Ferrari F8 Tributo makes Southeast Asia debut



Ferrari’s latest and greatest hasn’t quite reached Singapore, but a regional launch was the next best thing…

By Leow Ju-Len

KUALA LUMPUR

The newest Ferrari has rolled into Southeast Asia. Weeks after making its global debut at the Geneva motor show, Ferrari’s F8 Tributo met potential buyers and the press last weekend at its regional launch in Kuala Lumpur.

Customers from Singapore gathered in the Malaysian capital ostensibly to celebrate Ital Auto’s 10th anniversary as a concessionaire for Ferrari, and received a close-up look at the new berlinetta.

To see the car yourself you’ll have to wait somewhat; the F8 Tributo’s Singapore launch is in September. A demo unit should be on the road by November, and if you put your money down now you can be the first one in your Good Class Bungalow area to drive it in early 2020.

Peekaboo… till September 2019

No official pricing is out, but with the F8 Tributo replacing the 488 GTB as Ferrari’s mid-engined V8 offering in its sportscar lineup, it should cost similar money, so our guess is just under $1m without Certificate Of Entitlement or options.

That might be considered a palatable sum considering the F8 Tributo is Maranello’s latest, and presumably greatest, mid-engined sportscar. The 488 GTB was itself no slouch, but with 720 horsepower (50 more than its predecessor) the F8 is the most powerful V8-engined car Ferrari has ever produced.

It’s slightly (0.1 seconds) quicker to 100km/h, taking 2.9 seconds to do the job, but the truly astonishing figure is the 0 to 200km/h time: just 7.8 seconds, against the 488 GTB’s 8.3 seconds. 340km/h is the top speed.

At 1,330kg dry (meaning without fluids in the engine or tank), the new car is 40kg lighter.

18kg of that is from the 3.9-litre engine alone — titanium connecting rods save 1.7kg, a lightweight alloy crankshaft and flywheel are 2.7kg lighter, and new exhaust manifolds slice off a further 9.7kg. Many of the lighter components let the engine rev more freely, too.

Ferrari says it has “significantly” more downforce, which helps keep it pressed to the road at high speed. That’s thanks to new aero ideas that came from motor racing; the duct in the nose of the car contributes 15 percent of the overall increase in downforce, for example.

It’s 10 percent more aerodynamically efficient than the 488 GTB, meaning its downforce-to-drag ratio is better.

Updated electronic driver aids improve traction and stability as well, so much so that Ferrari says the F8 Tributo can exit some corners 6 percent faster than the 488 GTB. The car has been set up to be more manageable during tail slides, with the driver needing 30 percent less work at the steering wheel to keep it under control.

The steering wheel itself is new — smaller and thus more wieldy — as part of an overall redesign for the cockpit that sees the dash, door panels and centre tunnel all completely revamped.

One design element that onlookers will be able to appreciate more easily though is the polycarbonate engine cover, a visual throwback to the clear plastic engine cover of the legendary Ferrari F40, and one that puts the heart of the F8 Tributo on display.

It’s a fitting idea; the F8 Tributo’s name is in homage to its engine, which judges for the International Engine Of The Year Awards named the best engine of the last two decades last year.

about the author

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Leow Ju-Len
Leow Ju-Len is a lot older than he behaves. He's been writing about cars for 23 years. Someday he might do it coherently. Ju-Len believes in world peace and V8s, but not necessarily in that order.