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Battle of the Finest

Men’s Book pits three of today’s new supercars head-to-head—Ferrari’s 488 GTB, Lamborghini’s Huracán and Porsche’s 911 GT3 RS—in this high-speed size-up for road supremacy.

Ferrari’s new 488 GTB is the most aerodynamically dialed-in production supercar from the brand, making full use of body contour air effects to reduce drag and increase pure speed.

Per Ferrari tradition, the GTB’s tech is front and center, and the drive-select Manettino switch lies familiarly at 5 o’clock on the steering wheel.

The 911 GT3 RS is clearly a track-ready racer.

The interior may look familiar, but every effort was made to reduce weight. Note the cloth door pulls.

Lamborghini design on parade: hexagonal body elements, overlapping black matte fins and a low-to-the-ground aggressive curb stance

Though the car is designed for unrivaled performance, the Huracán’s interior is actually very accommodating and plush.

Supercars have always had a sort of universal appeal. Who can resist their sexy curves, sensational sounds and jaw-dropping reflexes? A supercar is the ultimate reward for hard work. When you slide behind the wheel of one of these three exotics, you quickly realize that all the risks you took, the tests you passed and the stresses you endured were worth it. In a quest to unearth the ultimate supercar, Men’s Book is revving its engines. Gentlemen, welcome to vehicular nirvana.

2016 Ferrari 488 GTB: Italian Master
Just when you thought it couldn’t possibly get any better, Ferrari’s engineers have done the unthinkable; they made the midengine 458 even better. Its replacement, the 488 GTB, is, quite simply, sensational.

The biggest news is the 488’s new twin-turbocharged 3.9-liter V-8 engine. The Ferrari is the only one in this comparison to employ turbochargers; the other cars are naturally aspirated. While purists may wonder about turbo lag, once they feel the insane warp-speed pull these turbochargers instantly create, those worries will vanish. With that added boost, the 488 puts out 661 horsepower, making it the horsepower king in this matchup. Having the most horsepower and tipping the scales at some 114 pounds less than the already superlightweight Huracán, it’s no wonder the 488 crushes the sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.0 seconds. But the Porsche and Lambo are only a tenth of a second behind, so it’s not as if the Ferrari leaves the others in the dust.

For the track, Ferrari engineers have designed the 488 to make even novice drivers look like pros. Literally, this is the easiest, most nimble and fun-to-drive car on the track in the bunch. If you go into the corner a little too hot, not to worry, just mash on the 488’s new Brembo brakes, and they come to your rescue, reducing stopping distances by some 9 percent over the previous 458’s already impressive stopping distance. The 488’s midrear engine layout makes it feel perfectly balanced, and in conjunction with a new magnetic-dampening system, the car stays level no matter the road conditions. The 488 handles so well it almost feels unnatural; no car should be able to remain this flat in corners, but the Ferrari does it and does it well.

Of course, supercars are as stunning to look at as they are fun to drive. Just like the Huracán and Porsche, the 488 GTB elicits countless thumbs-ups and double takes from passersby. The 488’s exterior has been methodically sculpted to achieve aerodynamic perfection, making it the most aerodynamic production car Ferrari has ever built, all without the use of a rear wing, like the Porsche. In front, a discreet double front spoiler works in conjunction with side channels in the front hood to control the airflow from the front bumper, thereby reducing aerodynamic drag. In back, Ferrari’s signature round LED taillamps frame a rear end that’s highlighted by a sophisticated active diffuser system, which uses electronically adjustable flaps to increase downforce or reduce drag depending on driving conditions, closing when braking and opening on straightaways.

While the Ferrari may command the largest sticker price in this group, don’t forget about Ferrari’s outstanding warranty. Included in the purchase price is literally the best warranty in the car business: bumper to bumper for seven years with all scheduled maintenance such as oil and air filter changes included. Who said owning an exotic car had to be a complicated proposition?

BOTTOM LINE Ferrari’s new 488 GTB delivers on the supercar dream and goes one step beyond with a hassle-free ownership experience, but be prepared to pay for perfection.

Base price $245,000 est.
Engine 3.9-liter V-8 twin-turbocharged
Transmission 7-speed dual-clutch
Horsepower 661 hp @ 8,000 rpm
Torque 561 lb.-ft. @ 3,000 rpm
Cargo capacity 8.12 cu. ft.
City fuel economy 15 mpg est.
Highway fuel economy 19 mpg est.
Fuel tank 20 gal.
Dry Weight 3,020 lbs.
0 to 60 mph 3.0 seconds
Top Speed 205 mph

2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS: Animal Nature
Is it a race car or is it a street-legal supercar? The 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS is actually both. Slotted below the cost of Porsche’s 911 Turbo S, the GT3 RS is a serious, all-out track car that can be enjoyed just as well on the road. And, with a starting price of just $175,900, the GT3 RS delivers a big bang for your well-earned bucks.

At the heart of the GT3 RS is a naturally aspirated high-revving 4.0-liter flat-6, which pumps out 500 horsepower and 338 lb.-ft. of torque. Certainly, this is nowhere near the kind of horsepower numbers seen from the Ferrari and Lamborghini, but the GT3 RS manages to turn in an amazing 3.1-second run from 0 to 60 mph, tying with the Lambo behind the Ferrari. Porsche engineers did everything they could to shave every ounce of weight from the RS, using a lightweight magnesium roof and a carbon-fiber hood. These steps helped to bring the Porsche’s weight to under 3,000 pounds, making it 94 pounds lighter than the Ferrari and 208 pounds below the Lamborghini.

On the road, the Porsche feels light on its feet too. Standard rear-axle steering makes low-speed maneuvers a breeze by turning the rear wheels the opposite direction of the front wheels, while high-speed handling is improved by turning the rear wheels in the same direction as the front wheels, thereby increasing stability. Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus technology helps the RS by strategically braking the right or left rear wheel automatically, resulting in improved agility that’s especially noticeable when turning into a corner or changing lanes.

One look at the GT3 RS in the wild, and you’ll think it’s a race car that escaped from the paddock. Up front, the carbon fenders are slotted to reduce lift, while in back, a giant rear wing is impossible not to notice, providing plenty of downforce for high-speed maneuvers. Muscular 21-inch wheels fill up every inch of the dramatic wheel wells.

Inside, the GT3 RS looks familiar, but you can tell how carefully Porsche picked apart every detail to reduce weight. Gone are the heavy door handles, replaced with cloth door pulls. And, if you’re really serious about performance, you can delete the touch-screen navigation system and air conditioning as well. Compared to the others in this comparison, the GT3 RS’ interior actually feels noticeably sportier, yet there’s still plenty of room behind the front seats for extra cargo, giving the Porsche a leg up on the others when it comes to total cargo capacity.

BOTTOM LINE An unbeatable value, the Porsche 911 GT3 RS delivers supercar performance and appeal at a price that’s too good to be true.

Base price $175,900
Engine 4.0-liter flat-6
Transmission 7-speed PDK
Horsepower 500 hp @ 8,250 rpm
Torque 338 lb.-ft. @ 6,250 rpm
Cargo capacity 13.6 cu. ft.
City fuel economy 14 mpg
Highway fuel economy 20 mpg
Fuel tank 16.9 gal.
Dry weight 2,926 lbs.
0 to 60 mph 3.1 seconds
Top Speed 193 mph

Lamborghini Huracán: Bullish on Speed
In keeping with Lamborghini tradition, the Huracán derives its name from the world of bullfighting. The fighting bull Huracán, known for his unyielding character, rose to fame after a legendary bullfight in 1879. And the name couldn’t be more fitting for this Lamborghini, which comes ready to do battle as the most advanced Lamborghini ever built.

Decidedly exotic with pure Lamborghini intensity, the Huracán casts an intimidating shadow—you can sense the vehicle’s power, even when it’s parked. Sharp geometric lines incorporate Lamborghini’s signature hexagonal style DNA, seen in the shape of the front air intakes and side windows. Flat, angular LED headlamps give the Huracán a sinister look up front, while the Y-shaped rear LED lights look otherworldly in back. Park next to the Ferrari and the Porsche, and you can see just how mean this Lambo really is. A car that puts you in the limelight, the Huracán is not for those looking to make a discreet getaway, but you can be sure it will be a speedy one.

Hidden underneath three large, matte-black fins is the car’s carbon fiber-clad 5.2-liter naturally aspirated V-10. With 610 horsepower on tap, the Huracán lives up to its name, easily lighting up all four tires on its way to an astonishing 3.1-second run from 0 to 60 mph. This is where Lamborghini’s signature all-wheel-drive approach becomes a huge advantage. No matter the road surface, the Huracán leaps off the line with nearly limitless grip, a stark contrast to the Ferrari and Porsche, whose rear-wheel drive setups require traction-control intervention at gravelly intersections or on wet roads, thus reducing your acceleration times.

A 7-speed dual-clutch transmission handles all this power with aplomb, quickly and smoothly shifting through the gears automatically or giving the driver the option of full control via oversize paddle shifters. Like Ferrari’s Manettino dial on the steering wheel, a red switch on the Lambo’s steering wheel also provides easy access to three different drive modes: Strada, Sport or Corsa. One turn of the selector radically changes the character of the auto.

Sinister on the outside, the Huracán is hospitable inside. A massive 12.3-inch high-res TFT screen presents all essential vehicle information directly in front of the driver with outstanding 3-D graphics. Supercar interior touches abound, from the unique red flip-up engine start/stop button to the bank of seven fighter jet-style toggle switches. While the Huracán doesn’t have a large rear storage area like the Porsche, its overall design is surprisingly useful, making it arguably the first true daily driver from Lamborghini. And why not drive it every day?

BOTTOM LINE Lamborghini’s four-season all-wheel-drive system could very well put the Huracán at the top of your supercar bucket list.

Base Price $238,500
Engine 5.2-liter V-10
Transmission 7-speed dual-clutch
Horsepower 610 hp @ 8,250 rpm
Torque 413 lb.-ft. @ 6,500 rpm
Cargo Capacity 3.53 cu. ft.
City fuel economy 14 mpg
Highway fuel economy 20 mpg
Fuel tank 21 gal.
Dry Weight 3,134 lbs.
0 to 60 mph 3.1 seconds
Top Speed 202 mph