Ferrari 488 Upgrades: Sport Exhaust, Carbon Fibre, and Lowering Springs

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As we explained in an earlier blog post, even the magnificent cars from Maranello can be substantially improved with intelligent use of aftermarket parts.

So when a long-time Scuderia Car Parts customer and recent 488 owner came to us asking us to recommend a package which would tastefully enhance his 488 Spider and make it that bit more exciting, we went straight to work.

Click below to hear the difference we achieved by installing this Novitec exhaust system:

Then we moved on to detail what was deficient with the car:

The Owners Requirements

Address the unexciting exhaust note/sound of the 488

  • This is about tonal quality as much as volume.  Anyone who has heard a 355 from stock or a  458 with a sports exhaust or even modern V12s can hear that the 488 has lost that high-pitched, howling signature V8 Ferrari sound.  Furthermore, the 488’s exhaust is a little too sedate when cruising around and on the overrun/off the throttle too. The non-linearity of the vales opening and closing can seem a little obnoxious when transitioning and fitting a “remote control” on the stock exhaust just makes the car sound agricultural and unpleasant at anything other than WOT.


Yes there’s some “noise” when you hit the gas but it’s not exactly musical and when you’re off the throttle, you 488 owners will know that it’s virtually silent!

Give the 488 a more sporting ride height/attitude 

  • Ferrari do their best, but are unable to set their cars up with a very sporting ride height.  It’s rare that the delivered cars have that low-slung look of the press photographs.  There are many reasons why,  which we won’t go into here but you can read about here.
Not exactly an elegant, low slung “road posture” – a bit too gappy for our eyes.
Awkward looking Gap over rear axle

Replace carbon to Replace Plastic

  • Ferrari’s beautiful carbon fibre options look great. But what happens if you didn’t get a chance to option them from new? There are plenty of reasonably-priced options in the aftermarket.
Before: More plastic in the central aerodynamic tunnel at the front. Also missing the OEM carbon front spoiler which looks so nice as it wasn’t optioned from new.
Before: Plain and perhaps a touch dull?

Our Recommendations & The Build

1. Full Sports Exhaust Kit: (sold as single kit)

– Novitec Rear Sports Exhaust with Valve Operation
– Capristo Thermally insulated Cat Replacement Pipes
– Capristo OBD Wizard
– Capristo Remote Control Kit

The upgrades pre-install

Why? We’ll keep it brief:

If you want that nice sound quality – that high pitched scream – the stock rear silencer has to go. Simple. The customer loved the sound of the Novitec sport exhaust, so he chose that brand. He wanted something he could switch off too, on long distances etc so we recommended the valve operated Novitec exhaust.

The Capristo cat replacement pipes with thermal insulation going on and in place.
The Novitec exhaust being connected up to the cat replacement pipes (notice the valves which allow sound control)

Next, if you then want more volume on the Ferrari 488. The cats have to go. The turbo’s have taken too much sound away so you need to go beyond the stock silencer. Full test pipes are cheaper than sports cats and give the biggest bang per buck. The Capristo OBD Wizard eliminates any potential emissions related check engine light.

Finally, the Capristo remote control allows the driver to operate the valves on the Novitec exhaust allowing noisy or quiet sound whenever required. Fitting this to the stock exhaust just makes the car sound rough and agricultural to our ears….

2. Novitec Lowering Springs and some conservative small spacers

The Novitec sport springs work with OEM dampers, do not compromise their function and being variable rate do not compromise ride comfort but DO give adequate stiffness in extremis to stop the car bottoming out at the new lowered ride height (which the stock springs wouldn’t).

Lowering the car can often sadly accentuate the deficit of width between the stock wheels and arches. Ideally, you’d fit new wheels with a more aggressive offset. In this instance some spacers neutralised this deficit. That’s why springs and spacers are often sold together or should be.

The car was given a full geometry adjustment when the parts were installed to ensure that the handling was actually optimised around the new wider track and lower ride height, as opposed to compromised. This is essential and your vendor better advise you of this or they’re not qualified to sell these parts.

The original spring and damper assembly! Novitec Springs will be yellow.

3. Capristo Carbon Fibre Rear Diffuser and Front Spoiler

The Capristo carbon rear diffuser looks beautiful and plugs in to work with all OEM moving aerodynamic parts. The Carbon Front Spoiler just looks great and is Ferrari branded.

YES for those owners who want something that looks completely Ferrari original, you can opt for the Novitec parts which are identical to stock. This owner wanted a little stylistic flourish which could have come from the factory itself.

Capristo Carbon Fibre Front Splitter mounted to bumper and ready to be refitted

The Results

We’ve put together an overview video:

1. The Exhaust

Well the exhaust note “speaks” for itself.

NOW IT SOUNDS LIKE A FERRARI!!!! Listen out for that high-pitched howl!!!

It’s remote controlled so it’s never too noisy (as you can close the valves) and it’s never too quiet (because you can open them again);

  • No Check Engine Lights.
  • No technical ill-effects.

Just bolt on and beautiful sounds.

2. The Lowering, Novitec Sport Springs and spacers and revised geo

AFTER: Low and lithe without looking “slammed” or being impractical

AFTER: Much more snug on rear axle
After: All you 488 owners! Compare this setup to the awkward way the wheels on your stock 488 attempt to full their arches. Still adequate room given for suspension travel
AFTER: (much better!)

Once again, you can see the results for yourself. Remember the objective was not to “slam” the car – that just makes it undriveable. But you can certainly see the car suddenly look a lot more Ferrari-like. Low, sexy, and sporting. Lovely.

3. The Lowering, Novitec Sport Springs and spacers and revised geo

And finally, you can again, see for yourself, the results. The plastic on there rear diffuser is gone (there’s an argument that it should never have been there in the first place) and the front splitter is now beautiful carbon fibre.

BEFORE: Plastic, and a little “unfinished” and bluff
AFTER: Gloss finished carbon fibre, additional cooling vents for rear silencer and smaller fog light design (notice wider rear axle track with spacers giving the car a little more attitude”)
BEFORE: Plastic and again, a little plain and unfinished.
AFTER: Plastic nowhere, carbon fibre everywhere and also including that large central tunnel piece. Beautiful.
AFTER: Side 3/4 View
Beautiful: A touch lower, tiny bit wider with the spacers, and a splash of carbon and a FABULOUS exhaust note

We hope you can now see AND HEAR how a few choice upgrades can have a transformative effect on your 488 without really appearing to modify it all!

In our next post, we’ll talk about the power kit!!!


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