Cars Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti test drive

Published on July 3rd, 2020 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti Test Driven In Malaysia

The only unit in the country right now.

You have heard of the Ferrari 488? Yes, then there is the Ferrari 488 Pista, where the name ‘Pista’ means ‘track’ in Italian. The Ferrari 488 Pista is a limited-edition, track-focused version of Ferrari’s mid-engine V-8 supercar. Now comes the Pista Piloti. ‘Piloti’ in Italian means ‘Pilot’ or ‘race driver’ and this version of the 488 is reserved for just race drivers who want to own a very special car that is produced in a very different location within the Ferrari factory.

Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti Test Drive

The COLOUR CHOICES

There are only four color options: Argento Nürburgring, Nero Daytona, Blu Tour De France, and of course the traditional Rosso Corsa. 

Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti Test Drive

The OWNER

A Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti has just arrived in Malaysia and one very lucky (and very rich) Malaysian is very happy indeed. Reputably the only Ferrari Pista Piloti in Malaysia, this blue example will be a sight to behold on Malaysian roads. The owner, obviously, is a professional race driver who has raced in Ferraris before and has been a Ferrari road car owner as well. This are the must have credentials to be allowed to purchase this very special car for about RM2.4 million from the factory before local taxes and delivery charges. 

Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti Test Drive

The PILOTI ALLOCATION

You can walk into Naza Italia, the brand guardian of Ferrari in Malaysia and request to be put on the list to buy a unit, but without the necessary credentials, the Ferrari factory will not take your order. No matter how much money you offer them. It is strictly for Ferrari race drivers and also past and present ‘new’ Ferrari owners who have to be further qualified by the Ferrari factory management in Italy. 

Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti Test Drive_steering

The CAR  

Built as a tribute to Ferrari’s win in the 2017 World Endurance Championship (WEC) for both the Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles, this uprated 488 Pista is part of Ferrari’s Tailor Made Program for Ferrari’s Client Racing Driver. Only drivers who compete in the automaker’s sanctioned racing events like the Prancing Horse’s single marque challenge series are entitled to the opportunity to purchase one of these exclusive Ferraris. 

Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti Test Drive_engine

To differentiate itself from any ordinary 488 Pista, the Pista Piloti comes with a matt black S-Duct and a naked carbon fibre ‘dovetail’ suspended spoiler at the rear. The WEC laurel on the hood along with the WEC and PRO script on the nose of the Piloti further proclaims the automaker’s 2017 WEC triumph in the PRO class. 

However, the most striking exterior feature of the Piloti would be the Italian flag livery all over the supercar. Beginning with the Italian flag on the 488’s flanks and continued with a stylised Italian flag motif on the personalised race number of the lucky clients. The most striking use of the Tricolore however would be on the main Tricolore stripe that goes across the Piloti. A closer look at this stripe shows that the orientation of the Tricolore switches in on the roof; such that the green, white, red pattern is always the right way round. So no matter which angle the Piloti is viewed the Italian flag will always be the right way round. 

Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti Test Drive

In terms of the powertrain, this Ferrari exclusive to select racing drivers retains the same 3.9 twin-turbocharged V8 as in the 488 Pista. With only a dry weight of 1280 kg to haul around, this 710 hp supercar easily does the century sprint in 2.85 seconds and onwards to a top speed of 211 mph. The usual Pista technology is also found on this particular prancing horse. 

Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti Test Drive_gear selector
Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti Test Drive_drivers seat
Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti Test Drive_wheels
Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti Test Drive_side front
Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti Test Drive_carbon wing
Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti Test Drive_cabin
Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti Test Drive_gear shifter

Stepping inside this exclusive Ferrari, the eye is immediately drawn to the the personalised carbon fibre sill trims. With the Ferrari Tailor Made logo and the script stating ‘Exclusive for Piloti Ferrari’, it serves as a reminder to occupants that they are stepping into something special. Carbon touches continue to adorn the interior with a naked carbon floor and Piloti-exclusive carbon vents. Other carbon parts normally found on the Pista is now a matt carbon finish to further differentiate the Piloti from the plebian Pista. 

Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti Test Drive_instrument cluster

Italian patriotic pride is further continued in the interior with flashes of the Tricolore on the edge of the gearshift paddles, base of the steering wheel and on the floor mats, which themselves Ferrari claim to be made out of a special lightweight technical fabric. 

Debuted ahead of the 2018 24 hours of LeMans, the 488 Pista Piloti was available only in four colours. This Malaysian example is resplendent Blu Tour De France, but the other colours were Argento Nürburgring, Nero Daytona; and being a Ferrari, the obligatory Rosso Corsa. 

Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti Test Drive_JBL ICE

Our SHORT DRIVE

The first impression is pure excitement, even after so many years of driving supercars. Well, this is a very special car and only a handful are delivered around the world. The seats are super comfortable and not that tight, or have we lost weight? The engine ignites with Ferrari engineering precision and the throaty idle wakes up the early morning rush hour traffic. As we gently hit the throttle the engine sings and it comes alive. The steering feel is dead perfect and it informs you that our roads need to be well maintained.

We find an open stretch and we gun it from 1st to 3rd before (0-100km/h is done in below 2.9 seconds with our added weight) we run out space and the acceleration is just so intoxicating. You feel the world rushing by and yet you don’t feel worried as the brakes bite hard without snapping your neck. This is Ferrari at its best. 

The nose takes the downforce superbly and this car tracks perfectly. We have taken some of its rivals for test drives in the past, but this precision made Italian machine is very special. It is race car with creature comforts for the city. It begs for the open road and wants to be abused without any hesitation. 

BHP

Leave it in automatic and the computer program works the gearbox in a perfect symphony with the engine to deliver what the driver commands with their right foot. We even opted for the manual gear change and the paddle shifters were fun but we soon found the auto gearbox was better at adapting to our driving style. 

Ferrari engineers worked closely with their test drivers in Italy to make sure that every single owner of this 488 Pista Piloti race machine will not feel bored after leaving their race car at the circuit garage for their drive home. 

Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti Test Drive
Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti Test Drive
Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti Test Drive
Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti Test Drive
Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti Test Drive

Final Word

Bravo to the owner on taking their delivery of this bespoke multi-million ringgit supercar. Let’s hope that it will be used as it should so that more petrolheads will be able to feast their eyes on this exclusive racing Ferrari in the wild. 

Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti Test Drive_engine cover
Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti Test Drive_side view
Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti Test Drive_brakes
Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti Test Drive_cabin
Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti Test Drive_seats

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