There would be a real risk here of assuming, because the 488 GTB shares its adaptive dampers and steering rack with the 2014 458 Speciale, that the 488 will feel like a Speciale-plus.

But far from it. The 488 is closer to the regular 458 Italia, in that it’s a more rounded car with a softer, broader appeal than that of the Speciale – albeit with much of the latter car’s responses and poise.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
The only note of caution is that the Spider is equally splendid. Heavier and pricier, but with a softer suspension and more enlivening at speed

Its ride quality is deft and forgiving – at least if you put the dampers in the Bumpy Road setting that they only default to in the chassis’ Wet mode (which keeps a firmer hold on wheel slip and is careful about which gear it puts you in).

Bumpy Road is the appropriate mode for more or less any road in the UK, where the 488 rides without the ultimate compliance of a McLaren 650S, but better than any other outright supercar.

The Ferrari’s body movements are, nonetheless, still impeccably well contained. And because visibility is pretty good, the scuttle low, the brakes easily modulated and secure and the gearshifts instantaneous, the 488 is an easy car to drive on the road and not intimidating in the slightest.

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On the road, too, even its two-turns steering resists feeling overly sharp for the most part. It has a curious lightness but is at least consistent, and you easily become used to the way it does things, resulting in a pleasingly natural flow and rhythm to road driving.

On a circuit, though, the 488 feels ever more serious, without losing that approachability and, frankly, lack of intimidation that is utterly remarkable in a 661bhp supercar.

Partly that’s because of how extraordinary its electronic slip controls are, but even in full ‘ESC off’ mode, which leaves you entirely on your own, the 488 GTB’s limits are as approachable as those of a Toyota GT86. This Ferrari has an extraordinarily good chassis.

The 488 GTB is a remarkable thing: faster than a 458 Speciale yet at the same time far more docile and approachable.

And just like it is on the road, it feels crackers fast on the track, despite having a lot more space to play with, although it’s a little nervous as you turn in at high speed.

Hit the brake pedal hard and, at times, it can feel a little firm. The deceleration is there, though (we never found its fade limit), and any minor lift and reapplication of the pedal reverts it to its natural, reassuring feel.

The pedal modulation is so good, in fact, that it’s easy to bleed the brakes off as you turn in, and then there’s a tiny amount of stabilising understeer.

A lift and it regains neutrality or, better still, add more throttle and the 488 steers beautifully under power.

The Side Slip Control function then lets you feel like a hero or, with all electronics switched off, there is such precious balance that sometimes you can look like one of your own accord.

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