Ferrari F8 Tributo: Ferrari’s latest V8 berlinetta
For over 70 years, Ferrari has been widely considered as the pinnacle of the supercar experience. None of Ferrari’s product lines quite manages to match that sentiment quite like their V8 coupe range. Ever since the classic 308 GTB, the mid-engined V8 Ferrari range has been very successful and profitable for the prancing horse.
Now they have just announced the latest mod-engined V8 to wear the legendary prancing horse badge. Welcome everyone to the 2019 Ferrari F8 Tributo. Although the pictures of the car has recently been released on the internet, the official unveil is expected to be at this years Geneva motorshow in March. This shows how fast things move in the automotive world, as it was only a few months ago that Ferrari launched the track derived version of their previous mid-engined V8, the 488 Pista. While this shows the great progress that Ferrari seems to be making in terms of innovation, I suspect that customers who have already taken delivery of their Pista’s or are waiting for one will be slightly less impressed, as at the moment it seems as if their car is already outdated, despite it being the track and therefore more “special” version.
But despite this, it seems as a neccessary next step for Ferrari amid various new competition from the likes of the incredible McLaren 720S, Lamborghini Huracan Performante, and various mad GT Porsches like the GT2 RS and GT3 RS, it seems that an improvement was necessary to ensure Ferrari keeps it’s status as king of the supercars.
These improvements has been thorough, with Ferrari updating the cars looks, engine and suspension. But it is odd that the cars silhouette is still very similar to the 488, and appears to thus be more of a facelift than a complete overhaul of the 458/488 platform. This means that it is the first time that the V8 berlinetta range has received two facelifts rather than a complete overhaul every 10 years.
But as the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. So it is therefore nice of Ferrari that they have made a considerable effort to ensure that this is the best one yet, and one of those efforts is in the engine. For the past 4 years, the V8 twin turbo engine from Ferrari has won the prestigious Engine of the year award, so it is of no surprise that Ferrari has decided to install the same engine from the 488 GTB into the F8 Tributo, albeit with a bump in power. Power is now up from the 488 GTB’s 660 PS to 720 PS, a figure that puts it in line with rivals such as Mclaren’s mighty 720S. Weight has also decreased from 1380kg to 1330kg if you spec the right options. Therefore if there’s one thing we can be absolutely certain of it’s this: it won’t be slow…
But we knew that already, didn’t we? After all, supercars in general are extremely fast nowadays, with a sub 3 sec being the pre-requisite for entry into this rarified subsector, rather than an amazing selling point. For that reason what I really want to know is, will it be engaging to drive? I guess we’ll have to wait on the verdict for that until the car gets officially launched in a few weeks time.
But for now, what we can tell you is that Ferrari says that the F8 Tributo “is essentially a bridge to a new design language that will continue to emphasise Ferrari’s key characteristics of high performance extreme aerodynamic efficiency”. And there are indeed classic Ferrari design cues imbedded into the F8’s design. For example, notice the louvered rear glass engine cover aimed to mimic the lexan cover of the F40’s, and the four round tail lights that harks back to classic mid-engined V8 Ferrari’s such as the 308, 328 and F355. The side profile seems unchanged from the 488’s, with the same massive air intakes for the turbo’s. The front and back has gone through a thorough makeover though that naturally aims to improve downforce and efficiency through the air, aiding on track performance.
Ferrari has also spent time on improving the interior. However just like the exterior of the car, the interior is more evolution than revolution. The driver focused layout remains roughly the same, with improved materials, an updated steering wheel taken straight off the 812 Superfast, and changes to the look and feel of the air vents.
Even though the car might not be the complete redesign that some might have been hoping for, if Ferrari’s latest form of creating some of the best supercars money can buy is anything to go by, you can be rest assured that they will sell every F8 as fast as they can make them. More updates as we have them…
Written by Riyaadh Raciet