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The Ferrari 288 GTO is also known as the Ferrari GTO and it is an exotic racing version of the Ferrari 308 GTB. It was produced from 1984 through 1986 with 272 total units being built.

Ferrari 288 GTO History

The Ferrari GTO was designed to compete in the new Group B Race series and a minimum of 200 cars were required and built for homologation. However as only Ferrari and Porsche entered, the series was soon abandoned leaving just the Group B Rally championship. The Porsche 959 only raced three times in Group B, but the 288 GTO never raced and all 272 cars built remained purely road cars.

Some of the 288 GTO’s styling features were first displayed on a 308 GTB design exercise by Pininfarina shown at the 1977 Geneva Salon. This included the deep front spoiler, fender flares, rear lip spoiler, front lid radiator cooling louvers and quadruple driving lights.

Ferrari 288 GTO Engine

The GTO was based on the mid-engined, rear wheel drive 308 GTB (which had a 3.0 liter V8 engine). The “288″ refers to the GTO’s 2.8 liter V8 engine that was assisted by twin IHI turbochargers, intercoolers, and Weber-Marelli fuel injection. The 2855 cc engine capacity was dictated by the FIA’s requirement for a Turbocharged engine’s capacity to be multiplied by 1.4. This gave the GTO a theoretical engine capacity of 3997 cc, just under the Group B limit of 4.0 litres.

Unlike the 308′s engine, the GTO’s 2855 cc engine was mounted longitudinally, using the 308′s rear boot space. This was necessary to make room for the twin turbochargers and intercoolers. The racing transmission was mounted to the rear of the engine moving the rear differential and wheels aft. As a result the wheelbase was 110 mm (4.3 in) longer at 2,450 mm (96 in). The track was also widened to accommodate wider wheels and tires.

The Ferrari 288 GTO produced 400 hp (298 kW) and 366 lb·ft (496 N·m) of torque. Its performance was impressive with a 0-60 mph acceleration time in the 4 second range and a 0-125 mph (201 km/h) time of 15 seconds flat. The top speed was 189 mph (304 km/h), making it the first street-legal production car to reach 300 km/h (186 mph).

Ferrari 288 GTO Evoluzione

Ferrari also built five 288 GTO Evoluzione models which had a more aggressive and aerodynamic body styling and increased power. The engine in the 288 GTO Evoluzione originally put out as much as 650 hp (480 kW). It weighed 940 kg (2,072 lb), had a top speed of 225 mph (362 km/h) and could hit 6mph in 4 seconds.

In 1987, Ferrari launched the F40 which was clearly styled after the 288 GTO Evoluzione and used a slightly larger version of the Turbocharged V8 engine used in the 288.

Only three 288 GTO Evoluziones are still in existence, with one at the Galleria Ferrari museum in Maranello.

Ferrari 288 GTO Awards

In 2004, Sports Car International named the Ferrari 288 GTO number two on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1980s, behind its German rival the Porsche 959.

General specifications

Country of origin Italy
Chassis number 57715
Numbers built 273
Produced from 1984 – 1986
Introduced at 1984 Geneva Motor Show
Body design Pininfarina

Configuration Type F114B 90º V 8
Location Mid, longitudinally mounted
Construction light alloy block and head
Displacement 2.855 liter / 174.2 cu in
Bore / Stroke 80.0 mm (3.1 in) / 71.0 mm (2.8 in)
Compression 7.6:1
Valvetrain 4 valves / cylinder, DOHC
Fuel feed Weber-Marelli Fuel Injection
Aspiration Two IHI Turbos

Chassis/body fibreglass / kevlar body on tubular chassis
Suspension (fr/r) double wishbones, coil springs, co-axial Koni dampers, anti-roll bar
Steering rack-and-pinion
Brakes ventilated discs, all-round
Gearbox Ferrari 5 speed Manual
Drive Rear wheel drive

Weight 1160 kilo / 2557.4 lbs
Length / Width / Height 4290 mm (168.9 in) / 1910 mm (75.2 in) / 1120 mm (44.1 in)
Wheelbase / Track (fr/r) 2450 mm (96.5 in) / 1559 mm (61.4 in) / 1562 mm (61.5 in)

Performance figures
Power 400 bhp / 298 KW @ 7000 rpm
Torque 495 Nm / 365 ft lbs @ 3800 rpm
BHP/Liter 140 bhp / liter
Power to weight 0.34 bhp / kg
Top Speed 306 km/h / 190 mph
0-60 mph 5.0 s
0-100 mph 11.0 s