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Experiencing Piloting A Ferrari 288 GTO For 1,000 Kilometers

Image Source: Jarlat Maletych @ShutterStock

Allow me to confess that my inclination leans more towards Lamborghinis rather than Ferraris. However, there are a few instances where this preference can be set aside, such as in the case of the 1984 Ferrari 288 GTO, where GTO stands for Gran Turismo Omologata. This remarkably impressive vehicle was only manufactured for a brief three-year period, spanning from 1984 to 1988. With just 272 units crafted in Maranello, the Ferrari 288 GTO stands as a relatively uncommon gem in today’s automotive landscape. Despite its initial resemblance to the more understated 308 GTB produced from 1975 to 1983, the 288 GTO emerges as a distinctly separate breed.

Propelled by a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine, the 288 GTO boasted 395 horsepower and 366 pound-feet of torque, enabling it to achieve a top speed of an astonishing 288 km/h (179 mph). The sprint from 0 to 60 mph was dispatched in a mere 5 seconds. Interestingly, the Ferrari 288 GTO was not homologated for sale in the United States; those that did find their way into the country were all brought in as gray imports, thereby elevating the exclusivity of this Prancing Horse further during the Eighties. Another significant departure between the 308 GTB and the 288 GTO, despite both being equipped with a V8 powerplant, is the longitudinal engine mounting in the latter, akin to its rival from Sant’Agata, the Lamborghini Countach LP500 S.

Predominantly, the Ferrari 288 GTO departed the Maranello factory draped in the iconic Rosso hue, although a few exceptions exist. While untrained eyes might mistake this modern GTO for a 308 or 328 GTB, discernible disparities abound, like the pronounced front bumper housing four sizable integrated lamps beneath the turn signals, in addition to the signature pop-up headlights. Noteworthy traits of the Ferrari 288 GTO encompass expansive wheel arches, substantial Speedline wheels, and external rear-view mirrors.

Drawing inspiration from the revered Ferrari 250 GTO with its design elements, the 288 GTO is notably lighter compared to the 308 GTB, courtesy of utilizing steel solely for the doors while fabricating the remainder of the body panels from lightweight Kevlar and carbon fiber. These design choices significantly enhance the car’s aerodynamic capabilities. Harry’s Garage on YouTube offers valuable perspectives on the driving encounter with the classic Ferrari 288 GTO following a 1,000-kilometer journey and the rationale behind his decision to acquire a Zonda in 2005 rather than the 288 GTO.

Image Source: Jarlat Maletych @ShutterStock

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