The new F8 Tributo on show at Scuderia SA’s Joburg showroom in Bryanston. Picture: DENIS DROPPA
The new F8 Tributo on show at Scuderia SA’s Joburg showroom in Bryanston. Picture: DENIS DROPPA

Ferrari importers Scuderia South Africa have taken the wraps off the stunning new F8 Tributo, just three months after its world unveiling at the Geneva motor show.

Priced at R5.5m and available to order locally now, the mid-engined beauty replaces the 488 GTB and has been created as the tribute model to Ferrari’s award-winning twin-turbo V8 engine, which has scooped the international Engine of the Year award for four years running. The V8, which has been used in other models in the range with various power outputs, was also awarded the title of the best engine of the past two decades.

MOTORING PODCAST | Cargumentative: Gymkhana life & best advice

For more episodes, click here

Subscribe: iono.fm | Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Pocket Casts | Player.fm

Located under a louvred glass cover behind the two-seater cabin, the mid-mounted 3.9l engine is the most powerful V8 in Ferrari history with outputs of 530kW and 770Nm (up from the GTB’s 493kW and 761Nm). Max power is delivered at a high-revving 8,000rpm to give this prancing horse an emotive war cry.

The F8 Tributo makes exactly the same power and torque outputs as its chief rival, the 4.0l McLaren 720S, but Ferrari notes that this is achieved with 100cc less cubic capacity. The Ferrari’s engine has an impressive specific power output of 136kW per litre, compared to the 132kW per litre of the 720S.

Quartet of tail lights revive styling of Ferrari icons like the 308 and F40. Picture: DENIS DROPPA
 Quartet of tail lights revive styling of Ferrari icons like the 308 and F40. Picture: DENIS DROPPA

Along with its power boost, the F8 Tributo is 40kg lighter than the 488 GTB it replaces, with a resultant performance boost to 0-100km/h in 2.9 seconds (one-tenth quicker) while the 0-200km/h is an even more impressive 7.8 seconds (versus 8.3 seconds for the GTB). Top speed is rated at 340km/h.

The tweaks, in addition to a 10% improvement in aerodynamic efficiency and the latest version of the Side Slip Angle drift control system, make the new car half a second quicker than the GTB around the company’s Fiorano test circuit at Ferrari’s headquarters in Maranello, Italy.

The Side Slip Angle system, along with a brake-based torque-vectoring system, helps keep the power in check as all of it is fed to the rear wheels, unlike the all-wheel drive systems of many modern supercars.

Power is fed via a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox.

Though the F8 is based on the 488 GTB, it’s been given a major restyle including an F1-inspired S-duct which feeds air taken from the lower front intake and deflects it upwards through the vent on the bonnet to improve downforce.

At the rear, the GTB’s two round tail lamps have given way to a quartet of lights harking back to historic Ferraris like the 308 and the F40.

The car is named in tribute to the award-winning twin turbo V8. Picture: SUPPLIED
 The car is named in tribute to the award-winning twin turbo V8. Picture: SUPPLIED

The see-through engine cover with slotted louvres also delves into Maranello’s past, and is derived from the iconic F40 of the late 1980s and early 1990s, and its successor the F50.

The F8 Tributo is the most aerodynamically efficient series-production mid-rear-engined berlinetta (two-seater coupe) yet designed, says Ferrari, and is a bridge to a new design language that will continue to emphasise Ferrari’s key characteristics of high performance and extreme aerodynamic efficiency.

The cockpit has also been updated with redesigned door covers and a more user-friendly infotainment system, while the passenger also gets a new touchscreen.

The F8 Tributo lines up alongside the identically-powered but more track-focused — and more expensive — 488 Pista in Ferrari’s range, says Mervyn Eagles, Scuderia South Africa CEO.

The F8 is just half a second slower around Fiorano than the lighter and more extreme 488 Pista, he reveals.

Eagles notes that Ferrari owners may use their cars on race tracks without it affecting their warranties, unlike some rival sports car firms.

The Ferrari F8 Tributo will continue its roadshow throughout SA as it is revealed at the official dealers in Durban and Cape Town later this month.