The 488 GTB’s successor is finally here: it’s a bit of a stunner and it’s called the Ferrari F8 Tributo. Well, I say “finally”, but really it seems like just yesterday we were all gawping at the press photos of the 488. However, with McLaren and Lamborghini breathing down Ferrari’s neck with the likes of the 720s and Huracán Performante respectively, constant evolution is absolutely necessary if Ferrari wants to stay at the forefront of the supercar market. At first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking that the F8’s design is just that, an evolution of the 488 rather than a total revolution, but take a closer look and as the name suggests, you’ll notice that the F8 is really a beautiful collage of Ferrari’s greatest design hits.
Before we turn to the F8’s gorgeous metal, it’s worth taking a look at that name. The ‘F’ harks back to some of the greatest Ferrari’s ever to power slide out of Maranello, all starting with the legendary F40, which was built to celebrate Ferrari’s 40th year of making production cars. Then came icons like the F50, F355, F430 Scuderia, and finally and most recently the F12 Berlinetta and F12 TDF. No prizes for guessing what the 8 means: it refers to the number of cylinders in Ferrari’s flat plane crank 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8, which is almost the same as the one found in its predecessor, albeit with 50 more horsepower, giving the F8 a grand total of 710bhp, just like the 720s. Mama mia indeed.
That brings us to the design. Starting with the rear, the most immediately noticeable change over the 488 are the new quad taillights, which brings an end to the era of dual taillight Ferrari’s, that began with the California way back in 2010, and will die out with the 488 Pista Aperta that was unveiled late last year.
Moving forward, we have the louvred rear glass, which mimics the louvres found in Ferrari’s first turbocharged road car, the F40, and helps to vent hot air away from the engine, making sure things stay cool around that ballistic power unit. The wheels are a tribute to Ferrari’s of the past too – they’re a modern take on the classic star design that has adorned Ferrari’s for decades, and in my opinion, they are one of Ferrari’s best efforts yet.
Finally, we come to the front of the F8. The aerodynamic wizardry applied to the track-hardened 488 Pista and 458 Speciale has been carried over in the form of the S-duct on the bonnet, which helps contribute to the F8’s 15% increase in downforce over the regular 488, helping to ensure even more rapid lap times. Last, but not least, we have the new smaller, angrier headlights, which have shrunken compared to the 488 to make space for brake-cooling ducts. They ape the light signatures of the batshit FXXK, and the hilariously named yet beautiful one-off Ferrari Deborah, which was also built as a tribute to the F40.
According to Ferrari, the F8 Tributo is the first to sport their new design language, and if that’s the case, then we have a lot to look forward to from Ferrari because as tributes go, the F8 is a pretty good one.