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Ferrari reveals F8 Tributo supercar

28 February 2019 | by Michael Gooderham

Ferrari have released initial images and details about its replacement for the 488 GTB & Pista. Called ‘F8 Tributo’, it exists as an homage to the current, multi-award-winning Ferrari 8-cylinder engine – hence the name – and features a thorough update of every aspect of the car form the looks to the various performance and infotainment systems.

While the surfacing, graphics and details are all different, the proportions and roof line suggest that the F8 has the same hard points as the previous 488 and 458 models (and the same twin-turbo V8, of course, with a Pista-bashing 720 horsepower on tap). However, Ferrari describe the updated aesthetics as “essentially a bridge to a new design language that will continue to emphasise Ferrari’s key characteristics of high performance and extreme aerodynamic efficiency.”

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A new, angry face takes the longitudinal headlights, turns the upper part into an air duct and widens the horizontal lower part for an L-shaped graphic. Sat between them is a complex front apron which manages airflow for cooling and cornering performance, while above, a smaller subtler version of the 488 Pista’s “S-Duct” creates a smaller opening in the otherwise smooth bonnet.

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The side profile is a mix of familiar and new, with the roof and doors seemingly unchanged from the 488, but new surfacing in other areas – the light catcher, for instance, which now has two elements instead of a single hockey-stick line. Similarly, the air intake behind the doors is in exactly the same place, but has been re-profiled for greater aero efficiency. The high shoulder running under the DLO now tucks in underneath a new, flush rear spoiler.

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At the rear, four taillights with skinny red rings, much like the ones used on the V12 Ferraris, sit in a slimmed-down rear face with heat vents below them (loosely resembling the headlight graphic, incidentally). Above, airflow running down the newly-slatted rear window – through which you can, of course, see the engine – blows through a small central opening in the rear spoiler.

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The interior, to continue the theme, wraps the old hard points in a newly evolved aesthetic – which is a welcome refresh that brings changes to every single interior panel. The triangular air vents are now circular, mimicking the 812 and GTC/4 Lusso, while the physical controls for the HMI and transmission are also evolved versions of what went before. The passenger’s side features a smoother expanse of leather on the dash and a letterbox-shaped seven-inch, passenger-specific touchscreen for media controls.

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While the design story here is Ferrari Centro Stile pulling their design language steadily into a new generation, there is an additional point of intrigue: why make a ‘Tributo’ to the Ferrari V8 at this time of all times? Will the next generation of mid-engine series-production Ferrari (after this one) get an all-new V8… or no V8 at all? Something for the wider world to keep an eye on, perhaps…