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Ferrari 488 Pista performance for GTB money

Ferrari F8 Tributo Coupe (19 on) - rated 0 out of 5
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  • Hugely powerful, flexible engine
  • Agile, responsive chassis and steering
  • Easy to drive
  • Supple suspension
  • 4-year warranty, 7-years servicing included


  • Gruffer engine note than GTB
  • Rev limit could be higher
  • Expensive options
  • Infotainment outclassed by Audi R8
  • Rear visibility not great

Written by Ben Barry on

The Ferrari F8 Tributo is the latest version of Ferrari’s V8 mid-engined supercar, which directly replaces the 488 GTB and goes head-to-head with the McLaren 720S and Lamborghini Huracan Evo. Why F8 Tributo? Because, says Ferrari, the F8 is a tribute to its own twin-turbo V8 engine, a multiple winner of its category in the International Engine of the Year awards.

In essence, the F8 is a familiar car, and evolves an existing formula rather than representing an all-new car in its own right: it takes the 710bhp twin-turbocharged V8 engine from the track-focussed V8 488 Pista (itself an evolution of the GTB’s engine), and puts in the slightly more comfort-focussed 488 GTB chassis. The bodywork is significantly refreshed - only the doors and roof are shared with the 488 – with references to iconic turbocharged V8 models from Ferrari’s past at the rear, including a lightweight Lexan (plastic) rear window that nods to the F40, and quad tail lights that echo the 288 GT0.

Despite its unquestionably extreme nature ­– 0-62mph takes just 2.9 seconds, and there’s a 213mph top speed ­– the F8 Tributo manages to be both thrilling and accessible for drivers of all abilities. This is partly due to the progressive power delivery, which avoids the turbo lag and then violent boost of some comparable engines. Instead, the F8 responds promptly to the accelerator and delivers its power in an entirely predictable, linear manner.

This is to take nothing away from the F8’s visceral feel, because the performance is unquestionably brutal when all 710bhp is deployed, especially as the dual-clutch gearbox (with paddleshift controls) intensifies the relentless delivery with shifts that are no slower than a snap of the fingers.

The F8’s chassis strikes a similar balance between excitement and accessibility. Its steering ratio is unusually fast, carbon-ceramic brakes offer crushing deceleration, and to drive the F8 is to feel at the core of an agile, responsive supercar that’s alive with energy. And yet select the ‘bumpy road’ suspension setting and the F8 also has the compliance to soak up really quite severe bumps and undulations – it makes the F8 comfortable on the motorway, but also confidence-inspiring on a challenging road simply because it breathes calmly with the road surface for calm and consistent road-holding. Highly accomplished stability electronics also help tame the F8’s understandable tendency to light up its rear tyres when driven hard.

Inside, the F8 will be familiar to owners of 488 models: the seating position is low slung, the steering wheel houses controls normally found on stalks (including wipers and indicators) and it frames a large central rev counter flanked on either side by digital screens: vehicle information including tyre temperature to the left, infotainment functions including sat-nav to the right.

The F8 interior, however, has been lightly revised, with an updated dashboard, door casings and a new, slightly smaller steering wheel. Indicator and wiper functions on the latter are now far more intuitive. Overall, this feels a purposeful, sporting environment finished in quality materials including leather and carbon fibre, but the infotainment lags behind far more mainstream rivals.

Space, of course, is at a premium in this two-seater, but there is a small storage shelf and cargo nets behind the seats, and 200 litres of luggage space under the bonnet (for context, a Golf has 380 litres), so there’s certainly enough room for larger bags.

For now, there is only one version of the F8 Tributo coupe, but the options list is as extensive as it is expensive. Buyers wishing to narrow the performance gap to the 488 Pista will be interested in the grippier Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, and also the carbonfibre wheels, with the latter accounting for 10kg of the F8’s maximum 40kg weight saving over a 488 GTB. Cosmetic enhancements include carbonfibre engine covers and exterior components, different wheel treatments, special paints and Ferrari shields on the front wings. It’s perfectly possible to spend tens of thousands of pounds extra.

Should you buy a Ferrari F8 Tributo?

In essentially combining two elements of its previous 488 models, the Ferrari F8 Tributo does not reinvent the wheel, but it does bring the even more extreme performance of the 488 Pista to the more ‘affordable’ 488 GTB price point, then serves it up in an attractively refreshed design. As such, the F8 Tributo makes for a highly compelling blend of performance, comfort and relative luxury, and successfully evolves the winning template first laid down by the 488 GTB.

2019 Ferrari F8 Tributo red sideways