Poised to make its debut at Geneva next week, the F8 Tributo is Ferrari’s homage to the multiple-award-winning twin-turbocharged 3.9-litre V8, which now produces a staggering 710bhp and 770 Nm of torque. That makes it the most powerful eight-cylinder engine ever used in a non-special series Ferrari, helping the F8 Tributo to dispatch the 0–62mph sprint in just 2.9sec.
Okay, so the name’s a bit silly, but we have to admit the evolved design is a marked improvement on the outgoing 488 GTB, which we always thought a little awkward looking. Taking clear cues from the track-biased 488 Pista and the rest of the current range, the F8 Tributo’s sleek bodywork features an innovative S-Duct at the front, which contributes to a 15-percent increase in downforce, and the lower and narrower headlights look a little like those on the SP38 Deborah. The slatted rear window, of course, nods to the legendary F40, while the drastically different rear end, with its intricate aerodynamic spoiler and diffuser arrangement, is said to be inspired by the 308 GTB from the 1970s, Ferrari’s first V8 Berlinetta. How good is it to see twin light clusters on the back of an eight-cylinder Ferrari again?
Performance wise, the F8 Tributo is, as you’d expect, better than the car it replaces on all fronts. It’s not only more powerful (710bhp plays 661bhp) and aerodynamic, but also 40kg lighter and equipped with the latest versions of the Side Slip Angle Control and Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer software. Together with a slightly thinner steering wheel, the new car should feel as quick, agile, and easy to manipulate as any Ferrari that came before it. This is a case of evolution rather than revolution, but Ferrari has stated that the F8 Tributo – from an aesthetic point of view, at least – is a bridge to a new design language. Now that we can’t wait to see.
Photos: Ferrari North Europe