The 288 GTO was built between 1984-1986, in the odd number series chassis number range 52465 to 58345. The official model designation was solely GTO, although most people refer to as the “288 GTO” to differentiate it from the 250 GTO model in conversation, as this legend is frequently referred to as simply the GTO
288 GTO DESIGN
Even though they were visually similar both inside and out, and both were powered by a V8 engine, that was the extent of the similarities between the GTO and the 308 series. Although based on the 308 series silhouette, the GTO shared very few common components, the wheelbase was longer, the mid-mounted engine was placed longitudinally in the chassis, and the majority of body panels were constructed from composite materials or resin mouldings.
The major visual differences were more bulbous front and rear wings, and the trailing edges of the rear wings had triple vertical exhaust air slots (a reference point to the front wings of the sixties 250 СТО). The front valance spoiler was deeper, housing paired rectangular driving lights in the radiator grille extremities, the tail had a pronounced lip spoiler, and the door mirrors stood on tall stalks. Also, the multi-slotted engine lid was hinged at the trailing edge, rather than being forward-hinged in the unit with the sail panels on the 308 models.
The mid-mounted engine was a 90-degree v8 unit fitted longitudinally, with the forward end so close to the cabin bulkhead to optimize weight distribution, that a service hatch was provided in the bulkhead for maintenance. This was the first longitudinally mounted V8 engine fitted in a Ferrari production road car, and also the first to be fitted with twin turbochargers.
The total cubic capacity was 2855cc, with an 80mm x 71mm bore and stroke, a compression ratio of 7.6:1, and factory type reference F 114 8.000. It had four valves per cylinder, twin overhead camshafts per bank, each with its own toothed drive belt, dry-sump lubrication, with twin IHI turbochargers feeding intake air via a pair of Behr intercoolers at 0.8 bar, coupled to a Weber-Marelli IAW. combined ignition/fuel injection system, to provide a claimed power output of 400 bhp at 7000rpm.
The differential assembly was mounted on the back of the engine in the unit with the rear-mounted five-speed synchromesh gearbox, with its removable and cover for ease of ratio changes, a throwback to its original competition intent.
FERRARI 288 GTO CHASSIS
The bodies were mounted on a 2450mm wheelbase chassis, which was 110mm greater than that of the 308 models, but the overall length was 5 mm less, due to a reduced rear overhang The chassis had factory reference numbers F114 AB 100, with the construction following the Ferrari principle of a tubular steel chassis frame with cross bracing, and substructures, to support the engine, suspension, and ancillary equipment, incorporating a safety rollover hoop in the cabin section.
The wheels were unique to this model, five-spoke “star” pattern magnesium alloy Speedline split rims 16″ x 8J and 16″ x10J at the front and rear respectively, each with a single central retaining nut on a Rudge hub. They covered large ventilated disc brakes with twin hydraulic circuits and servo assistance. Independent suspension via tubular steel wishbones, coil springs, and hydraulic shock absorbers was provided, together with front and rear anti-roll bars.
A quink of the marketing was that “you could have the car in any colour you liked, as long as you liked red”! Internally the client had little more choice than with the external paint colour, there was the choice of all black leather seats or alternatively, orange cloth centre cushions could be provided.
There were also the options of electric windows, air conditioning, and a radio.