It is that time of year again – with the Geneva International Motor Show right around the corner, the biggest names in the biz are beginning to roll out their latest models… and I couldn’t be more excited. In fact, this is one of those which have had me the most excited: the new Ferrari mid-engined V8 supercar, the F8 Tributo.
The Porsche 911 is widely regarded as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, sports cars of all time. The reason for that is because the car has been improved, enhanced, reworked and reimagined over many generations since the 356 made its debut in 1963. They began with the engine in the wrong place and improved everything until they made it not only work, but work in a way that is effective, fun, and exciting.
This then, is Ferrari’s 911. Starting with the 308 GTB in 1975, Ferrari has reworked, reimagined, improved and enhanced their mid-engined V8 supercar. While they may have given each generation more dramatically different looks (and names) than Porsche with their 911, the lineage still represents the evolution and learning process of a single product line. And so, today we see the F8 Tributo replace the 488 GTB with the latest evolution of the Ferrari V8 line.
As the name Tributo would imply, this car lends tribute to its predecessors – bringing back the twin tail light cluster of the earlier V8 Berlinettas and a slotted lexan rear engine cover to pay homage to the legendary F40. Don’t be fooled though, apart from paying tribute, this car not only takes a big step forward in performance from the 488 but also introduces a new design language for future Ferrari cars.
Power in the 3902cc V8 has been increased to 720 cv (about 710 hp), which is put to the ground efficiently through an updated version of Ferrari’s Side Slip Angle Control. Weight has been reduced by about 40 kg (about 88 lbs), and aerodynamic efficiency is increased by 10% – according to Ferrari.
Those new headlights aren’t just the new look, Ferrari placed vents under them to increase brake cooling and optimize airflow through the wheel arches. Combine all the above with some aero trickery from the 488 Pista – such as that rather obvious S-duct at the front – and a new rear spoiler and it’s easy to see how the car brings all around performance improvements from the 488 GTB.
Inside the F8, Ferrari have modernized the interior while maintaining a similar feel and driver focused ideal we are used to with the 458 and 488. While it may look to be a small departure from previous cars, Ferrari says they have completely redesigned the interior to make it more comfortable and weight efficient. The steering wheel is now smaller, the infotainment is updated and the passenger gets a new 7″ touch screen display – which is undoubtedly an expensive option, however.
Ferrari claims they have even managed to make the turbocharged V8 sound “evocative.” Given the exhaust note of the 488 Pista, I’m inclined to believe them – even if it may be a bit quiet.
Overall, I’d say the F8 Tributo – while carrying on Ferrari’s latest tradition of awkward names – looks to be an excellent improvement over the GTB. I think it looks incredible. I loved the looks of the 488 GTB, and I think this steps up the aggression just enough for 2020. It maintains the Ferrari “gentleman’s supercar” appeal, while being juuuust loud and obnoxious enough to turn heads.
The F8 Tributo represents the future while remembering the past. It carries on the Ferrari emphasis on driving emotion and… you guessed it… soul. It continues the Ferrari “gentleman’s supercar” ideology while bringing in a new look and new tech. It does everything a mid-engined V8 Ferrari should, and I can’t wait to get my hands on one.
Source: Ferrari Photo Credit: Ferrari