Ferrari 288GTO – A Brief History

The Ferrari 288GTO is often over shadowed due to it being the predecessor of possibly the most iconic Ferrari of all, the F40. The 288GTO however was the start of the low volume, extreme supercar era. Unlike the Ferrari’s before it, and even the F40, this was a car designed as a racing car, and turned into a road car. It was developed to race in the Group B race series. In order to qualify 200 road cars had to be produced, and so Ferrari unveiled the road car in 1984 in Geneva. The car was a huge hit, and in the end Ferrari had to produce a further 72 cars to fulfil the orders taken. Unfortunately however, before the racing car was complete, the Group B series saw a number of deaths, was deemed too fast and too dangerous and cancelled. The 288GTO never got to race.


As you would expect, being developed for the track meant the 288GTO had incredible performance. In terms of the engine it was the first of its kind for Ferrari. Firstly the 2.8L V8 was fitted longitudinally for better weight distribution, and it was the first to be twin turbo charged. This meant a power output of 400bhp, and this combined with incredible light weight (less than 1200kg) it would do 0-100mph in 11.0s and had a top speed of 189mph. This was convincingly faster than its competitors, taking a further 3 years to be knocked off the top spot by the Porsche 959.

The 288GTO had the looks to backup the punch it delivered. The 288GTO resembled a 308 on steroids, but looked all the better for it. Many would agree it is one of the best looking Ferraris of all time, not necessarily the most pretty, but a perfect blend of beauty and aggression. With its combination of speed and looks, the 288GTO is one of the greatest supercars of the 1980’s, and most would say of all time.