What does a name mean? As for this year’s Geneva Motor Show-launched Ferrari F8 Tributo, which goes on sale in the winter, a lot. Ferrari’s initial V8 was a Lancia, created by Vittorio Jano for the 1950s D50 grand-Prix vehicles and turned over to Enzo for a song when Lancia faced financial collapse, as Tributo honors the legendary Ferrari V8. However, the Dino GT4 of 1973 was the first road-going V8 Ferrari. In any case, Ferrari felt it had the right to develop a new version of the 488 GTB barely four years after it was first introduced.
Raffaele de Simone, Ferrari’s principal test driver, adds, “There was room to do a new 488 for the customers of the 488 GTB. There were enough new parts and know-how. An opening has been created for us to work and put our skills to good use.
To put it another way, the F8 falls somewhere in the middle of the 488 GTB and the ultra-rare 488 Pista. Consider it either a stiffer or a milder variant of the last; it’s up to you. The F8’s F154 twin-turbo V8 is the most powerful production mid-engined Ferrari, and its weedy exhaust noise and nothing else are at the heart of the matter. Since its debut in the 488 GTB, it’s garnered many accolades. At 7,000 rpm, the engine produces 710 hp and 568 lb-ft of torque at 3,250 rpm, respectively. Because of this, it has 49 horsepower, more than the 488 GTB. A smaller flywheel and titanium connecting rods allowed Ferrari to trim off an impressive 40 pounds from the engine for use in the F8. The engine drives the rear wheels powered by a Getrag, seven-speed, twin-clutch transmission, and a Ferrari electronic limited-slip differential. This is identical to the Pista, except that the gearshifts have been sluggishened. They were referred to as “gunshot modifications” by Ferrari engineers.
0-60 mph takes 2.9 seconds, while 0-124 mph takes 7.8 seconds. An important caveat is that these performance figures are based on the assumption that the 488 GTB’s curb weight will be reduced from 3,163 lbs to 2,884 lbs, with an additional 22 lbs coming from carbon-fiber wheels that are not yet available or priced.
With the 488 Pista’s unique inlet tract and plenum adjustments, the F8’s power delivery is smoothed out as well as the 488 Pista’s more advanced ignition timing. A revised exhaust manifold and a more efficient exhaust system reduce back pressure, making the particle filter more effective. The F8’s V8 holds a better tune and reacts slightly quicker than rivals like the Ricardo-designed and -built V8 in McLaren’s series of rival supercars, despite its lack of yelping personality. Despite this, it drones at low RPMs and requires a lot of effort to make it sound good.
In terms of raw power, Formula 1 race cars struggled to generate 700 horsepower, and the F8 pushes the envelope for how fast a car should be allowed to go on public roads. When you accelerate quickly, the traction control light will be on most of the time, making driving the F8 a test of restraint and good manners in front of others. While driving through long Emilia-Romanga avenues full of dandelion seeds floating in the sun, I had a weird moment of contemplation. When I downshifted and floored the throttle, my stomach remained where I first squeezed the throttle, while the refrigerator’s thud became a blare.
It’s a formidable vehicle during testing at Ferrari’s test track in Fiorano. The aim, rotate the wheel, then let off the throttle when you know where you want to go. So they are more track-oriented. Use the racing mode for the best score. It’s possible to turn off traction control by switching the steering wheel mannequin (switch) to CT Off. Doing so allows the vehicle to go from a stable position into an enjoyable slide spontaneously.
The 488 Pista’s ride is much more comfortable on the road, thanks to the car’s long legs and more compliance. The F8 generates more yaw in the corners than the 488 Pista due to its milder damping algorithms but the same spring rates. This makes it less of an ultimate track vehicle but more exciting. De Simone’s goal was to transition from a 488 GTB to an F8 as seamlessly as possible.
“You can move from one automobile to the other pretty naturally,” he explains, “there’s a progression, a flow.”
We drove from Maranello over the mountains to get to the historic Futa Pass. This is where Ferraris used to face off against Mercedes, Alfa Romeo, and Aston Martin during the Mille Miglia. Old roads have a lot of history. The F8 tracked straight and true despite the rough terrain, its wheel travel dealing with huge bumps and sleeping police officers in little towns, and the 20-inch Michelin Sport Pilot 2 tires gripping superbly. Accuracy is improved with the new smaller diameter steering wheel. Still, you miss the fixed shift paddles under the wheel rim when driving around a roundabout due to the ungainly wheel-mounted indicators. A Ferrari driving instruction instructs students to change their hand position on the wheel as they approach hairpin turns, which De Simone thinks is too early for wheel-mounted paddles.