Out goes the Ferrari 488 GTB, in comes the Ferrari F8 Tributo. The new car carries over the 488’s twin-turbo 3.9-liter V-8 engine with Pista-level output of 710 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque—increases of 49 prancing horses and 7 lb-ft over the GTB. That makes it Ferrari’s most powerful V-8 series-production car to date, and is said to be enough to rocket the Tributo to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds and to a top speed of 211 mph. Ferrari promises this car will sound better, too, the more-muffled noise that accompanied the adoption of turbocharging being a key complaint from critics and customers alike.
In addition to being more powerful, the F8 Tributo is also said to be lighter (by 88 pounds) and more aerodynamic (by 10 percent, although we’re not sure what exactly is being measured) than the car it replaces. Ferrari has refined the S-Duct that we first saw on the incredible 488 Pista to improve front-end downforce by 15 percent compared to the 488 GTB; the duct directs air from the lower center part of the front bumper through the body in an S pattern, and on to an exit in the hood. New brake-cooling intakes added just above the headlamps—now thin LEDs—improve airflow to the binders. No transmission info was given, but expect a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic to be the sole offering.
The Ferrari F8 Tributo incorporates the latest version of Side Slip Angle Control with Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer, the latter of which here can be activated in Race mode for the first time. Side Slip Angle Control more finely tunes the traction- and stability control to allow drivers to better take advantage of wheelspin in pursuit of quickness without balling up their car, while Dynamic Enhancer is basically the company’s drift mode and helps drivers better maintain and control the car when it’s moving laterally at more lurid angles. Also updated are the programming for the various chassis modes selected via the steering-wheel-mounted manettino dial. Speaking of which, Ferrari also redesigned the steering wheel rim, making it smaller in diameter.
As to the aesthetics, Ferrari has returned to the four-taillamp design seen on most of its prior eight-cylinder mid-engine offerings. The car has similar proportions to the 488 but is much prettier to our eyes than the car it replaces, with a more sensual look than the slightly technoid 488, and we love the sorta-louvered polycarbonate engine cover. Inside, the cabin is driver focused and adopts Ferrari’s latest telematics with two screens flanking a central tachometer and a small display on the passenger side of the dashboard.
Seemingly far more than an evolution of the 488, the F8 Tributo will make its first appearance at the Geneva Motor Show next week, when we expect to learn more.