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Meet the F8 Tributo: the 211mph hypercar loaded with the most powerful V8 in Ferrari history

By Paul Connolly

This is the Ferrari F8 Tributo – a mid-rear engined sports car that represents the “highest expression” of the company’s classic two-seater berlinetta.

Designed as a replacement for the 488 GTB, the Tributo will be unveiled at next week’s Geneva Motor Show.

Ferrari says it is the most powerful V8 in Prancing Horse history for a non-special series car and sets the benchmark not just for turbos, “but for engines across the board”.

This means it uses the same 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 engine as the 488 Pista, outputting in this model 710bhp and 770Nm of torque.

The 3902 cc V8 won “Best Engine” in the International Engine of the Year awards three years running and was last year awarded the title of the best engine of the last two decades.

Ferrari is claiming a 0–62mph time of 2.9 seconds for the Tributo, with a 0–124mph time of 7.8 seconds and a max speed of 211mph.

Berlinetta is a key Ferrari concept, meaning a sports coupe typically with two seats (but confusingly sometimes adopted in 2+2 seaters).

It originally meant “little saloon” in Italian in the 1930s and was adopted by Ferrari and others since the 1950s.

The F8 Tributo – unsurprisingly, it means ‘Tribute’ in English – replaces the 488 GTB, with improvements throughout the car, providing better control on the limit along with greater on-board comfort.

The Tributo outputs 50 cv more than the car it replaces, is lighter and benefits from a 10% improvement in aerodynamic efficiency along with the latest version of the Side Slip Angle Control, now in 6.1 guise.

A raft of new engineering and styling developments further distinguishes the Tributo from the 488 GTB.

Enhanced advanced vehicle dynamics include a new version of the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer (FDE+) which can be activated in the manettino steering wheel dial’s RACE position for the first time.

In addition, weight reduction measures have cut the car’s dry weight by 40 kg compared to the 488 GTB, further enhancing both responsiveness.

Designed by the Ferrari Styling Centre, the manufacturer says the Tributo is essentially a “bridge to a new design language” that will continue to emphasise Ferrari’s key characteristics.

The front of the car is characterised by a redesigned S-Duct, a solution first seen on the 488 Pista, which contributes 15% to the overall increase in downforce compared to the 488 GTB.

New, more compact horizontal LED headlights allowed Ferrari’s aerodynamicists to incorporate new brake cooling intakes in combination with those on the outside of the bumper, aiming to improve air flow throughout the wheel arch and thereby avoid having to increase the size of the braking system to cope with the car’s greater speed.

A new Lexan rear screen features louvres that help extract hot air from the engine compartment without impacting the efficiency of the blown spoiler which has been further evolved to increase downforce generated at the rear.

The spoiler wraps around the tail lights, visually lowering the car’s centre of gravity and allowing a return to the classic twin light cluster and body-coloured tail, another signature of the early 8-cylinder berlinettas like the very first in the legendary series, the 1975 308 GTB.

A new generation HMI (Human Machine Interface), complete with round air vents, new steering wheel and controls as well as a new 7” passenger touchscreen display, is said to be an improvement on outgoing kit.

There’s no official word on price yet, but don’t expect much change from £200k.

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