Progress is a moot point in Maranello. Engineers measure it empirically, and in those terms 2016’s Ferrari 488 GTB administers a ginormous Gucci loafer-clad kicking to 1994’s F355. It’s harder, faster, stronger, better made, much better equipped, more efficient, and, when it comes to active and passive safety… well, let’s not even go there. You can switch off the ABS in the F355, and it’s your bottom and twitching right foot that control traction.
The fact is, the 488 GTB is such a monumentally impressive engineering achievement that criticising it involves picking nits so tiny they’re practically subatomic. Ferrari is an R&D powerhouse these days, not just a carmaker, so as well as being the company’s mid-engined entry point – if you can call a base price of £183,964 that, and most buyers add an average of £50k in options – the 488 also strategically cherry-picks some of the tastiest elements from other, unicorn-rare Ferraris.
Photography: Simon Thompson
This feature was originally published in issue 285 of Top Gear magazine.