Ferrari 288 GTO, a car created for the Group B category

The development of the Ferrari GTO, also known by the code 288, has in common with its sister 308 GTO only the splitting of the engine, a turbo-compressed 2.8-liter 90-degree V8, from which the engine of the prototype sports was derived. Lancia, the LC2.

Starting from the mechanics of the 308 GTB, the 288 GTO was created to be able to compete in Group B class competitions.

The new car of the Maranello car manufacturer was presented at the Geneva Motor Show in 1984, proposing itself to the public as a false evolution of the aforementioned 308 GTB, thanks also to the same stylistic signature, entrusted to the Turin-based Pininfarina.

The line represents a more extreme and captivating soul, being an evolution of the stylistic study called 308 GTB Speciale, also known as Millechiodi. Followed by Nicola Materazzi, the car was a real gem for the time: oversized rear spoiler, widened fenders, side slits recalling the 250 GTO, and the body made entirely of kevlar.

Much interest is being developed regarding the mechanical apparatus incorporated in the bodywork, the heart of the GTO. The engine is in fact supercharged by two IHI turbochargers, with two intercoolers and a longitudinal location, totally different from the 308 GTB, which was equipped with a transverse engine-gearbox unit.

If all this is still not enough to see the beauty of this car, we add the praise of being the first car to be equipped with the Formula One-derived electronic injection, called Weber-Marelli IAW, thus improving the fluidity of delivery and preserving the Racing car DNA.

In addition, the car is equipped with a gearbox with oil cooler, which is cantilevered behind the engine.

With a boost pressure of 0.9 Bar, the power and maximum torque generated are 400 HP and 496 Nm, while the declared maximum speed is 305 km/h.

The car, born without electronic controls, is very demanding to control, mainly due to the Turbo Lag, or the delay in response, which characterized turbo engines in the 1980s.

Although the racing program was not completed, the car met with enormous commercial success, with 272 models - all strictly in Ferrari red - sold even before their entry into production.

Small curiosity: the last two models produced are personally requested by Gianni Agnelli, and are produced a year after the end of production of the Ferrari 288 GTO, to then be delivered respectively to Niki Lauda and a tycoon from the Middle East, after the latter landed Gianni Agnelli's helicopter on his yacht in Monte Carlo asking for a Ferrari 288 GTO in exchange.

At Ferrari they build four prototypes of the 288 GTO, two of which are destroyed following crash tests, while the third one is dismantled to sell spare parts to an owner of a damaged GTO; only the fourth example, chassis number 47649, remained intact inside the Ferrari factories until 1987, when a special Ferrari customer managed to purchase it and keep it carefully for more than thirty years.

The car has recently undergone a meticulous restoration by the Ferrari Classiche department.

During 1985, the Maranello-based company built five examples of 288 GTO Evoluzione, in order to field them in the competitions open to Group B; but following the terrible fatal accidents that would have characterized the category, Group B was banned from the end of the 1986 vintage, convincing Ferrari to transform the 288 GTO Evoluzione into laboratory cars.

The changes include a new aerodynamic bodywork, reinforcement of the chassis and lightening of the body (with the total mass reduced to 940 kg) and the processing of the engine (boosted to 650 hp through the use of turbochargers of dimensions major, re-designed pistons and other adjustments).

Following these interventions, the maximum speed is theorized around 360 km/h, very similar to that of prototype sports cars.



Two doors

Two seats

Tank capacity 120 liters

Mass in running order 1,230 kg

Towable mass max 0 kg

Length 429 cm

Width 191 cm

Height 112 cm

Wheelbase 245 cm


Eight cylinders in V

Displacement 2,855 cm³

Fuel supply

Max power/speed 294 KW (400 hp) 7.000 rpm

Maximum torque 496 Nm

Rear-wheel Drive

Manual transmission



Max speed 305 km/h

Acceleration 0-100km/h 4.9 seconds

Anti-polluting approval 0 Emissions

CO2 emissions 0 g/km


Urban 18 liters/100 km

Extra-urban 11 liters/100 km

Mixed 8 liters/100 km

Andrea Rasponi