It might have looked similar to the 308 GTB, but underneath it was much closer to a Group B racecar than its more common sibling.
Try 298kw at 7000 rpm and a 0-100km/h-sprint time in just 4.8 seconds. Couple that with a top speed of 288km/h and remember this was 1984.
The 288 GTO was a Pininfarinia design by Leonardo Fioravanti using the 308 GTB as a staring point. He then took styling cues from the legendary Ferrari 250 GTO such as the rear-guard vents and rear spoiler, which set the car off superbly.
The “O” in GTO stood for Omologazione or homologation in English and was exclusively built to compete in the Group B Race series where the rules stated that no less 200 cars were required for homologation.
The problem was that only Porsche, with their 959 and Ferrari with the 288 GTO entered, so the series was quickly abandoned.
But this disaster only served to increase the popularity of such a rare and instantly collectible machine, so Ferrari built another seventy-two cars and even then, perspective buyers could only hope to join the growing queue.
What gave the 288 GTO this cornering prowess was its innovative construction. It was the first time a Ferrari road car had used composite materials in the chassis and body, which increased structural rigidity while reducing the weight to a super light 1157 kilograms, or a full 318 kilograms lighter than the 308 GTB car.