TodayApril 17, 2022

1985 Ferrari 288 GTO

1985 Ferrari 288 GTO Celebration

Ferrari Maserati of Silicon Valley owner Giacomo Mattioli describes a 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO at Ferrari’s 60th-anniversary celebration held at his Silicon Valley dealership in Redwood City, 2750 El Camino Real, Redwood City, CA 94061. Stay until the end and hear the engine as the Ferrari guys put the car in place before the party.

A story by Ferrari

288 GTO (the 1980s)

The Ferrari 288 GTO was a homologation (thus the O) of the Ferrari 308 GTB produced in 1984 through 1986 to compete in the new Group B Race series where a minimum of 200 cars for homologation (regulatory certification for export). Only Ferrari and Porsche, with their 959, entered, the series was soon abandoned leaving just the Group B Rally Championship. The Porsche 959 {961} only raced three times in Group B, but the 288 GTO never raced, and all 272 cars built remained road cars purely.

The 288 GTO based on the mid-engined 308 GTB, with the 288 referring to its 2.8 Liter V8 engine. With 400 hp (almost 140 hp per liter) and 366 ft-lb of torque, the 288 GTO performs 0-60 mph times in the upper 4-second range, and Ferrari claimed 0-125 mph in 15 seconds flat. The top speed is a staggering 190 mph.

Ferrari also built 5 288 GTO Evoluzione models with more aggressive and aerodynamic body styling and increased power. The engine in the Evoluzione initially put out as much as 650 hp; this was dialed down to 450 hp after Group B banned in 1986. These cars form the clearest visual link between the 288 GTO and the F40, soon to follow. Unlike the later F40, the 288 equipped with most of the essential luxuries – air conditioning, sound system, and so on – which made the car relatively comfortable to drive.

The real significance of the 288 GTO was it was the first in a series of limited-production Ferrari supercars that started in the 1980s and continued with its much-modified version, the 1987 F40. The later V12-engined 1995 F50 and 2003 Enzo, both displayed would not have been produced if not for the 288 GTO.


Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

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