The launch of the 488GTB in Sydney was held at Inglis Newmarket stables in Randwick. That meant a trek from the opposite side of the city but I was lucky enough to score a shotgun seat in a 458 driven by a kindly FCA Club member. Clearly, the best way to arrive at an official Ferrari event!
We arrived a tad late thanks to the shocking state of Sydney traffic, even at this time of night! (Does peak hour ever end in this place?). After alighting and being ‘checked in’ at the entrance we were greeted with a display of cars that lead to the inception of the 488.
In the first layout was a 308, 328 and 348 just inside the entrance. It was also a nice to have a dressage horse and rider ‘sauntering’ and around the cars and guests.
A walk through the stables, along a candle lit path ended us in front of a huge flood lit 488GTB sign. One kinda wonders what happens to this after the event? maybe it follows the car around to other locations? Who knows?
To the immediate right we could see a further display of cars and the entrance to stable.
Here we found a 360, 430 and 458 along with a 355. These cars belonged to club members and if you are wondering why my 355 didn’t make the grade it is because it is a GTS (detachable roof) not a GTB (i.e. Berlinetta). Unfortunately, given the detachable GTS roof has now been replaced by folding metal ones on the coupe, it seems my model may never get a guernsey at future events either. No worries, I like owning something unique, the last GTS Ferrari!
Inside the stable was a crush of invited guests and other dignitaries, 300+ seemed to be the count. The front of the main hall was where all the action was clearly going to take place while off in the stalls on the sides where a number of displays and refreshment.
I managed to position myself towards the front but as you can see from the above video all I really managed to capture was everyone else holding up THEIR phone also trying to capture the 488’s entrance. Hopefully, you at least get an idea of what the atmosphere was like.
After the car’s entrance the rest of the night was basically a throng of people oohing and aahing over the 488.
As you can see the car was a gun metal grey, rather than the traditional rosso corsa. That was a tad disappointing as the car tended to get lost among the crowd also in generally attire.
I also have to say that the way they lit the car didn’t help taking photos as the light seemed to bounce right into the lens as you can see from the above shot.
As the crowds began to thin out I took the opportunity to hop behind the wheel and see what the pilot eye’s view was. Such a nice place to be, even with the engine not running.
As you can see, the true enthusiasts (i.e. me) stayed until there was virtually no one left in order take some pictures of just the car.
Only problem was those damm lights where still spoiling my shots! From here the car is packed off to its next destination to have more sweaty bottoms inside. Would you buy this demonstrator? Hmmm…certainly not in this colour.
The official video Ferrari made for the event (above) is very different feel from all the others so far which is interesting. A little more understated that some of the other launch videos.
All in all an interesting night and my first experience of a Ferrari ‘launch’. The theming and the venue were great, the lighting no so much and sadly, it would have been better if the car was the traditional red, but I still considered myself very lucky to have had the opportunity to attend.
We expect to see the first 488GTB in Australia come February or March 2016.