Tag Archives: v8

Introducing the New Mid-Engine V8 Ferrari: The F8 Tributo

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

Say ‘hello’ to a new Ferrari: the Portofino

That’s right! It’s a new Ferrari! Set to replace the California, the Portofino will feature a host of improvements over its predecessor, along with new styling, a new chassis and more power! The question is: Will it be a “real Ferrari?”

The Ferrari California has remained the “entry-level” Ferrari for nearly ten years. Despite the length of its life, the California was never truly accepted until it was given new turbo-charged life with the California T for 2015. In many ways, it was too soft. The California’s looks were smoothed out; the edges softened, the corners rounded. The engine made a decent noise – when compared to a Mini – but it fell far short when compared to that of the 458 Spider. Its ride was smoother, but its abilities and intensity limited. The California was a great car, but was it a “real Ferrari?” Many felt not, and unfortunately the car went largely unnoticed by much of the Supercar world. Ferrari did manage to essentially remedy the problem in 2014, by adding in a turbo, bringing an additional 101 hp, and picking up some more aggressive styling cues. Now, they have taken that lesson forward to produce an all-new car.

The Portofino, which is set for a September debut in the Frankfurt International Auto Show, will arrive for the 2018 model year as the new Ferrari drop-top GT. While it hasn’t completely lost the downturned nose of the California, it certainly does have significantly more aggressive styling, and brings with it a new color: Rosso Portofino.

Along with better looks, the Portofino features a new, lighter, more rigid chassis to accompany its turbocharged V8. While being significantly lighter than the California T, the Portofino pushes out an additional 40 hp with the help of new pistons, connecting rods, and software. The increase in power and wieght reduction means the Portofino makes it from standstill to 62mph in just 3.5 seconds. Ferrari has also spent some time “enhancing” the sound from the Portofino’s exhaust.

The Portofino has also been fitted with Ferrari’s E-Diff3 electronic rear differential with F1-Trac. Ferrari has also decided to give the Portofino electronic steering, with a steering ratio reduced by seven percent. The damping system has been improved as well, to provide a better ride and performance simultaneously. Just in case you’re not sure what all that means, I’ll tell you. It means the Portofino can corner… aggressively.

Ferrari hasn’t stopped at looks and performance either. The Portofino features a new 10.2″ touchscreen infotainment system, new A/C, new seats (which Ferrari claims “boosts legroom for rear seat passengers,” although you may still have to decapitate them to close the top), a new steering wheel and a new wind deflector.

So it sounds like the Portofino could finally be a winning combination for an “entry-level” Ferrari. It’s fast, it looks good, sounds good (we expect), the top goes down and it might even fit unusually small adults into the rear seats. It sounds like, dare I say it, a “real Ferrari.” Although, I have to say, I’m still not that excited.

Those of you who who know me or have read a lot of my work will know, I love Ferraris. Ferrari is the only brand that consistently makes cars that make me want them more than anything else. I love the looks, the sound, and perhaps most of all, the way they drive. And for some reason, I’m still not that excited about the Portofino. Maybe it is just leftover criticism from the California, or maybe it is the fact that deep down I know Ferrari may never give us what we truly want: a bloodthirsty, drop-top, GT with ALL of the aggressive styling of the 812 and the very same V12 in the front.