Ferrari 288 GTO

Ferrari's 250 GTO of 1962 has long been considered one of the greatest GT cars ever made. At the age of 86, Enzo Ferrari decided to resurrect the GTO marque for another great GT. The 288 GTO (the "288" part of the name derived from the then tradition of litres+cylinders 2.8 litres and 8 cylinders in this case) was designed to raise the stakes in the supercar leagues. It was intended to compete in the Group B division of motorsport (alongside the Porsche 959), but to homologate the car 200 had to be built. The road-going examples of this car set the pace for future supercars like the Cizeta Moroder V16T, the Lamborghini Diablo and the Jaguar XJ220. Whilst externally bearing a resemblance to the 308 GTB, the 288 GTO was in fact substantially different. The front end is new with a spoiler which is more effective at high speeds; the large rearview mirrors are to give better rear view visibility and to meet the safety requirements in countries where the GTO was exported. Numerous air intakes were scattered around, each with its each own precise function. Weight reduction was applied by using the same Formula One technologies as used on the Ferrari 126 C4 F1. The bodywork was designed by Pininfarina (as was the 308 GTB) but crafted with extensive use of glass-fibre and composite materials, and was slightly longer than the 308, with a corresponding increase in wheelbase. Amongst the generally dry eighties designs, the supreme mastery of Pininfarina had produced an elegant and purposeful body for a modern classic. Without losing any of the proportions and balance of the acclaimed 308, Pininfarina had managed to stretch the wheelbase a full 110 mm. It was a welcome breath of fresh air in the staleness of eighties design doldrums.

The engine remained just in front of the rear axle, but was rotated through 90 degrees to end up longitudinally aligned. Placed lower in the chassis than in the 308, it allowed for a lower centre of gravity, improving the already good handling characteristics. The new engine was slightly de-bored (from 81.0mm to 80.0mm) to allow for turbocharging without changing its categorisation in terms of capacity.

Unfortunately, its racing intentions were not realised. By the time the 288 GTO Evoluzione was developed as the race version of the car the FISA had decided to stop the Group B class. In the end there were 272 GTOs made and only five Evoluziones with very few GTOs actually competing in any form of racing. Collectors, however, snapped them up and Ferrari had no trouble moving their stock. The GTO's greatest competitor in terms of performance and image was the Porsche 959. It too was conceived as a weapon in Group B, although it saw a bit more racing than the GTO. Whilst their ambitions may have been similar, their methods certainly were not. The 959 had 4-wheel drive and all manner of electronic controls, a very much plusher interior and a number of driving aids. Ferrari's GTO had a spartan interior, rear-wheel drive only and very little in the way of luxury. The only two interior options were electric windows and air conditioning. It was, in the finest Ferrari tradition, a car to be driven. When the GTO was introduced it was the fastest and most powerful production car ever made.

In 1987, this incredible motor car was replaced by the F40; a car designed to celebrate Ferrari's 40th year as a manufacturer. The body of the F40 was substantially based on that of the GTO, although this is not apparent from every angle. The bloodline started by the 288 GTO continued, first with the F40 and recently the F50.

Facts & Figures

Production Numbers 272
Production Period 1984 - 1986
Chassis Number Range 52465 - 58345
Body Style 2 seater sports coupe
Construction Closed 2 seater (Pininfarina design) - tubular frame - Fibreglass body and steel chassis (kevlar/nomex engine cover)
Weight Empty 1160 kg
Body Size W : 1910 mm, H : 1120 mm, L : 4290 mm, Wheelbase : 2450mm, tracks : 1559 mm (F), 1562 mm (R)
Engine Model F114B 90° Aluminium V8
Engine Displacement 2855cc - bore 80 mm, stroke 71 mm
Compression Ratio 7.6 : 1
Superchargers Twin IHI Turbochargers (max boost 0.8 bar) with 2 Behr Intercoolers
Ignition 2 integrated Weber Marelli IAW indirect injection-ignition systems
Spark Plugs Champion A 59 G (12 mm)
Cooling Forced water cooling - 2 automatic electric fans - 22 litre circuit
Lubrication Forced lubrication - dry sump - Savara filter and radiator - 8 kg circuit
Clutch 8.5 inch Borg & Beck dual-disk
Engine Power 400 bhp at 7000 rpm (= 140.1 HP/litre)
Engine Torque 366 lb ft at 3800 rpm (50.6 kgm)
Transmission 5 synchronized gears
Reduction Ratios 1st - 3.67, 2nd - 2.28, 3rd - 1.62, 4th - 1.27, 5th - 0.76, Reverse - 3.27
Final Drive Hypoid bevel pair, 10/29 (= 2.90:1)
Fuel Capacity 120 litres in 2 tanks
Suspension (Front) Independent suspension, transverse trapezoids, coil springs
Shock Absorbers (Front) Koni coaxial with transverse stabiliser bar
Suspension (Rear) Independent suspension, transverse trapezoids, coil springs
Shock Absorbers (Rear) Koni coaxial resting on upper arm, transverse stabilizer bar
Wheels Speedline, light-alloy, detachable, F : 8J x 16, R : 10J x 16
Tyres Goodyear NCT, F : 225/55 VR16, R : 265/50 VR16
Brakes 4 self-ventilating discs with power assist
Steering Rack and Pinion (steering radius - 12 m)
Electrical System 12 volt - A 80 Bosch alternator - Ah 66 AC Delco battery
Maximum Speed 189 mph / 305 kph
Acceleration (0-30 mph) 2.0 seconds
Acceleration (0-60 mph) 4.8 seconds
Acceleration (0-100 mph) 11.0 seconds

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