New Ferrari F8 Tributo as a replacement of 488 – Initial Impressions

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Ferrari has just unveiled its all-new mid-engined V8 supercar. It’s called the F8 Tributo. With its name translating literally to “tribute” it’s no surprise that this car is a homage to the mighty V8 engine that is now a dying breed in the age of downsizing and emission regulations. Ferrari claims it’s their most powerful production V8 to date in a tweet that they dropped today.

The F8 Tributo is supposed to replace the 488 GTB which was controversial, to say the least. Most of the controversy was due to the fact that it was the first turbocharged car, unlike all its predecessors in mid-engined V8 Ferrari lineup. Now I’m not particularly against turbochargers. They do, after all, allow us to get more power from lesser displacement engines.

However, they also do seem to suck the soul out of the car. The exhaust sounds get muffled, the power is not linear, and worst of all; turbo lag. Only a true petrolhead can understand the essence of a naturally aspirated engine. And it’s with a heavy heart that I tell you that the F8 Tributo will also have a turbocharged engine.

Image: Ferrari

In fact, it uses the same engine as the 488 GTB; the 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8. Except that now it produces 710 bhp and 568 lb-ft of torques. If that sounds a bit familiar then yes these are the same power figures as those of the 488 Pista. The 488 Pista is the track focused, more hardcore version of the 488 GTB and F8 has adopted its powertrain despite being a Grand Tourer like the 488 GTB.

That does mean you can have all the performance of the 488 Pista while having a car which is comfortable enough to be a daily driver. Its power figures are also similar to McLaren’s 720S, which happens to be its main competitor. On paper, both cars seem to be dead even; 710 bhp, 0-60 in 2.9 seconds and a top speed of 211 mph. However, in some unofficial drag racing videos between 720S and 488 Pista on YouTube, the 720 does start to pull ahead despite being even at the start. Have a look at one.

We know that the Tributo shares the same powertrain as the Pista so does that mean the results will be the same? Not quite. Firstly, the video is not from a credible source and for all we know one of the cars might have been modified to perform better than the other. Secondly, the 488 Pista is a track-focused car which means it’s stripped down to shave off as much weight as possible. The F8 Tributo will probably weigh more and that can affect performance.

However, there’s one thing we are certain of. With these performance figures, the F8 will be one fast car. It might even give Ferrari’s own 812 Superfast a run for its money, which sits at a much higher price point. Although you do get a 6.5-liter naturally aspirated V12 with the 812 Superfast that sounds glorious.

Image: Ferrari

As far as looks are concerned, the F8 Tributo is a stunner. It is the best looking modern Ferrari, apart maybe from the LaFerrari, in my opinion. It does look like Ferrari’s design team has finally managed to master the art of making the perfect blend of style and functionality. The car borrows most of its aerodynamics from the Pista as well, which results in an overall 15% increase in downforce over the car it replaces.

The front looks aggressive with the functional S-duct. The headlights do seem similar to those used in the entry-level Portofino. The back end shares a similar story. The tail light design is similar to that of an 812 Superfast and a GTC4Lusso. No one’s complaining though, we all love them. The exhaust and the rear diffuser do look like they’ve been taken directly from the 488 GTB but are actually different. Lastly, the engine cover uses the same design as that of Ferrari’s hypercar from the ’80s, the F40.

Image: Ferrari

The interior almost looks the same as it was on the 458 Italia and 488 GTB. Though, if you look closely in the picture above, you can see it adopts a similar passenger-side screen that contains speed and multimedia information as found on the 812 Superfast.

Looks-wise, the F8 blows the competition out of the water. I don’t think there’s any other car in the same price bracket that looks as good. Couple that with performance figures that seem to be touching hypercar territory, you’ve got yourself an ultimate road car that has it all. Unfortunately, this is what we only know about this Berlinetta from Ferrari. More will come as soon as Ferrari’s gives us something new.

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