The prancing horse defines a brand soaked in tradition and easily distinguished by its placement on a yellow shield. Even if you may have no prior knowledge of sports cars, it is a brand rich in history, had an owner that was full of character, and is known for producing some of the world's best sports cars. Of course, we're speaking of Ferrari.
Some of Enzo's most celebrated road cars ever have only been built to help stimulate his racing team, as that was what fueled his passion. After he died in 1988, the company soldiered on under the management of Fiat Automobiles and keeping the legacy of its world-class sports cars intact. Initially, the Ferrari nameplate was only reserved for 12 cylinder models because Enzo felt the brands' pedigree would be watered down with lower cost options. Enzo compromised, and out emerged the "Dino" (named after his son who passed because of muscular dystrophy at the age of 24) branding that was worn by all 6/8 cylinder models before 1976.
But when does tradition become merely not enough? With the 911 inching closer into supercar territory with its GT2 and GT3 models, as well as Mclaren hot on their heels. Ferrari's major leap into the 21st century with its mid-range cars has been all but surprising. The new F8 Tributo is the latest supercar to be added in Ferrari's product line, picking up where the 488GTB and Pista left off. The new coupe is still based on the same chassis as the 458 was (shared with the 488) but has made countless improvements turning this into more than just another life cycle update.
The F8 introduces a new design language to help differentiate it further. New horizontal LED headlamps help shape the fenders up, and the remaining space creates an "L" with an added air duct above the light to help move more cooling air through the front wheel wells. The most prominent addition to the front architecture is the "S-Duct," also used on the 488 Pista.
The Duct takes high-pressure airflow from the center of the bumper and deflects it up and out of the vent on the trunk, turning the entire front section into a massive airfoil. Larger air intakes in the front bumper allow more flow to newly positioned radiators. The front diffuser has also been redesigned, allowing better flow and is aided by a complete underbody flat floor with added vortex generators. At the rear, a "blown" carbon fiber spoiler hides as part of the bodywork. Below it is a new diffuser that has active panels to assist in manipulating the air exiting from under the car.
Swinging open the lightweight aluminum doors reveals an interior peppered with the metal and copious amounts of carbon.
Leather-clad carbon bucket seats offer high bolsters to hold occupants tight but still allow some comfort. A new flat-bottom steering wheel (smaller in diameter than the 488) helps to guide the F8 where it needs to go and has switches for the starter, traction control system, and paddle shifters attached. Passengers can view performance data such as Speed and RPM on a new Sports Display embedded on the right side of the dashboard.
Lifting the Lexan engine cover (nodding to the F40's cover made of the same material) reveals an all-aluminum 3.9 liter V8 with two turbochargers attached. The engine features dual overhead camshafts with dual variable valve timing, direct injection, and a dry-sump lubrication system. The turbochargers are twin-scroll units and have variable geometry. The turbine housings have a revolution sensor incorporated to help in keeping them spooled at all times, reducing lag to zero. Exclusive Inconel tubular manifolds help deliver an exhaust note unique to the F8.
The V8 produces 710hp and 568lb/ft of torque, making it the most powerful production Ferrari 8-cylinder built. Backing up the V8 is a 7-speed dual-clutch "F1" gearbox produced initially for the chassis by Getrag. The transaxle housing incorporates an active electronic differential as well. The F8 can sprint from 0-100km/hr (62mph) in 2.9 seconds and has a top speed of 340km/hr (211mph).
Under the svelte body, the F8 Tributo rides on adaptive magnetorheological dampers (the fluid viscosity in the dampers changes by way of an electromagnet), double-wishbone geometry at the front and a multi-link setup at the rear. Braking is taken care of by multi-piston calipers produced by Brembo and clamp down on carbon-ceramic two-piece brake discs measuring 398mm (15.6in) at the front and 360mm (14.2mm) at the rear.
An F1 traction control system, along with ABS, is used and can be controlled via a dial on the new steering wheel. A feature introduced on the 458 called side slip angle control is used in conjunction with the ABS and E-Diff as mentioned above to help the coupe be more stable and agile. Covering the braking is a set of 20 inch forged aluminum wheels measuring 9 inches at the front and 11 inches at the rear.
The F8 Tributo is a modern mid-engined fire breathing Ferrari filled with technology. It may break tradition, but there's no denying its bloodline and its past has helped to shape its future.