Not to be confused with the Volkswagen's hybrid lineup, GTE is the category that replaced the previous GT2 class, and with it absorbed the defunct GT1 class, as well. It's run principally at Le Mans and its associated championships, and the outgoing Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 has proven a force to be reckoned with. That car took top honors in its class every year since the inception of the FIA World Endurance Championship, and won its class twice at Le Mans. Its turbo successor will have quite a challenge in keeping up that legacy.
The GT3 class, meanwhile, is a step below, running in the Blancpain Endurance Series, Pirelli World Challenge, and the like. Here the teams running Ferrari equipment could use some extra help, and the new 488 GT3 aims to deliver that competitive edge to get ahead of rivals. Those include GT3 racing versions of the Aston Martin V12 Vantage, Audi R8, Bentley Continental GT, Lamborghini Huracán, McLaren 650S, Mercedes-AMG GT, Nissan GT-R, and Porsche 911 (to name just a handful).
Ferrari presented the pair at its end-of-year Finali Mondiali event, which wraps up the various regional Ferrari Challenge series run around the world. This year's was held this weekend at the Mugello circuit in Italy. Last year's was in Abu Dhabi where the FXX K was revealed. The previous year's was also held at Mugello, where the current 458 Challenge Evoluzione was presented. The 2016 event is scheduled to be held in North America for the first time at Daytona the weekend of December 1-4, 2016.
With the GTB, Spider, GTE, and GT3 variants now presented, the next step in the fleshing out of the 488 lineup will be to present the new Challenge racer for the company's own spec racing series.
Unveiling of GT3 and GTE versions that will race in the WEC
Scarperia, 7 November – The FXX K was presented at last year's Finali Mondiali in Abu Dhabi. In 2015 at Mugello it was the turn of the 488, which was shown off in its GTE and GT3 versions. Celebrity endorser, Lapo Elkann, paid a visit to the Finali Mondiali on Friday, conducting the award ceremony for the winners of the Ferrari Challenge race and going for a spin as a passenger in an exclusive FXX K.
A car for Le Mans. "Gimmi" Bruni, Toni Vilander, James Calado and Davide Rigon removed the red cloth from the 488 GTE, the car that will race in next year's World Endurance Championship (WEC) and that was presented in the AF Corse team race livery for next season.
GT racing weapon. Giancarlo Fisichella, Olivier Beretta and Andrea Bertolini, who did the lion's share of testing, unveiled the GT3 version of the car that will compete in the main domestic and international GT championships. The major break with the 458 Italia is the turbo engine, which also appears on the production model of the car, 488 GTB.