Revealed last week ahead of this year’s Geneva Motor Show, the Ferrari F8 Tributo will take up the mid-engined V8 torch from the Ferarri 488 GTB — which, after almost five years, was nearing the end of its life cycle. But dig just a little bit into what makes up the new V8 Ferrari, and you’ll conclude it’s more of a refresh than an all-new car, which isn’t the worst thing.
Under the F8’s louvered rear window sits the same award-winning 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8 you’ll find in the outgoing 488 GTB, except here Ferrari tuned it up to 710 horsepower, right in line with its rival, the McLaren 720S. With all that extra power on tap, the F8 will get from 0-60mph in just under 3.0 seconds, 0-124mph in 7.8 seconds and continue to a top speed of 211 mph. Ferrari also managed to shave off a further 88 pounds and carried over a handful of tech and aero tricks from the Pista, the high-strung swansong model of the 488.
If you want “new,” the 2020 F8 is the first to wear Ferrari’s next-generation design language. Clever ducts at the front for manipulating the air further down the car is the norm these days at Ferrari — the most notable being the massive opening in the front hood referred to as an S-duct (because of the way it shapes air flow), which scoops up air from the front splitter and channels it over the top of the car for more downforce. The louvers in the rear window are a fine homage to the F40, but they have a practical purpose as well: spit out hot air from the engine bay, aiding cooling as well as speeding up air from the S-duct to the rear wing for even more aero grip.
With supercars getting more powerful and faster, it’s almost impossible not to use aerodynamics and downforce to keep them under control. Ever since Ferrari started dialing back on using legendary design house Pininfarina to sculpt its cars, the visual character of its cars has changed drastically. The 488 GTB was an engineer’s car, clearly favoring function with sharp edges and industrial-looking vents and intakes, but the F8 looks just as outwardly refined as it is under the hood. Call it a move back in the right direction.