A new expression of speed, the F8 Tributo is the latest mid-rear-engined sports car from Ferrari that represents the highest expression of the Prancing Horse’s classic two-seater Berlinetta. A homage to the most powerful V8 in Ferrari history, the F8 Tributo is powered by the most powerful V8, and a turbo at that, ever to be mounted in a non-special series Ferrari. The turbocharged V8 has already been used in other models in the range with various power output levels, winning “Best Engine” in the International Engine of the Year awards three years running in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Designed by the Ferrari Styling Centre, the F8 Tributo is the most aerodynamically efficient series-production mid-rear-engined Berlinetta ever designed. It will act as a bridge to a new design language that will continue to emphasise Ferrari’s key characteristics of high performance and extreme aerodynamic efficiency. The F8 Tributo replaces the 488 GTB, is 40 kg lighter and also benefits from a 10% improvement in aerodynamic efficiency along with the latest version of the Side Slip Angle Control. How fast is it? The F8 Tributo can dismiss the 0 – 100 kph run in 2.9 seconds, breach the 200 kph mark in 7.8 seconds and is capable of hitting a top speed of 340 km/h.
The F8 Tributo unleashes 710 Hp at 7,000 rpm (maximum engine speed of 8,000 rpm) and also has an impressive specific power output of 185 cv/l. Its maximum torque is now higher too at all engine speeds, peaking at 770 Nm (+10 Nm compared to the 488 GTB) at 3,250 rpm. All that power is sent to the rear wheels via an F1-inspired 7-speed dual-clutch box. The motor displays the typical traits of all Maranello engines with smoothly progressive acceleration and zero turbo lag combined with a unique soundtrack courtesy, in part, of a new exhaust system. Instantaneously accessible power is matched by brilliant handling thanks to a new version of the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer (FDE+) which can be activated in the manettino’s RACE position for the first time.
The F8 Tributo’s engine also inherits highly efficient weight-reduction solutions from the 488 Pista which have cut the power unit’s weight by 18 kg compared to that of the 488 GTB. A slew of high-performance features have been introduced, which include a new boost reserve control strategy which optimises response time and performance in sporty driving on the limit, making all the power the driver asks from the throttle available virtually instantaneously. The rev limiter’s “Wall Effect” strategy is another leap forward, where rather than gradually limiting the revs towards the limit, it cuts off right at the red-line of 8,000 rpm. Maximum torque is also 10 Nm higher than on the 488 GTB also and is available even at lower engine speeds.
In the RACE setting the car is 6% faster coming out of bends than the 488 GTB with the same amount of steering wheel activity. It is also available in the CT-Off position where, for the same degree of oversteer, steering wheel activity is reduced by 30% compared to the 488 GTB. The 40 kg weight reduction compared to the 488 GTB makes the car sportier and more agile and makes a significant contribution to driver involvement. That said, the weight reduction does not impinge on in-car comfort in the least as it regards to engine and bodywork components. Aside from the aforementioned engine components, further lightweight solutions include bumpers made from a lighter plastic material, a carbon-fibre rear spoiler and a rear window in Lexan, which is lighter than glass. The weight reduction measures are topped off by the choice of optional carbon-fibre rims and a lithium-ion battery.
In terms of appearance, new, more compact, horizontal LED headlights allowed Ferrari’s aerodynamicists to incorporate new brake cooling intakes in combination with those on the outside of the bumper, the aim being to improve airflow throughout the entire wheel arch and thereby avoid having to increase the size of the braking system to cope with the higher speeds reached by the car. The signature element at the rear of the car is the blown spoiler. Originally patented for the 488 GTB, it was radically modified to produce a much more extreme version for the 488 Pista. The challenge facing the aerodynamics in the development of the F8 Tributo was improving rear downforce without increasing drag or interfering with the harmonious forms of this area of the car.
The blown spoiler’s calibrated sections work in synergy with the suction generated by the spoiler to create upwash which accounts for 25% of the increase in downforce compared to the 488 GTB. Contemporaneously, three turning vanes inside the blown spoiler effectively recompress the flow towards the wake of the car, reducing drag by 2% and compensating for the knock-on effect of the increase in downforce.
The cockpit retains the classic, driver-oriented look typical of Ferrari’s mid-rear-engined berlinettas. Every element of the dash, door panels and tunnel has been completely redesigned specifically for the car. The F8 Tributo also boasts a new generation steering wheel and steering wheel-mounted controls as well as new styling on the standard seats. To emphasise the lightness of the whole assembly, the dash now incorporates an aluminium sail panel supporting the central satellite and continuing into the dash itself. Also to create a sense of visual lightness, a sliver of carbon fibre divides the upper and lower parts, streamlining the whole look. This section also incorporates the optional 7” touchscreen passenger-side display which provides an extra sporting touch.