position. Meticulous attention was lavished on the various odds and ends compartments which provide generous storage space.
The 488 GTB’s new door panels feature a more comfortable, ergonomic armrest. The design is very clean and sporty while the buttons are very easy to reach. Great thought also went into the new seats which have fixed headrests. They are even lighter and offer extremely high containment while being very comfortable. The 488 GTB boasts a new Sport infotainment system designed for ease of navigation which keeps the various functionalities immediately to hand and integrates with the overall aesthetic. For the first time in a Ferrari, the 488 GTB’s key, itself inspired by the shape of the V8’s intake plenums, features "keyless start".