Goodbye GTB: the new mid‑engined Ferrari F8 Tributo
The iconicmid-engined V8 Ferrari, badged GTB since the first 308 of 1975, is no more. The car lives on, faster and more powerful than ever, but from now on we must call it the F8 Tributo. After 44 years, it’s a surprise break with tradition.
The name may be new but the car is entirely based on the outgoing 488 GTB, aided and abetted by influences from the special series 488 Pista. From the photographs –the car makes its debut in the flesh at the Geneva Motor Show on 5 March – it’s instantly familiar.
But there’s more going on than you may imagine, with the body tweaked front and rear to incorporate aerodynamic refinements, including a version of the downforce-enhancing front S-duct, from the Pista. And we like the new rear end: those twin round lights are straight form 1975.
But, as ever, it’s the engine that’s the heart and soul here, the new car living up to billing with the most powerful non-special series V8 in Ferrari history.
The 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 appears in Pista spec, so you get 720PS (710bhp), 50 horses more than the 488 GTB and –you will have noticed –the same as a certain 720-badged car from Woking. Ferrari is going McLaren hunting…As well as 720PS, achieved at 8,000rpm, the engine delivers 770Nm (570lb ft) of torque.
The F8 Tributo has been on a diet, too, weighing 40kg lighter than the 488 GTB and, at a dry weight of 1,330kg, lighter even the more track-focused Pista.
The aero changes are said to give a 10 per cent improvement in aerodynamic efficiency while the latest stability system (Side Slip Angle Control) ensures the performance is more usable than ever. And there’s plenty of performance: Ferrari claims the F8 Tributo will get from 0-62mph in 2.9 seconds, 0-124mph in 7.8 seconds and top out at 211mph, all numbers up on the 488 GTB.
Other changes include a Lexan clear screen over the engine, just like the F40’s and complete with louvres to let the hot air out. There’s a makeover inside, too, with the dash, door panels and centre consoleall redesigned.
Why the badge F8 Tributo? It’s Italian for a tribute to the Ferrari eight-cylinder motor, which sounds a little valedictory. That’s premature we hope, but Ferrari does say the“F8 Tributo is essentially a bridge to a new design language”so an exciting – but possibly rather different –future in store for this enduring icon of gran turismo berlinettas…