Is This Ferrari’s Upgraded 488 GTO or the Rumored Dino Successor?


Concealed under copious amounts of camouflage, our spy photographers caught a new Ferrari racing around Germany’s Nurburgring Nordschliefe. However, unlike normal spy shots where we have a vague clue as to what the heavily cladded mule is, this Ferrari has us stumped.

Before we get into the multitude of rumors and guesses we have swirling around our brains, let’s dive into what we can see on this 488 GTB mule. First off, the front fascia seems to have wider front intakes, and you can just make out what appear to be slightly changed heat extraction exits atop the Ferrari’s hood. The side of the car remains largely unchanged, except that the rear intakes on the Ferrari’s fenders have much wider openings. The rear is unchanged, except that the usually see-through engine bay has been obfuscated with tape and cladding.

And now for the possibilities — three prevalent rumors persist that warrant more explanation.

First, for what seems like the last five years, we’ve heard that the Prancing Horse has been secretly testing a new Dino that would become the company’s newest entry-level supercar. Our sources have stated that the Dino would use a twin-turbocharged V-6, and like the mule here, use a variation of the 488 GTB’s architecture.

However, thanks to the video below, the mule shown here sounds like it’s still running the company’s twin-turbocharged V-8.

Second, is the rumored car the more powerful 488 GTO or 488 Speciale? These, as in the past, would be tarted up, hotter versions of the 488 GTB. More power, stickier tires, and a more track-focused nature remain the hallmarks of the GTO and Speciale nameplates.

However, this theory doesn’t seem likely as previous GTO and Speciale monikers came with drastically different aerodynamic packages, as well as different wheels and tires, and specialized interiors built closer to Ferrari’s track supercars.

Lastly, this mule could be testing a new, smaller version of Ferrari’s hybrid KERS system. First seen in the LaFerrari hypercar, Ferrari has stated in the past that electrification, in conjunction with its internal combustion engines, would become more widely available with its road cars.

No longer just for the brand’s top tier hyper coupes. And with the engine bay veiled in plastic wrap, Ferrari very well could be hiding the company’s newest engine architecture. This appears to have the highest probability, especially after watching the video below.

But until Ferrari launches whatever car this is, all we have are our rumors and guesses. What do you think this is?

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