Ferrari announces new F8 Tributo, its most powerful V8 supercar ever
Out with the 488 GTB, in with the F8 Tributo. Ferrari is justifiably proud of its powerful 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8 engine, so it has busted out its favorite infinity background photo studio to introduce its latest supercar ahead of a public debut in Geneva next weekend.
If the photos of this F8 Tributo look familiar, you've been paying attention. Where most brands agonize over photoshoot locations for each new vehicle, Ferrari has been using this particular grey-carpet-with-dramatic-sky backdrop for the last six years or more. We first spotted it in 2013 with the 458 Speciale, but since then it's been used for everything from the California T, the 458 Speciale A Spider and the Portofino, to the 812 Superfast, F12 Special Edition, and all manner of others.
This background was there when the 488 GTB replaced the 458, bowing to emissions regulations and giving up its full-throated naturally aspirated V8 for a twin turbo, so now it can claim to have ushered in three generations of mid-rear engined Ferrari supercars. We look forward to seeing it right up until Ferrari releases its final product in 2055: a V8 carbon fiber walking frame for the last surviving people with driver's licenses.
As to the F8 Tributo, it looks ... Well, frankly, almost exactly like its predecessor despite the fact that Ferrari calls this "a bridge to a new design language." The overall body shape has remained all but identical, while each detail has been tweaked just enough to call it a different car. It's like the designers hit randomize on all the bolt-ons. The key visual difference to the casual fan will be the scoopier hood, heavily reminiscent of the "S-Duct" on the 488 Pista track special. Hey, nice studio backdrop you've got there guys! The vented Lexan engine cover will also be distinctive, a nod to the F40. None of this is necessarily bad – like the 488 GTB before it, it looks terrific.
There's more to it, of course; that S-duct alone boosts the car's downforce by some 15 percent at speed, and the lack of blingy LED "eyelashes" on the headlights has allowed Ferrari to use that space for extra cooling air ducts to the wheel arches, which will help the Tributo's brakes stay within their favored temperature zone. Spoiler alert: there's a spoiler. Not a very big one, but made more effective using a "blown spoiler" design like that on the 488 Spider (sweet background!). The rear flanks of the car hide the engine air intakes beneath the tail lights.
Better braking is necessitated by more power and speed, and it wouldn't be a supercar launch without those. The F8 Tributo (which I keep misreading as tri-turbo) gains 49 horsepower for a total of 710 ponies – an admirable achievement out of a 3.9-liter engine and the most powerful V8 Ferrari has ever built. The company claims that even though its exhaust gases are being forced through two turbines, there's still an "evocative soundtrack."
Expect performance in the realm of 2.9 second sprints from 0-100kmh (0-62 mph). That's no joke for something without electric help. Top speed, should you find enough road and grim determination to go looking for it, will be 340 km/h, or 211 mph. Those are lovely numbers to quote to your friends at the shrimp bar after you've just idled it down Hollywood Boulevard in traffic.
Naturally, it's lighter as well – some 40 kilograms (88 lb) lighter, and will allegedly be easier to drive on the edge for a wider range of drivers thanks to a new Race mode in the Dynamic Enhancer menu. A redesigned interior with a 7-inch passenger touchscreen means passengers can spend less time complaining about being driven at the edge and more time watching Project Runway on the dash.
The F8 Tributo will make its public debuto at the Geneva Motor Show next weekendo. New Atlas will be on hand to bring you a closer look. Pricing, availability and details on when we'll see that studio background again are yet to be announced.