The latest mid-engine Ferrari has officially made Australian landfall in Sydney’s White Back Cruise Terminal last week with all the requisite pomp and circumstance one would expect. Starting at $484,888, the F8 Tributo is roughly $15,000 dearer than the 488 GTB it replaces.
In this striking blue exterior finish, the car doesn’t exactly stray far from its predecessor in terms of aesthetics. Indeed, the F8 Tributo borrows much from the standard 488, but offers a significant bump in capability thanks to powertrain and aerodynamic innovations lifted from the track-friendly 488 Pista.
Its name itself has been chosen to reflect the car’s many visual callbacks to Ferrari’s history of V8 mid-engine berlinettas, a lineage which began in 1975 with the 308 GTB and continues on four decades later. Given how Ferrari is proceeding with the SF90 Stradale, though, this could be the final iteration of the berlinetta that receives a combustion-only powertrain.
Mounted amidship is the lauded F154 3.9-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine, though now it has been tweaked to bump peak power and torque to 530kW and 770Nm - a 38kW and 10Nm increase. As before, a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission funnels power to the rear wheels, enabling a 100km/h dispatch time of 2.9 seconds.
The performance Ferrari has been able to cram into what is perceived to be their entry level offering is rather stunning. The F8 Tributo will surge to 200km/h from rest in 7.8 seconds and only top out at 340km/h, endowing it performance that would place it in hypercar territory a mere few years ago.
Basically, the Maranello marque has been able to distill the attributes of the 488 Pista into an improved new model that’s also far more usable on the road and, unlike the limited run variant, is far more accessible to a wider swatch of existing and soon-to-be Ferrari owners.
It will be interesting to observe how the new F8 Tributo stacks up in practice to the venerable McLaren 720S - a rival that it much more closely trades blows with in terms of price, and now, sheer numbers as well.
Alongside the clear performance advantage and active aerodynamics, Ferrari assures that the F8 Tributo will offer superior refinement and ride comfort over the 488, though if this is achieved through new mechanical components or revised calibrations of existing hardware is unclear.