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Meet the Ferrari 488 GTB's ancestors

  1. The new Ferrari 488 GTB is fast. Very, very fast. It also has an awful lot to live up to, not only in replacing the nigh-on perfect 458 Italia, but a bloodline that takes in over four decades-worth of V8-powered, mid-engined Ferraris.

    Since 1973, Maranello has been cranking up the power outputs and squeezing in ever more technical wizardry into this part of its range, creating a beautiful, fast and often noisy lineage.

    So, 488 GTB, no pressure then…

    288 GTO vs F40 vs F50 vs Enzo: is this the ultimate Ferrari group test?

  2. Ferrari 308 (1975-85)

    We’ll skip the 308 GT4 from 1973, as it was a) strictly a 2+2 rather than a proper two-seater, and b) for the first part of its life it was known as the Dino, not a Ferrari.

    The 308 is where the modern Ferrari Berlinetta bloodline truly begins. Pininfarina styling, a 255bhp 2.5-litre V8, and originally, a Lotus-style glass-fibre body. Only later did Ferrari switch to metal panels. Seventies playboys could agonise over coupe (GTB) or targa (GTS) bodystyles.

  3. Ferrari 328 (1985-89)

    Just as the 488 GTB is based, under the skin, on the 458, the 328 was a revised 308. Maranello bored out the ‘Tipo’ V8 to 3.2 litres, liberating another 15bhp, and added then-space age ABS.

  4. Ferrari 348 (1989-94)

    One of history’s lesser-liked Ferraris, the 348 had a tough time, made no easier with the then release of Honda’s NSX.

    The engine, a 3.4-litre V8 (hence the name) with 300bhp, comfortably outpunched the Japanese VTEC though, and its Testarossa-inspired strake-tastic styling screams Eighties’ chic.

  5. Ferrari F355 (1994-99)

    In the early Nineties, Ferrari was in trouble. Enzo had sadly passed, the F1 and road cars weren’t world-beaters, and Maranello’s newly appointed president wasn’t happy.

    His name was Luca di Montezmolo, who decided the best way to turn things around was to detonate a massive performance car salvo. That weapon was the F355, an achingly beautifully development of the 348 with 375bhp, Ferrari’s first paddleshift system, and handling from the gods.

    It is still revered today as one of the great Prancing Horses, and saved Ferrari’s reputation in massive style.

  6. Ferrari 360 Modena (1999-04)

    Yes, we know, no pop-up headlights. We’re hurting too. But what ages the best-selling 360 more than its rounded Nineties styling are its specs. Just three generations ago, Ferrari’s staple mid-engined model had a 3.6-litre V8 with just 400bhp.

    That new 488 GTB, complete with two turbos, gets 261bhp more from just another couple of hundred cc. Bonkers.

  7. Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale (2003-04)

    Literally ‘Challenge Street’ in honour of Ferrari’s one-make race series, the 360CS was the car that really kicked off the lightweight trend for Ferraris. True, there were uprated versions of the 348 and F355, but the howling 420bhp really is the daddy of Scuderia and Speciale.

  8. Ferrari F430 (2005-09)

    The F430 was dotted with Enzo hypercar influences. F1 inspiration was also really starting to become evident, with faster gearshift times, optional ceramic brakes, a greater focus on aerodynamics and an electronically controlled E-differential.

    Bonus did-you-know fact: the 480bhp F430 was the first Ferrari to be fitted with the now-familiar Manettino switch.

  9. Ferrari 430 Scuderia (2007-09)

    Shedding 100kg, and gaining 20bhp, the Scud missile was capable of 0-60 in 3.6 seconds. Fitted with the ‘Superfast2’ semi-automatic transmission, Ferrari claimed it was as quick as an Enzo round the Fiorano test track. And much louder.

  10. Ferrari Scuderia Spider 16M (2009)

    It’s a 430 Scuderia, built to celebrate Ferrari’s 16th Formula 1 Constructors title. Hence the name.

    So, off comes the roof, and in comes some reinforcement. It’s still 80kg lighter than the F430 Spider, though, and came with a noisy 510bhp V8, which translated into a 3.7s 0-62mph time, and a top speed of 196mph.

    Our ears are still ringing.

  11. Ferrari 458 Italia (2009-15)

    Launched in 2009, the 458 was the all-new successor to the F430. The 4.5-litre engine produced 562bhp, propelling the 458 to 60mph in 3.2 seconds.

    Faster than the Scuderia around a circuit, the wondrous 458 - complete with that aero-elastic winglet moustache - is one of Ferrari’s greatest achievements.

  12. Ferrari SP12 EC (2012)

    Yes, it’s a one-off, but it was built for Eric Clapton in 2012 at a reported cost of £3m, so it’s a bit special. This one-off used all the underpinnings of the V8-powered 458 shrouded in a body evoking the, um, V12-powered 512BB.

  13. Ferrari 458 Speciale (2013-15)

    Somehow, the Speciale made 597bhp feel manageable. Even playful. Thanks to a 100kg diet and yet more active aero, the car is able to pull 1.3G under acceleration.

  14. Ferrari 458 Speciale A (2015)

    A de-roofed Speciale, it’s the most powerful naturally aspirated V8 convertible Ferrari has ever produced. And the last.

    Which one of the lot is your favourite? Comment responsibly below, please…

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