Ferrari has relied on its V8 as the staple engine for most of its revered models in the last four decades. Although the cylinder configuration has remained constant, the engine variants have differed in technology, displacement, and forced induction. The Ferrari V8 has won 15 individual accolades across the automotive industry, including four consecutive ‘Engine of the Year’ awards from 2016 to 2019.
In 2019, Ferrari sought to pay homage to that impressive history through the F8 Tributo, a name that means ‘Ferrari V8 (F8) Tribute.’ In addition to showcasing the highest expression of the Prancing Horse’s classic two-seater Berlinetta, the mid-rear engined F8 Tributo also acts as a bridge to the design language of future Ferraris. Speculation suggests this will be the last non-assisted V8 supercar, with hybridization set to take over the portfolio. Before then, here are ten reasons why every gearhead should drive the Ferrari F8 Tributo.
10 Ferrari Designed The F8 Tributo In-House
The Ferrari Styling Center, headed by Hall of Fame car designer Flavio Manzoni, has received numerous international car design awards and recognition. The design team showcased its brilliance with the F8 Tributo design, forging a new exterior design language that would inspire future models.
From the early stages, the design process focused on two simultaneous goals. Ferrari aimed at a stylistic tribute to the Ferrari V8 engine, while also giving the F8 Tributo a strong personality through a sporty design and an emphasis on advanced aerodynamics.
9 Aerodynamics Courtesy Of Ferrari’s Racing Heritage
A Ferrari F1-derived S-Duct characterizes the front end of the F8 Tributo, designed to generate efficient vertical load. The front also features a 488 Challenge-derived radiator layout to reduce drag, aerodynamic side intakes integrated into the bumper, and two aerodynamic side splitters that create a visual link rearwards. The side boasts a 488 Challenge-derived air intake layout that cools the engine and supports power increase.
The F8 Tributo’s flat underbody includes front diffusers to increase the aero and brake cooling efficiency and underbody vortex generators to increase the vertical load. The rear features a broader, more inclined blown spoiler with up-washing suction for increased vertical load, rear flux deflectors under the spoiler to reduce drag, and rear diffusers to maximize performance on straight lines and corners.
8 Lighter Than The 488 GTB
Ferrari intended to make the F8 Tributo faster and more agile than the stunning 488 GTB, meaning weight reduction is pivotal in the performance increase puzzle. The F8 Tributo features lighter front and rear bumpers, a Lexan rear screen, and a carbon fiber rear spoiler that shaves off 66lbs from the 488 GTB’s curb weight.
Ferrari also offers optional 488 Pista-style carbon fiber wheels with an aerospace coating that allows precise and more reactive handling. These lightweight performance wheels bring a 40% weight reduction of rotating mass, lopping a further 22lbs from the overall figure.
7 Easily Accessible Steering Wheel-Mounted Controls
The F8 Tributo’s upright sitting position, low cowl, and thin A-pillars offer a pleasantly expansive forward view. However, the flat-bottom steering wheel is undoubtedly the most significant hallmark in the cockpit. The steering column only hosts the paddle shifters, while everything else migrated to the steering wheel.
Controls such as turn signals, headlight beam, windshield wiper, windshield washer, call manager, and even the start/stop button are mounted on the new-generation steering wheel. Ferrari also included the lozenge-shaped F1-inspired Manettino dial, a switch that allows the driver easy access to various chassis control options.
6 Impressive Standard Tech Features
The F8 Tributo flaunts a minimalist dashboard layout, but the classy acres of soft leather and artful optional carbon fiber panels emphasize usability. The main display ensures the rev counter is front and center, with supplementary screens on either side for the chassis and engine info, sat-nav, and audio.
Other standard tech features include the new generation Human Machine Interface (HMI) and a 7-inch passenger display to enhance the onboard environment. The central bridge houses several transmission controls, while the strategically-placed round air vents are set in beautifully sculpted aluminum, or optional carbon-fiber surrounds.
5 Motorsport And Formula One Influenced The V8
The Ferrari V8 is the center of attention in the F8 Tributo, so Ferrari engineers borrowed some of the technology and hardware from the successful engines utilized in motorsport and F1. The exciting performance in the engine is delivered through the total elimination of turbo lag, while the same turbo rev sensors used in the 488 Challenge maximize the turbocharger efficiency.
The manifolds and intake plenums are designed to optimize fluid dynamics and reduce the air temperature in the cylinder, which improves the engine’s combustion efficiency and helps boost power. Engine lightening solutions on the rotating masses involve using F1-derived titanium connecting rods.
4 The Variable Boost Management System Is A Clever Addition
Like the preceding 488 GTB and 488 Pista, the F8 Tributo reaps the benefits of a clever Variable Boost Management system. Ferrari developed the control software to promote the ‘zero turbo lag’ concept by naturally and gradually adjusting the torque delivery to suit the gear selected.
On the one hand, the Variable Boost Management system allows Ferrari to utilize longer gear ratios in the higher gears, which helps to keep emissions and fuel consumption on the lower side of the spectrum. On the other, the system allows the F8 Tributo to adopt a steeper torque curve through the rev range in lower gears, allowing for a smooth yet powerful pick-up.
3 The Innovative Hot Tube Resonator Comes In Handy
Ferrari fitted the F8 Tributo with a new race-spec Inconel exhaust system to improve gas flow and ensure it meets the ever-tightening noise legislation. The exhaust system utilizes gasoline particulate filters, which remove the tingly and fizzing raw appeal of the exhaust’s natural bombast. Unfortunately, this dulls the pure driving experience.
To counter this, Ferrari engineers created a Hot Tube Resonator, a tube running from the turbochargers, through the C-pillar and to the bulkhead behind the driver. The Hot Tube Resonator comes in handy to deliver a more ‘natural’ augmented sound into the cabin. However, the pipe’s proximity to the turbochargers translates to a slightly noticeable whistle and wastegate chatter.
2 The Most Powerful Ferrari V-8 In 20 Years
The F8 Tributo houses a handed-down 3.9-liter 90-degree bi-turbo V-8 engine from the special-edition 488 Pista. Ferrari modified the award-winning engine to crank out 710hp at 8,000 rpm and 568lb-ft of torque at 3,250 rpm, making it the most powerful V-8 ever mounted on a non-special series Ferrari.
The F8 Tributo boasts 182 ponies per liter of displacement, not to mention 50hp and 7lb-ft of torque over the 488 GTB. Considering this Ferrari V-8 was voted the best engine in the last two decades, the F8 Tributo’s 2.9-second 0-60mph time and 211mph top speed are testament to its superior architecture.
1 The Advanced Electronic Controls Are Exceptional
Having the most potent V-8 is all well and good, but it would be a waste if the astronomical power is not usable or channeled to the road properly. To this end, Ferrari made the F8 Tributo more approachable by matching its instantaneous power with exceptional handling, thanks to advanced electronic vehicle controls.
The F8 Tributo benefits from Ferrari’s Side Slip Control (SSC) version 6.1, complemented by the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer (FDE+) to adjust the brake pressure at the calipers for intuitive control of the car’s lateral dynamics. The steering-wheel-mounted Manettino dial allows the driver to easily access the advanced torque vectoring and stability control system by toggling through CT Off and Race settings.
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