Here is another reader request, and this one necessitated a previous post in order to make sense (hence the 288 GTO post a few days earlier). This car is a glimpse into what could’ve been a racecar that took the world by storm, but like so many that I feature on this page, it never had the chance. The Ferrari 288 GTO Evoluzione, Ferrari’s Group B effort.
This is the car that the ‘288 GTO’ famed road car was built to homologate. This is the car that Ferrari designed for privateer use in Group B racing. The Evoluzione developed on the 288 GTO using a unique front end with canards, air channels and vents, as well as wider bodywork with more NACA ducts, and a large carbon fibre rear spoiler – many of these elements would be carried over to the F40, so all three cars have history together. Using composite materials like Kevlar, fibreglass and carbon fibre allowed the dry weight to drop to 940 kg, ensuring exceptional performance. The engine was the exact same 2.9-litre V8 as the road car, mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, but now had an increase in horsepower to 650 bhp at 7,800 rpm (through using larger turbochargers), making the Evoluzione good for a top speed of around 230 mph, and 0-60 mph in around four seconds.
This showed extreme potential, but unfortunately the controversies surrounding Group B (and the fatalities that went along with it) caused the FIA to ban the series for 1987. Only a tamer Group A was left, and Ferrari weren’t interested. Ferrari were now left with six Evoluziones and no series to race them in, so some were used for development of the upcoming F40 model, but all eventually made it into collections. The Evoluziones were issued the following chassis numbers: 50253; 70167; 70205; 79887; 79888; and 79889 (owned by the Sultan of Brunei), and all six are still in existence, but are rarely seen. One Evoluzione is owned by the factory and is on display at the engine manufacturing facility in Maranello, Italy.