10 Facts Will Show You Why The Ferrari F8 Tributo Is The Superhero of Supercars

This is the new Ferrari F8 Tributo, or, as I suspect some will call it - the Ferrari Fate (you know, F8, Fate, I know, I’m sad). The first appearance of its sexy body will happen at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show and we all have to be thrilled. It is a new Ferrari. One that replaces the magnificent 488 GTB. It is better in every measurable way than the 488 GTB- it’s lighter, quicker, more powerful, and sticks better to the ground. Plus, it is smarter with all the added driving dynamics trickery. While the Ferrari F8 Tributo seems to be all new, Ferrari actually used an age-old trick to create it. It has the engine we all know, aerodynamic systems already presented on the 488 Pista, and the basic looks heavily inspired by Historical Ferraris. It is a wonderful execution of style, speed, power, and red because of course it is painted in Ferrari red. Hell, this is the new mid-engine Ferrari supercar called the F8 Tributo. This is what you must know about it.

The 2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo Has The Most Powerful V-8 Engine Ferrari Ever Created

2016 Ferrari 488 GTB Drivetrain
- image 615042

Yes, it is the same unit as in the Ferrari 488 Pista. The 3.9-liter, V-8 engine is a glorious piece of engineering that has won three International Engine of the Year Awards straight - in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Plus, it was awarded the title of the best engine of the last two decades.

The one installed in the Ferrari F8 Tributo is the most evolved version, with power that can, finally, match what McLaren is doing with its 4.0-liter.

Let’s crunch some Ferrari F8 Tributo numbers here:

  • 720 horsepower at 8,000 rpm
  • 185 horsepower per liter of capacity
  • 568 pound-feet of torque at 3,000 rpm
  • Compression ratio at 9.6:1

Obviously, Ferrari managed to increase the power by 49 horsepower and nine pound-feet of torque over the 488 GTB. Quite a gain.

To achieve this, Maranello engineers had to make some serious improvements that included using materials your parents probably heard about when the U.S. declassified some documents on the SR-71 spy plane.

2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo - Quirks and Features
- image 826520

The Ferrari F8 Tributo has a carbon-fiber intake plenum (for stiffness and lightweight), Inconel exhaust manifold (to resist corrosion at high temperatures), titanium connecting rods (to better resist reciprocating load and basically provide more power at high rpms), and super lightweight titanium aluminide turbo compressors (they will last).

The other clear changes over the 488 GTB engine include the integration of the larger intercooler, a lighter crankshaft, and a lighter flywheel.

All that with one mission in mind - to make the 3.9-liter as powerful and as raspy as possible.

Obviously, all these changes are rooted in the 488 Pista’s engine and, as Ferrari installed the same unit in the F8 Tributo, I have to assume that the changes are the same too.

This is not the first time that Ferrari installed the same engine in different cars. Previously, the Ferrari 458 Speciale’s engine ended up in the Ferrari Sergio. That was a limited edition car though.

The 2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo is Still Based On Top of the 458 Italia’s Architecture

2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo - Quirks and Features
- image 826515

Ok, the Ferrari 458 Italia is almost ten years old, but its smart aluminum space frame architecture continues to be a staple for the mid-engined likes of V-8 cars at Ferrari.

The 488, when it came out, actually used the same chassis and many did infer that you could basically bolt 458 body panels onto the 488 GTB's architecture.

Now, I am not sure if that’s the case, but what I do know is that the new F8 Tributo has the aluminum-intensive space frame architecture that is basically improved (stiffened up, and potentially a bit lighter) compared to 488 and 458’s architecture.

You, however, shouldn’t be disappointed by this. Ferrari engineers constantly evolve the basic aluminum architecture firstly introduced with the 458 Italia. I remember hearing sometime before that the Ferrari 458 Italia’s basic chassis isn’t exactly the same for the car produced in 2010 or in 2013. Engineers constantly evolve the architecture to make it better. That is why I do believe that the F8 Tributo’s architecture is considerably more evolved than the one on the 458 Italia despite being crucially linked to it. To prove the point, let me just give you an example:

The 488 Spider’s chassis is around 23 percent stiffer compared to the 458 Spider’s chassis, despite sharing the same basic layout.

2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo - Quirks and Features
- image 826516
With that said, I am sure that the engineers found yet another way to stiffen up the basic architecture of the F8 Tributo over the 488 GTB.

Now, Ferrari is in love with aluminum more so than with carbon fiber (material of choice for the McLaren monocoque design) for several reasons:

  • It’s cheaper
  • It gives Ferrari engineers more possibilities to control it in regard to safety requirements (crumple zones and that jazz)
  • errari can produce aluminum chassis at a far greater rate than it could do with carbon-fiber ones (it is estimated that for every McLaren carbon MonoCell produced,
  • Ferrari can produce 11 aluminum structures of its 488 GTB)
  • It gives engineers more freedom to evolve the design

All of this for a small weight disadvantage. Ferrari can live with it and so can I.

The 2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo has Raw Performance

2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo - Quirks and Features
- image 826519

I mentioned the McLaren 720S a few times in this article for a good reason. The Ferrari 488 GTB could barely match it. Actually, more often than not, the 720S is quicker and faster compared with the 488 GTB. Not anymore!

First off, the 488 Pista paved the way for Prancing Horse brutality, and now, the F8 Tributo walks that path. In simple, understandable terms, the Ferrari F8 Tributo’s performance figures are as follows:

  • 0 to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds
  • 0 to 124 mph in 7.8 seconds
  • a top speed of 211 mph
In short, the F8 Tributo is 1 mph short of 720S top speed, it can do 62 mph in the same amount of time as the Woking supercar, but it can crack 124 0.1 seconds quicker.

Is it a match now? Well, I don’t think so because the Ferrari can do all of this with a 97-pound weight penalty.

The 2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo Is Considerably Lighter Compared To the Ferrari 488 GTB

2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo - Quirks and Features
- image 826520

Although considerably heavier compared to its closest rival, the F8 Tributo is actually lighter compared to the 488 GTB. And that by 88 pounds. In its lightest form, the dry weight of the Ferrari F8 Tributo stands at 2,932 pounds. That’s staggeringly light considering that the F8 Tributo doesn’t have a lot of carbon fiber pieces on it.

This number - 2,923 pounds, is achievable only with all the “lightweight” parts selected, so you will have to pay more money for less weight.

That’s something usual in this supercar game, mind you.

I believe that Ferrari achieved these results in much the same way as it slashed the 488 Pista’s weight against the 488 GTB. This would mean that the F8 Tributo has some clear links with the 488 Challenge (that’s an incredible Ferrari racecar). Aside from racecar influences, Ferrari did slash a bit of weight with a thinner steering wheel, differently styled lights, and other numerous design changes that saved a gram or two here and there. Mazda actually did that with the latest MX-5, and it called it gram strategy. Now, Ferrari did not do it exactly like that, but it definitely employed a similar weight reduction strategy. After all, lighter engine components help as much as anything else with slashing excess weight. I could not find out if the F8 Tributo has as light a lithium-ion battery as the 488 Pista. Let’s just say that I wouldn’t be surprised if it does.

The 2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo has Smart Aerodynamics

2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo - Quirks and Features
- image 826515

One of the pivotal characteristics every Ferrari seems to excel at have always been the aerodynamic proves. The F8 Tributo included. I am quite amazed by how the designers manage to accomplish aerodynamic improvements every so often. I mean, the 458 Italia was awesome in the matter, the 488 GTB got better, and now, the F8 Tributo is 10 percent better in the aero game.

As is the case with many other features of the F8 Tributo, it did inherit some important features from none other than the 488 Pista.

The S-duct up front included. This is a Formula 1 derived technology that works like this:

“The air from the intake on the front bumper passes through an aerodynamic duct with calibrated sections and exits through a vent on the bonnet, creating a downward force over the front axle,” Ferrari wrote in its press release about the 488 Pista.

The front splitter is one of the most important aero features that considerably enhances the S-duct’s performance as it channels more air to it. The F8 Tributo basically has a comprehensive aerodynamic system that can only work right with all pieces in place. And one of those important pieces is all the way in the back - a quite prominent rear spoiler that dramatically improves the downforce. Its design is also influenced by the latest 812 Superfast, so it wraps around the taillights.

2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo - Quirks and Features
- image 826516
All in all, the S-Duct up front provides 15 percent more downforce than before, and the rear spoiler increases the downforce in the back.

This equals to 10-percent improvement in aerodynamics.

Now with that out of the way, I can tell you what those intakes above headlights actually do. They are not fake as on certain new cars with iconic names, but actually, channel the air to the brakes. With better cooling, Ferrari did not have to buff up the brakes. This basically is one of the ways to keep the weight down as much possible.

The 2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo Has a New Design language

2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo - Quirks and Features
- image 826514

A new design language is always a big deal within Ferrari. The F8 Tributo does bring one. Highlights of the new Ferrari design language include:

  • S-Duct integration in the front that is responsible for that big hole in the front metal canopy
  • Slim LED headlights with clear cutouts above them for an impressive brake cooling effect
  • Powerful front splitter that helps channel the air into the S-Duct
  • Substantial rear spoiler so large that it is skilfully integrated into the design, and it visually frames the taillights
  • Distinctive six-fin rear diffuser aggressively tilted upwards for the acceleration of the low-pressure air that exits under the F8 Tributo
  • Twin-light clusters as a throwback to historic Ferraris (specifically the 1975 308 GTB) and a continuation of the lineage that started with the 812 Superfast
  • Versatile engine cover for efficient heat extraction with louvers that display clear designer intent to link the F8 Tributo to the iconic F40

The form follows function, and the function seems to be the main reason for a comprehensive change in style against the 488 GTB. Every single piece on the F8 Tributo is there for a reason. And it looks beautiful as such. This is how you merge the artistic value of Ferrari with the functionality of physics. Kudos to you Ferrari.

The 2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo has Sci-Fi Stuff Called ‘Slide Slip Angle Control” and ‘Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer’

2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo - Quirks and Features
- image 826518

The Slide Slip Angle Control system was pioneered on the 488 Pista as technology never before installed in a production car. It was considerably improved for the F8 Tributo, but the basic operational intent remained the same.

The SSC provides a massive automatic control over the slipping wheels and effectively makes drifting easy.

The technology works with a complex algorithm that calculates lateral acceleration, yaw angle, steering wheel angle, and speed in milliseconds and then makes a decision that adjusts the stability control, differential responsiveness, and throttle application. This ultimately becomes a device of savagery. It will make any driver a competent drifter with only a bit of practice.

The Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer additionally helps with the sliding by saving you from a crash.

Unlike the Slide Slip Angle Control whose reaction affects said parameters such as the stability control and differential, the Dynamic Enhancer affects brakes.

It controls each of them and applies brakes (if needed), so you don’t actually lose it and slide out. Sure, it will make drifting easier, but much more importantly than that, it will encourage you to push the car through the bends at the very limit. After all, its intervention will, most likely, save you from pointing the other way.

I find that tech gizmos like this make the Ferrari transition from an analog to a digital world a great success. The SSC and the Dynamic Enhancer will give you the fun of your life, and you will be alive to tell the story after it.

Just How Many 488 Pista Pieces can be Found On The 2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo?

2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo - Quirks and Features
- image 826517

I cannot tell you the exact number of 488 Pista pieces that found their way to the F8 Tributo, but I do know about some:

  • S-duct aerodynamic system with that rearward-facing vent in the center engine
  • Slide Slip Angle Control and Dynamic Enhancer
  • The rearward-angled front radiators
  • The dynamic engine air intakes
  • Most of the software solutions
  • Parts of the dashboard

Bear in mind, this is a comprehensive change on top of the 488 GTB, and between it and the GTB sits that mad 488 Pista. It is bound to have some hardware taken from it. We should be happy about it.

The Ferrari F8 Tributo Versus the McLaren 720S

2018 McLaren 720S High Resolution Exterior
- image 708692

I’ll just leave this table here:

Ferrari F8 Tributo
Length (mm) 4,411 4,543
Width (mm) 1,979 1,930
Height (mm) 1,206 1,196
Weight (pounds) 2,932 2,829
Power (horsepower/pound-feet) 710/568 710/568
0-62 mph 2.9 seconds 2.9 seconds
0-124 mph 7.8 seconds 7.9 seconds
Top speed (mph) 210 211

The 2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo Is A Hero Car

2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo - Quirks and Features
- image 826516

So, is it a hero?

In my mind it is. Not only is it built of some seriously advanced, modern materials, but it is a sort of an homage to some of the best names from Ferrari’s history. It brings a new design language that is beautiful, and it can do superhero things. But I find it to be a hero because of something else - it is not built entirely from carbon-fiber yet it still manages to be in the same society as carbon-fiber built cars. This makes it a hero with clear heritage ties more so than anything else.

Further Reading

2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo - Quirks and Features
- image 826519

Read our full review on the 2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo.

2016 Ferrari 488 GTB Exterior
- image 620088

Read our full review on the 2016 Ferrari 488 GTB.

2016 Ferrari 488 Spider High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 638267

Read our full review on the 2016 Ferrari 488 Spider.

2018 Ferrari 488 Pista Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 769864

Read our full review on the 2018 Ferrari 488 Pista.

Ferrari Celebrates its 50th Drop-Top Model With The 488 Pista Spider Exterior
- image 792193

Read our full review on the 2019 Ferrari 488 Pista Spider.

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: