Every self-respecting petrol-head (and actually, for that matter, most people) understand the phenomenal power that lurks beneath the hood of most new Ferraris. This notion was very assuredly reinforced when I collected the all new Ferrari F8 Tributo from their UK Head Office for our review. As the ignition was switched on, the roar from the exhaust pipes of those 710 horses was so loud that it set off the alarms on an Alfa Romeo parked 10 metres away - the UK PR Manager, Jason, just smiled knowingly!
Boy was I in for an amazing weekend!
Before I begin my review of the newest Ferrari I wanted to share with you an old adage I am fond of which goes something like …’fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me’.
Now being fully cognoscente of this I still fall into the same trap year on year. This relates to every time a new Ferrari model is released. Each time the new model is unveiled I think wow those geniuses have done it again and that this is the ultimate in sports car design – please don’t tinker with it – and each year the newer model is even more aesthetically pleasing and appealing than the previous model.
And so it was, yet again, as the 488 was revealed I thought how many ways are there that you can you shape metal and keep improving upon a former iteration? Yet again, I was fooled thinking leave the 488 alone it’s perfect – this was - of course - until I saw the F8 Tributo. The F8 is sleeker, smarter, and yes, damn right sexier!
Like a child waiting for Christmas Day, I had been counting down the days until I could collect the car and more importantly – being in the UK – incessantly checking the weather forecast. Thanks to Murphy’s Law (or maybe it’s Mario’s Law?!), of course, we had numerous beautiful sunny days preceding and then rain forecast for the actual day of pickup! Life goes on and we weren’t going to let the British weather dampen (!) our excitement.
The Ferrari F8 Tributo is the all new homage to the most powerful V8 in the brands history and an interpretation of the classic 2-seater Berlinetta. Re-introducing classic elements that Ferrari fans loved such as the scalloped door intakes and twin circular taillights. The car is amongst the most aerodynamic model the company has ever produced mostly thanks to lessons learned from involvement in GT and Challenge racing and applied to a road-going vehicle.
One drive and you realise that the changes to the new model are not just aesthetic, the 2021 F8 Tributo – a V8 twin-turbo – has improved in so many ways and is now truly the ultimate in mid-engine sports car driving technology. The fabulous twin-turbo V8 is slicker and its response times are incredible – making this a truly driveable machine at full thrust. This may be the most surprising thing to non-Ferrari drivers – the fact how easy this car is to drive for anyone – despite what you may think, you do not need to have the talents of a Schumacher to appreciate its handling and performance.
The F8 Tributo replaces the short-lived (by Ferrari standards) GTB. It is lighter, more stable, more aerodynamic, offers a softer suspension and is even faster thanks to an extra 49bhp - taking the total to 710bhp. The car has an all new exterior design – the only thing carried over from the previous model are the doors and roof.
The interior has also been fully reworked making it more driver-friendly. Although the cockpit will be familiar to Ferrari fans, it has been reworked to be more user-friendly and a smaller steering wheel makes manoeuvrability easier. The seating is incredibly comfortable and even on long journeys the bucket seats offer support. Optional 4-point racing seatbelts weren’t to my liking but are perhaps more suited to a day at the track.
This could be one the greatest supercars that I’ve ever driven. The only way I could think to improve on it would be if it came as a convertible! Very fortunately – it does!
The F8 Tributo Spider takes all this amazing technology and with the flick of a switch opens up the outside world in 14 seconds and the hardtop is neatly tucked away out of sight. The F8 Tributo – like most Ferrari’s is not for the meek and shy who prefer a low-profile life. If you thought you had a lot of admiring glances from passers-by before – then be prepared to feel like a true A-list celebrity once the top goes down!
The Ferrari F8 is a sportscar that is a product of the accumulation of talent coming together from the planet’s best engineers and designers. While the car is a statement piece from the world’s best known luxury brand and is replete with technological and mechanical wonders that most people could not fathom – what this car does, quite simply, is bring you the immense joy, excitement and thrill of driving the ultimate in supercars – a Ferrari!
0-100 km/h 2.90 seconds
0-200 km/h 8.2 seconds
Top speed 340 km/h (211 mph)