There were plenty of different routes Ferrari might have taken with the new, mid-engine V-8 sports car it unleashed at the Geneva Motor Show on Tuesday. In the end, it seems, it took the simpler approach.
Though billed as all-new, the Ferrari F8 Tributo isn’t all that new, after all, the two-seater just an evolutionary update of the four-year-old Ferrari 488. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing.
The berlinetta, says the automaker, “sets the market benchmark for performance, driving pleasure and ease of handling. It makes the exhilarating performance of the best 8-cylinder in the world accessible to all drivers, with unprecedented handling and superior ride comfort.”
Anyone familiar with the 488 – and with the 458 it replaced – will quickly recognize the new F8. The basic shape is carried over, and it features the return of a classic Ferrari cue: quad taillights. That said, the two-seater does get all new lamps up front and improved aerodynamics that should play out in the form of improved handling.
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There’s good reason to honor the F8’s engine which has repeatedly been named one of the world’s best powertrains. And, if you’re going to celebrate the concept of a mid-engine V-8, what better way to do so, meanwhile, than by seating the engine under a transparent sheet of Lexan.
The cover, we’re told, “has been restyled to incorporate three louvres at it centre and showcase the engine compartment, bringing a modern twist to the most distinctive design element from Ferrari’s most famous V8-engined car, the F40.” Of course, in keeping with Ferrari tradition, form must also have a function, and those louvers help channel heat out of the engine compartment.
There had been some mixed signals from Ferrari in recent months, some observers taking that to mean the F8 might ride on an all-new architecture and even feature a hybrid V-8 drivetrain – an approach we seeing on several other new offerings debuting in Geneva this week, including the ultra-exotic Aston Martin AM-RB 003 hypercar.
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Don’t worry, Ferrari officials stressed after the Tributo turn-out, there is, indeed, an all-new platform in the pipeline, as well as that hybrid drivetrain. We’re just going to have to wait a bit longer. Perhaps, it just might make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next autumn?
For now, there’s really not that much to complain about with the new F8, though. The 3.9-liter twin-turbo V-8 was directly lifted out of the Ferrari 488 Pista, though the Italian engineering team has made some notable improvements, among other things lightening the load, which means an impressive power-to-weight ratio for the 710 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque it produces.
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Look for it to give a serious challenge to the Pista, with 0 to 60 times of 2.9 seconds. Meanwhile the F8’s top speed matches the Pista at 211 mph.