Pushstart Maranello - Ferrari 488 Pista Long Tour460 EUR (ordinary price)
While being in Italy in June 2021, I in fact had two car rentals. One was a Volkswagen Golf, rented with Sixt at Milan Malpensa Airport. Three days, 184 Euro. And then, there was another one. 30 minutes, 360 EUR. Would theoretically make a daily rate of 17k Euro (not too far away from the full price of the Golf…). The rationale behind was of course the car: while being in Maranello, I had to have the feeling of driving the local car – I went for a Ferrari F488, booked at one of the many Ferrari test drive companies in the cities, Pushstart. Here is my review.
I did not take any pictures during my actual rides, the pictures are taken of rides before / after me.
Pushstart – Location
Out of all Ferrari test drive companies in Maranello, Pushstart likely comes with the most prominent location: they are located just across the parking lot of the Galleria Ferrari Museum in the home town of the red cars. The office is in fact a small desk at the edge of Warm Up, a store, which is holding a lot of racing memorabilia and scale models. Parking prices are really moderate on the two public parking lots around.
As this is more or less the heart of Ferrari-touristic Maranello, most of the activities are really in walking distance. Apart from souvenir stores, there are also a couple of bars and restaurants around.
Pushstart – How It Works
The key thing is of course: what is available and how much is it? Finally, Pushstart works as every car rental company, there are three differences, though: there are different duration packages instead of daily rates, the cars are a bit more posh and you never drive alone. You drive the whole tour, including getting the car from their premises and parking it again, on your own – but there is always an instructor with you. Apart from that, the experience is really just influenced by these three factors.
All drives start at Pushstart’s office in Maranello. The only expception are the Racetrack drives, which are held at the Autodromo die Modena, which is about twenty to thirty minutes away from Maranello – don’t mix it up with the Ferrari racetrack in the heart of Maranello, Fiorano Circuit. There is – as far as I understand – absolutely no chance to drive a car on your own on that one.
Pushstart has a quite nice portfolio for public road driving. The cheapest option is the Ferrari California T Handling Speciale. You already get some quite impressive four wheels for that – the convertible comes with a 560hp, a top speed of 316 km/h and a 0 to 100 km/h acceleration of 3.6 seconds. Other options – roughly in the order of power – are the Ferrari Portofino, the GTC4 Lusso v12 and the 488 Spider. I originally booked the Spider, but it looked like the car was blocked so that I had the tour with their Ferrari premium roadside car, the 488 Pista (see below). If you don’t like the red ones too much, you might also go of a Lamborghini Huracan Performante. The neon green car is roughly about the price of the GTC4 Lusso v12 and the 488 Spider.
At the Modena Race Track, there are two more options (exlcusively for this race course, not available roadside), the Ferrari 458 Challenge and the Ferrari 488 Challenge. Just to give you flavor, some technical data for the latter: the 488 comes with 670 hp and a 760 NM torque at 3000 rpm. The acceleration is 8.3 seconds – from 0 to 200. High speed is 327 km/h.
Routes & Pricing
There is a wide range of options if you want to drive in and around Maranello. If you just need to tell your friends that you did it, the 9km Short tour lasting ten minutes will be your favorite. You will, however, not leave the Maranello City limits. As these tours do not take the traffic rules too exactly, you might also have a bit of a flavor of the car’s potential, but it is definitely limited. The region around Maranello, so if you take one of their longest options, the 90 minute Panoramic tour, these 80kms will give you quite some nice sights of the region. The premium product for public road driving is the two hour Precision tour, which will bring you to the nearby mountain roads.
To give you a pricing flavor: the cheapest trip they got on the list is the Short tour with the Ferrari California T Handling Speciale, which will cost you 90 EUR. The Panoramic Tour with the same car is 850 EUR, while the same tours are 180 / 1590 EUR with the 488 Pista.
Racetrack experience is paid by lap. The three track 458 Challenge drive is 690 EUR, which five rounds with the 488 Challenge is 990 EUR. You may also test out one of the road cars on the Racetrack. The packages start with a drive from Maranello to the racetrack. For example, driving to the race track South of Modena and having seven laps in the Ferrari California T Handling Speciale there is 1070 EUR. Six more lapse increase the package to 1770 EUR. With the 488 Pista, this premium racing trip is 2250 EUR. Pushstart gives a total trip time of 80 / 90 minutes for it. Autodromo di Modena is not too long though – it is given with 2.4 kms. If you include a U turn on the former airstrip there, a track is about 3.8 kms.
The Conditions & Extras
You can have several extras to the trip. The most popular ones are likely videos of your drive. The cars have a camera, which is pointing through the front window and a 360 degrees camera in the dashboard area. I originally wanted to go for the traditional perspective, but that camera had a significantly worse picture quality. The classic perspective video is 20 EUR, the 360 view is 50 EUR and includes the other video. You may also buy pictures of your trip, but you feel to have to book that in advance.
Liability for the public road trips is 5,000 EUR. You may reduce that. Completely eliminating self-retention is 50 EUR, but there are packages in between. I went for the most basic cover which includes rims and tyres (30 EUR). Quite likely, this was unnecessary – they said, they practically never have accidents. Unfortunately, one of the reason I went for Pushstart is that the customer manager told me the day before that there is no self-retention at all, even without additional charge. This is very unfortunate, of course. The race track liabilities are higher.
Pushstart Ferrari F488 Pista – My Tour
I had my tour on a Saturday morning. As I haven’t been sure if I should really spent that much money for that experience, I just booked the trip the night before. The communication was very good, including all rental information. The online booking went very smooth. I felt I wanted to see something of the surrounding area and have some opportunity to explore the car. Thus I went for their Long trip, a 30 minute experience, which they five with 32 kms. As said above, I booked the Ferrari 488 Spider. The price for the tour was 360 EUR, which I paid online at booking (just paying half the price online and the other part at the office is possible). As said, I have been upgraded to the 488 Pista. The price for that trip would have been 460 EUR.
Ferrari 488 Pista – The Car
I was initially a bit of disappointed that I did not get the Spider (with the convertible roof) I expected – but the 488 Pista is a real beast on the road. 720 hp and 770 Nm (at 3,000 rpm) are just two highlights of the car, which come with a double friction suspension. The 0 to 100 km/h acceleration is done in 2.85 seconds – in less than five additional seconds, you are at 200 km/h already. High speed: over 340 km/h. One of the most impressive features (which you might see on the pictures here and there): you can raise the nose of the car, so that you can drive it in the city as well. Either manual or at a speed of 50km/h, the nose is going down.
We used the car in automatic transmission while in the city and in manual one outside. It is quite surprising how easy you can handle a racing beast of this kind in city limits – as long as you don’t push too much on the red pedal. The only thing which really confused me was tha the blinker is not located on a handle behind the steering wheel, but in fact on buttons right at the steering wheel – you perfectly see that on the second picture.
On the countryside, accelerating hard in narrow curves is likely not the most appreciated thing for newbies. Driving backwards for parking and maneuvering is practically only possible by using the mirrors or the rear view camera of the car. There is hardly any rear view throgh the glass front, which shows the engine to anyone.
30 Minutes Long Drive Experience
In contrast to most customers, I definitely wanted to get out of city limits. We had a nice tour through some hilly areas and also passed one of the lovely castle. The tour has been a bit of unfortunate – first, we had the Carabinieri (local police) behind us, then two trucks, right one behind each other even gave a hard overtaking time for this car. I still had a lot of fun. You have to say that (if you are not driving through automated and fixed speed traps or race the police) there seems to be a certain tolerance to have a loose interpretation of the traffic rules at the roads around Maranello.
One thing I really liked was the relaxed atmosphere. Yes, you can book pictures with the company – but if your family is doing some while you are sitting in the car, you can just go for private snaps as well. In other locations, I have seen much stricter policies. Of course, while you are driving around on the streets, you are prone to pictures anyway – people are amazed to see the cars on the road.
Renting a Ferrari 488 Pista at Pushstart – My View
This very special car rental was definitely a really special experience. Of course, you cannot compare this drive of a 400k Euro car with a standard rental. But it is fun and it is an experience. I might even do another tour with them – either up into the mountains or the experience combined with the race track. I have to say that apart from the wrong information about liability, I did not feel too comfortable to be too quick in rather crowded areas. Nonetheless, I feel really glad that I had this experience with the Ferrari 488 Pista. The quality of the experience as such as well as the condition of the car has been excellent.
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