Ferrari F8 Tributo

Engine
Configuration90º V8
LocationMid, longitudinally mounted
ConstructionAluminium alloy block and head
Displacement3,902 cc / 238.1 cu in
Compression9.6:1
Valvetrain4 valves / cylinder, DOHC
Fuel feedDirect Fuel Injection
LubricationDry sump
AspirationTwin Turbo
Power710 bhp / 530 kW @ 8,000 rpm
Torque770 Nm / 568 ft lbs @ 3,250 rpm
Red Line8,000 rpm
BHP/Liter182 bhp / liter
Fuel Tank Capacity22.7 gallons / 85.93 L
Fuel Economy (City/Highway)15/19 mpg

The 2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo is the latest and greatest V8-powered Berlinetta to be produced by the prancing horse marque. Considered ‘entry-level’ in the Ferrari model lineup, the F8 Tributo is nevertheless the greater of the sum of its parts; it is a highly capable all-rounder, standing out amongst an expanding club of  ‘everyday supercars’.

Elegant but not without a functional brawn to it, the mid-engine 710 hp F8 Tributo has an outstanding, yet purposeful appearance to match its disposition; especially as it relates to matters of tarmac-carving and apex-clipping.

Succession Plan

Billed as the replacement for the 488 GTB, the F8 Tributo inherits much of the outgoing model’s DNA. Mind you, this is largely – if not entirely – a positive thing, as the F8 Tributo notably improves in areas where there was room to, while keeping in the essence of what was working so well before.

One could therefore get away with calling it a very ‘intensively refreshed’ 488 GTB, which borrows the some of the 488 Pista’s brawn and athleticism, and mixes it with the urbanity and pragmatism of of the 488 GTB, concocting one of the most formidable all-round sports cars on the market today.

The Tribute

It’s all in the name, really. The Tributo – which translates to ‘Tribute’ from Italian – is meant to signify a celebration of Ferrari’s V8-powered berlinetta. This Tributo is a nod to over 40 years of the latter’s existence, while also a soft confession that the F8 will likely be the last of its kind – Ferrari’s historic internal combustion V8 is next-in-line for the hybridisation treatment. The Ferrari F8 Tributo is a fitting celebration of this extensively storied history.

Engine & Performance

The Figures

We live in an era where a brand new “entry-level” exotic supercar coming from the factory with no less than 700 hp is par for the course, and the Ferrari F8 Tributo typifies this to a T. Producing 710 hp at a screaming 8,000 rpm and 568 lb-ft of torque at an accessible 3,250 rpm, the F8 Tributo’s 3.9L twin-turbocharged V8 is nothing to balk at, despite being standard for the times.

Afterall, these stats allow the car to accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 2.8 seconds, on its way to 124 mph in just 7.8 seconds and a top speed of 211 mph.

The Ferrari F8 Tributo is available only in rear-wheel drive configuration; tasked with banging through the gears with the assistance of paddle shifters, is a 7-speed-semi-automatic transmission mated to the mid-mounted V8.

The Components

Titanium connecting rods, the crankshaft and the flywheel were borrowed from the 488 Pista, which help to reduce inertia by 17% and subsequently allow for an enhanced level of engine responsiveness, linearity and efficiency to further augment the performance figures.

At the heart of the V8, new valves, springs and a revised camshaft profile are complemented by fortified cylinder heads and pistons, most useful for withstanding abuse on the track. The Ferrari F8 Tributo also features a specially redesigned exhaust system which improves gas flow, while also satisfying more stringent noise regulations of the day.

Chassis & Handling

If it could even be argued that the engine is a nominal improvement over the outgoing model, then perhaps it’s the enhancements to the F8 Tributo’s chassis and handling that truly differentiates it from the latter. An evolution in aerodynamics, weight reduction and computer systems bring the car to the next level of Ferrari sports car performance.

Aerodynamics & Weight Reduction

Ultimately the F8 Tributo’s platform remains based on the 488 GTB, and even maintains a recognizable silhouette as the car it replaces. Despite this, the car is noticeably different for those who care to go into the details, with the reimagined headlights, tail lights and body panels adding up to a distinctly improved car.

The Ferrari F8 Tributo emulates the S-duct layout from the 488 Pista, which allows air to be channeled through the front bumper and over the bonnet, increasing cooling and downforce by 15% over its predecessor.

The specially designed rear spoiler works in tandem with a revised rear diffuser and performs adaptively based on how the F8’s central computer interprets speed, load and yaw at any given moment. Additional aerodynamic and handling advancements are realized with the introduction of revised front diffusers and underbody panels.

A Lexan rear window and the excessive use of carbon fibre throughout, contribute to the F8 Tributo weighing in at over 40 kg less than the 488 GTB, with all available weight reduction options exhausted.

Stability And Traction Control Systems

For the F8 Tributo, Ferrari has provided an updated version of its Side Slip Control (SSC) system and also added the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer Plus (FDE+) software. These systems work together with the goal of helping the car become easier to correct when drivers creep past the limit, making for a reinforced experience for both novice and expert drivers alike.

The Ferrari engineers went to great lengths to ensure that the F8 Tributo remains exhilarating and analogue to drive, with its safety mechanisms coming into play only at the precise and necessary moments.

Brakes & Tires

Ferrari-branded Brembo carbon ceramics are standard on the F8 Tributo, and are decidedly brilliant and work in perfect harmony with OE Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. This superteam of 398 mm discs up front, 360 mm discs in the rear and streetable track tires, allow the car to come to a dead stop from 124 mph in just 120 meters. Calculatedly located air-ducts near the headlights and behind the doors channel air to assist with cooling.

Design, Styling & Interior

The louvered Lexan engine is certain to be one of the most distinguishable characteristics on the Ferrari F8 Tributo. It’s a classic take on past Ferraris, providing a teasing view of the engine, while accentuating the car’s beautiful features and racing heritage. Drivers will probably tolerate the awkward rear visibility in lieu of appreciating this perfectly-suited feature.

I am fond of the direction that designers took with the interior, with in-house studio ‘Centro Stile’ taking charge of this department. The F8 Tributo provides a minimalistically designed but luxuriously appointed interior, keeping in line with the rest of the car’s overall pragmatic nature.

When you look at the F8 Tributo’s interior, you will find that it exudes low-key, yet attractive vibes. The driver-focused cockpit makes use of primarily black-dyed materials, with just the right amount of contrast stitching and other exotic design elements needed to remind you of the car’s extreme-performance-nature.

The list of standard tech and convenience features includes a 6-speaker audio system with Apple CarPlay integration, in-car streaming services, and voice recognition software. LCD monitors and a 7” touch screen provide the visual interface connecting you with the car’s command center.

Cargo capacity is a sparse, but industry-standard, 7 cu-ft.

Pricing

The 2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo is available in a single tri-level, and starts at $279,450 USD. Despite being an entry-level Ferrari sports car, the F8 Tributo commands a heavy price tag, though it should be noted that it comes with plenty of standard amenities which make it a relatively attractive buy in this space.

As with most cars in this segment, options will typically end up making up a significant portion of the final invoice and the average buyer of this car is expected to add on at least another $30,000 for what he/she would consider the ‘necessary’ add-ons. Customers who love bathing in the carbon fibre good-stuff should expect to pay even more on top of that.

With the F8 Tributo providing the swan-song of an epic bloodline of Ferrari automobiles, collector/garage-queen examples of the car will likely hold their value very well over the long-term, and we’re almost certain to see massive mark-ups over MSRP in the secondary sales market.