While James May is no longer working for Top Gear alongside his former co-hosts Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond, he continues to review cars for the Sunday Times. The latest car May recently got his hands on was the brand new Ferrari 488 GTB.
Interestingly, the journalist confirmed earlier in the year that he had ordered the last-ever Ferrari 458 Speciale coupe. As the 458 Speciale represents the last ever mid-engined naturally-aspirated V8 Ferrari coupe, it’s only appropriate that James May was one of the first to get behind the wheel of the 458’s recently introduced successor.
In case you didn’t know, the new 3.9-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine of the Ferrari 488 GTB is significantly more powerful than the naturally-aspirated 4.5-litre V8 used by the outgoing Ferrari 458 Italia. As a matter of fact, the Ferrari 488 GTB delivers 660 hp at 8000 rpm as well as 560 lb-ft of torque at 3000 rpm. Incredibly, torque from this engine is also higher than the 509 lb-ft of the 6.0-litre V12 found in the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta.
Mated to the twin-turbocharged 3.9-litre V8 is a tweaked variant of the 458 Italia’s seven-speed dual-clutch transmission driving the rear wheels. The gear ratios have been modified to improve acceleration throughout the rev range. When it is all said and done, the Ferrari 488 GTB will sprint to 100 km/h in 3 seconds flat, 200 km/h in a mere 8.4 seconds as well as a 334 km/h (208 mph) top speed. Those figures are almost identical to the 642 hp McLaren 650S which hits 100 km/h in the same time, 200 km/h in 8.5 seconds and a 333 km/h (207 mph) top speed.