Driving a Ferrari is always an enjoyable experience and last month, despite all the odds and riotous weather, was absolutely no different. Ferrari invited bazaar to test drive the 488 GTB. After weeks of organizing and work on their end, the chosen day turned out to be the infamous rainy day that took Kuwait by a surprise storm (pun may have been intended). By the time the day had started it was still looking overcast but beautiful.
But ever confident in their cars, Ferrari knew the cars could handle any drive and we would have an exceptional experience regardless of the weather. Two Italian driving instructors from Ferrari were our special guests and we wanted to show them around Kuwait. We took off from the Ferrari showroom in Al Rai on the fourth ring road and headed to the wonderful Dar Hamad for breakfast.
The 488 GTB is a powerful car. It delivers an unparalleled performance, but the driver can exploit it, providing extreme control that would please any petrol head. But unexperienced drivers can still control the car. As with any Ferrari, the engine is exceptional, and the aerodynamics are sophisticated. Combined with refined vehicle dynamic controls, the already razor-sharp responsiveness of the car, it becomes incomparable to anything else on the road.
After a hearty breakfast and blood-warming coffee we headed to the Jumeirah Messilah Hotel Resort and Spa, enjoying the scenic route via the Arabian Gulf Road, aka Blajat. The clouds were starting to clear up and the smooth driving made the trip seem to go much faster than it actually did.
Forty years ago, Ferrari unveiled their first ever mid-rear engine V8, the 308 GTB. The 488 GTB, which incidentally stands for Gran Turismo Berlinetta. If you don’t speak Italian, it means Grand Tourer Coupé or little saloon. They are luxury automobiles that can do both high speeds and distances. Which might be why we wished we had longer stretch of road and no speed limits to push these babies to their max. Who would blame us? With the Power (670 cv), engine and vehicle response times (0.8 s and 0.06 s respectively) is an experience that needs to be personally tested to truly appreciate. And you wouldn’t expect anything else from the company that consistently tops the F1 and GT racing charts. A heritage that was the underpinning of this car’s creation.
We headed to our third meeting point at Starbucks Al Bidaa. Mostly lamenting how slowly we had to drive to stay under the 80km speed limit when we were driving cars that can go from a complete standstill in first to the limiter in fourth gear.
And it is not just fast, it sounds amazing too. The improved turbines with reduced friction and inertia was carefully designed by the engineers to perfect the car’s sound. The new soundtrack is full, clear, progressive and totally distinctive. You just need to hear it to know it is none other than the Prancing Horse announcing its arrival or departure.
Our penultimate stop of the day was for lunch at Le Notre and while we always appreciate the beautiful restaurant, the Ferrari’s cabin is where we truly wanted to stay. It exudes extreme sportiness without sacrificing luxury or comfort. The commands are all placed on the wraparound satellite pods that are angled at the driver. There is no clustering of knobs and buttons, everything is evenly spaced more reminiscent of a cockpit than a dashboard.
But it is not just about engineering and the utilitarian use experience. After all, Ferrari drivers demand elegance, handcrafted materials, richness, without losing functionality, and they will get it. Because the car is also meant to be driven on long road trips, there is ample storage space in easy to reach areas.
It is a car that takes itself seriously but still knows how to have a lot of fun. It is proper and reserved in all the areas that matter like safety, performance, engineering and speed. But sexy, charming, elegant and suave without being stuck up in matters of entertainment, enjoyment and overall experience. The car wants you to be pleased.
And while we were very pleased, we were sad that as all journeys this one had to come to an end. We drove back to the showroom, handed the keyless start keys back. Incidentally, the ‘smart’ key was inspired by the shape of the V8’s intake plenums. Another nod to Ferrari’s attention to detail and making sure everything stays true to their brand and who they are.
It is difficult to walk away from a stunning car like that. After a final look at the dual grille opening at the front and the blown spoiler and the large air vents at the back, we waved goodbye, secretly hoping for our next adventure drive with Ferrari.
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Ferrari Kuwait first media drive event Part I Amazing day, amazing partners in success, and truly amazing cars Special thanks to: @passions.arabia @ahlan.kw @theexecutivewomen @thebusinessislamica @bazaargram @zafafmagazine @darhamadkw @lenotrekw Our certified Ferrari instructors: @marco_cavigioli & @filippo.pensotti Photo by: @nasjxx Video by: @officialproducer #Ferrari #FerrariKuwait #Kuwait #MediaDriveEvent
FERRARI 488 GTB TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Type: V8 – 90° Turbo
Overall displacement: 3902 cm3
Maximum power *: 492 kW (670 CV) at 8000 rpm
Maximum torque *: 760 Nm at 3000 rpm in VII gear
DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT
Length: 4568 mm
Width: 1952 mm
Height: 1213 mm
Dry weight**: 1370 kg
Weight distribution: 46.5% Front – 53.5% Rear
0-100 km/h: 3.0 s
0 -200 km/h: 8.3 s
Maximum speed: > 330 km/h
11.4 l/100 km
C02 EMISSIONS ***
* With 98 RON petrol
**With lightweight options
*** ECE+EUDC combined cycle with HELE system
The Ferrari 488 GTB is available at the official Ferrari Showroom in Kuwait- Kuwait Automobile & Trading Co located in Al-Rai, on the 4th Ring Road. Please visit the website www.safat.ferraridealers.com and follow them on Instagram @ferrarialzayanikuwait for the latest updates. Photography by @nasjxx.