Ferrari 288 GTO (Group B) & “Evoluzione” (Group B Prototype)

Published on: Jan 18, 2016 @ 16:58
Originally Published in: 2015 (old website)
(C) Jay Auger - website owner & author
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INTRODUCTION

For most people Group B is strictly synonymous with the high flying and fire spitting rally cars of the Golden Era and is often badly portrayed in popular culture as a being exclusive to rallying. In true reality, the FISA had hoped that the new Group B category, introduced in 1982, would also be used in circuit racing to replace the previous “silhouette” Group 5 racers. More information about why Group B circuit racing never really took off is available by CLICKING HERE. It is for such a purpose that Ferrari would design the incredible 288 GTO.


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FERRARI 288 GTO

Ferrari 288 GTO

Designed by renowned firm Pininfarina, the Ferrari 288 GTO was technically based on the Group 4 308 GTB and its aborted Group B evolution prototype – the 308 GT/M. The 288 GTO can be arguably considered as a major “Group B evolution” of these concepts due to the inherent similarities and improvements between them.

technical view

Due to Group B’s displacement rules, the quattrovalvole V8 2927 cc engine was de-stroked to 2855 cc since it was Ferrari’s intention to add turbocharging. The Group B regulations therefore mandated a multiplication factor of 1.4 for forced induction engines. Thus, the new smaller turbo engine would have a final cc rating of 3997, efficiently putting the 288 GTO in the 3000~3999 cc class (which also dictated maximum tire widths and minimum curb weight).

In this instance, the 288 GTO could run a maximum tire combination width (for one side of the car) of 24 inches and have a minimum curb weight of 1,100 kgs. Furthermore, the 400 BHP engine was mounted longitudinally by using all of the trunk space as opposed to the 308’s transverse layout thanks to the lessons learned with the GT/M prototype. This resulted in an increased wheelbase of 110 mm / 4.3 inches over the standard 308.

Production of the Ferrari 288 GTO started in mid-1984 and, having produced the required 200 units, was officially homologated in Group B on June 1st 1985. As such, the 288 GTO is NOT a prototype but a fully-fledged Group B car. Ferrari did produce an extra 73 units, one of which was used to build the first Evoluzione (evolution / ET / racing) version.

interior

Ferrari, since it was part of the Fiat group, had no official rallying ambitions (that aspiration ended with the GT/M) but still expected the 288 GTO to nonetheless be run predominantly in tarmac events of the European and Italian Rally Championships by privateer teams, as did the 308 GTB before it. All actual “works” racing aspirations were differed to  “Evoluzione” version of the 288 for use in circuit racing.

***This article is only a quick excerpt / please come back later for page expansion***


288 GTO SPECIFICATIONS

Class Grand Touring Homologation number: B-273 (click # to view papers)
Production 1984~86 (273 units) Homologation

  • start: June 1st 1985
  • end: December 31st 1990
Engine
Type Type F114B, V8, DOHC 32v, gas located middle longitudinal
Displacement 2855 cc WRC x 1.4 = 3997 cc
Compression ratio 7.6:1
Output power – torque 400 HP @ 7,000 rpm 365 lb-ft @ 3,800 rpm
Materials block: light alloy cylinder head: light alloy
Aspiration
  • Twin Turbo
  • IHI turbochargers
  • Weber-Marelli Fuel Injection
Ignition N/A
Cooling system water-cooled
Lubrication system dry sump
Transmission
Type rear wheel drive 5 speed manual gearbox
Gearbox ratios N/A N/A
Differential ratios N/A N/A
Clutch N/A
Chassis-body
Type steel tubular spaceframe with roll cage, bodywork composed of lightweight fibreglass, aluminium, and kevlar.
Front suspension double wishbones, coil springs, co-axial Koni dampers, anti-roll bar
Rear suspension double wishbones, coil springs, co-axial Koni dampers, anti-roll bar
Steering system rack and pinion N/A
Brakes vented discs both front and rear. N/A
Dimensions
length: 4290 mm (168.9 in) width: 1910 mm (75.2 in) height: 1120 mm (44.1 in)
wheelbase: 2450 mm (96.5 in) front track: 1559 mm (61.4 in) rear track: 1562 mm (61.5 in)
Rims – tires
  • Front: 8 x 16″
  • Rear: 10 x 16″
  • Speedline wheels
  • Front: 225/50VR16
  • Rear: 255/50VR16
  • Goodyear NCT tires
Curb Weight 1160 kg (2560 lb)
Weight/power 2.9 kg/HP (6.4 lb/HP)
Fuel tank N/A

“EVOLUZIONE” PROTOTYPE

Ferrari 288 GTO Evoluzione

After building the required 200 homologation units required for Group B, Ferrari went on, with the help of long time partners Michelotto and Pininfarina, to start conception and production of the 20 “evolution” cars aimed directly for circuit racing competition.

The Evoluzione sported advanced lightweight composite bodywork and much improved aerodynamic bodywork features directly evolved from the GT/M and other racing projects. The dry weight of the car is said to be only 940 kgs. The 2855 cc engine was also improved and the boost on the turbochargers cranked up a few notches: a combination that could provide up to 650 BHP therefore cutting in half the power to weight ratio of the road car – a feat in every aspect.

However, as history would unfold, Group B was banned for the end of 1986 thus production of the racing cars was halted with six prototype units already built; one derived from a road car, five others entirely from scratch. This exercise was not futile for Ferrari as many of the 288 GTO Evoluzione’s technical features were carried over to the now legendary F40. The similarities between the two cars are quite striking.

zgtoevo
288 GTO Evoluzione – side view
F40 side
F40 – side view

ANECDOTE

It is little known that the Ferrari F40 was homologated in Group B (B-293) in late 1989. These post-ban homologations would later be “recycled” in the new FIA “GT” categories. As such, some people sometimes consider the F40 to be a Group B car in itself, tracing its direct lineage as far back to the 308 GT/M project started in 1981, not to mention that it was the last Ferrari to be built with a “traditional” tubular frame so often indicative of the previous Group B supercars.

***This article is only a quick excerpt / please come back later for page expansion***


EVOLUZIONE SPECIFICATIONS

Group/Class
  • B/12
 PROTOTYPE
Years active
  • NEVER RACED
  • Produced 1985~86
 # built: 6
Engine
Type Type F114CK, V8, DOHC 32v, gas located middle longitudinal
Displacement 2855 cc WRC x 1.4 = 3997 cc
Compression ratio 7.8:1
Output power – torque 650 HP @ 7800 rpm 492 lb-ft @ – rpm
Materials block: light alloy cylinder head: light alloy
Aspiration
  • Twin Turbo
  • IHI turbochargers
  • Weber-Marelli Fuel Injection
Ignition N/A
Cooling system water-cooled
Lubrication system dry sump
Transmission
Type rear wheel drive 5 speed manual gearbox
Gearbox ratios N/A N/A
Differential ratios N/A N/A
Clutch multi plate
Chassis-body
Type steel tubular spaceframe with roll cage, bodywork composed of lightweight fibreglass and kevlar.
Front suspension double wishbones, coil springs over shock absorbers, anti-roll bar
Rear suspension double wishbones, coil springs over shock absorbers, anti-roll bar
Steering system rack and pinion N/A
Brakes vented discs both front and rear. N/A
Dimensions
length: 4290 mm (168.9 in) width: 1910 mm (75.2 in) height: 1120 mm (44.1 in)
wheelbase: 2450 mm (96.5 in) front track: 1559 mm (61.4 in) rear track: 1562 mm (61.5 in)
Rims – tires
  • Front: 8 x 16″
  • Rear: 12.5 x 16″
  • Speedline wheels
Dry/Unladen Weight 940 kg (2,072 lbs)
Weight/power 1.4 kg/HP (3.2 lb/HP)
Fuel tank N/A

VIDEOS


REFERENCES

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