Ferrari reinvents its supercar. F8 Tributo replaces 488 GTB and ramps up the power, aero and agility, Ferrari says.
The new 2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo will be the most powerful mid-engined V8 Ferrari series-production supercar yet. The 488 GTB replacement gets a new 710bhp version of Ferrari’s 3.9-litre V8 engine. That’s a 49bhp upgrade on the 488 GTB and the same output as the limited-run 488 Pista and the car’s biggest rival, the McLaren 720S.
Ferrari claims there have been “improvements across the board… providing even better control on the limit along with greater on-board comfort” when comparing the 488 GTB and the new F8 Tributo, a name that pays homage to the engine that powers it.
Driving the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, the 90deg V8 engine is the real star of the revised supercar. As well as the power boost, torque is up 9lb ft to 568lb ft.
The twin-turbocharged engine, which, Ferrari claims, operates “without the slightest hint of turbo lag”, helps propel the F8 Tributo to a 0-62mph time of 2.9sec (0.1sec faster than the 488 GTB), 0-124mph in 7.8sec and a top speed of 211mph. The 0-62mph time matches the 720S’s and the 0-124mph time is 0.1sec faster. The new Ferrari’s top speed is just 1mph shy of its Woking rival.
“The twin-turbo V8 helps propel it to a 0-62mph time of 2.9sec, 0-124mph in 7.8sec and 211mph”
Ferrari is also talking up the improved aerodynamics of its new supercar, which brings with it the first iteration of a new design language that aims to marry high performance and aerodynamic efficiency. Ferrari claims the aerodynamic efficiency is improved by 10% over the 488 GTB’s.
In the styling, there is a nod to the iconic F40 in the louvres of the clear screen over the engine, and a return to twin rear light clusters in a look inspired by the 1975 308 GTB. There are also carry-overs from the 488 Pista, including the rearward-angled front radiators and rear air intakes.
The S-duct air intake is redesigned from the 488 Pista, with the amount of downforce it helps produce increased by 15%.
Brake cooling is also improved with new intakes made possible by redesigned LED headlights. This better cooling prevents the need for larger brakes to be fitted to cope with the extra performance.
The 4611mm-long, 1979mm-wide and 1206mmtall supercar is, like its predecessor, built around an aluminium architecture, but the car is 40kg lighter than the 488 GTB. Its dry weight of 1330kg is 47kg heavier than the 720S, which is built around a carbonfibre architecture.
The latest version of Ferrari’s Side Slip Angle Control ‘controlled slide’ system is another feature of the F8 Tributo, as is a new version of Ferrari Dynamic Enhanced called FDE+ that now works in the Race setting of the manettino drive mode selector and makes on-the-limit handling more predictable.
The completely redesigned cabin of the F8 Tributo features a thinner-rimmed steering wheel to improve feel for the driver. The steering wheel controls are also overhauled, and a new 7.0in touchscreen for infotainment features.
Ferrari has yet to confirm pricing or availability for its new supercar, but expect a price in excess of £200,000 and UK deliveries in about a year, based on past launches.
Thinner-rimmed wheel features in the new cabin. The F8 Tributo has 710bhp and a dry weight of 1330kg.
SHOULD WE HAVE EXPECTED MORE? MATT PRIOR
Across recent generations of mid-engined Ferrari, we’ve become accustomed to elements of the ‘special’ version carrying over to its successor’s standard variant. But never to this extent. The F8 Tributo’s power is as the 488 Pista’s, there are aerodynamic similarities and the handling’s electronic bits have gone from v6.0 to v6.1.
So, with the same platform, same engine, same aero, a few new lines of code and getting a bit heavier, the F8 Tributo looks like a Pista with comfort put back in. Given that I think the Pista is still the best mid-engined supercar on the planet, there’s not much wrong with that. But there is consternation that, because the 488 retained the 458’s architecture in the first place, so was technically a reskin, ought we not be due a new architecture this time?
Mid-engined Ferraris usually get a new architecture every other cycle. But the 488 never felt like a mid-life update to me. The turbos it brought changed the character too much. But I see the argument.
This, though, feels to me like the penultimate step before a big leap. The F8 will have embedded itself comfortably into production when the hybridised, downsized new McLaren 720S replacement and Aston Martin Vanquish arrive. I’d expect a huge Ferrari counterpunch after that.