A tribute to Ferrari’s success

The Ferrari F8 Tributo has made it’s Australian debut at a lavish launch event held at the White Bay Cruise Terminal in Rozelle. As the name suggests the new mid-rear-engined sports car is an homage to the V8 engine legacy of Ferrari.

The F8 Tributo has the most powerful V8 engine ever to be mounted in a non-special series Ferrari, achieving new heights not just for turbos, but for engines across the board. The turbo-charged V8 has already been used in other models in the range with various power output levels, winning “Best Engine” in the International Engine of the Year awards three years running in 2016, 2017 and 2018. In 2018, it was also awarded the title of the best engine of the last two decades.

The night was also a celebration of some of the greatest V8 powered Ferraris that have ever been produced including the outgoing 488GTB, F430, 360 and my personal favourite the 458 Italia!

There were many special guests present at the launch including Herbert Appleroth (pictured above with the Ferrari Driven Women) who has been the Chief Executive Officer of Ferrari Australasia since its formation in 2013. I spoke to Herbert about Ferrari’s success in Australia and the part that the Ferrari Driven Women program has played in that success.

Ferrari Australasia has been working since its inception in 2013 to broaden the appeal of the brand and this has included to women. They are seeing the fruits of their labour with Australia having the highest percentage of female owners in the Western world at 9% and this is only bettered by China which has over 20% female ownership.

Herbert said “absolutely” that the Ferrari Driven Women program is having a positive impact on the way women engage with the Ferrari brand and “that is one of the best initiatives” Ferrari Australasia have implemented and he was “immensely proud” of the program.

Women have gone from having only an incidental role in the purchase of a Ferrari to now purchasing them outright themselves or dreaming of owning one and according to Herbert no particular model is more popular than others with women.

More about the F8 Tributo

In the automotive world, Ferrari’s V8 engine is seen as the very epitome of sportiness and driving pleasure. This is particularly the case when it is mid-rear-mounted in a two-seater. Ferrari has been honing the scope of abilities of this architecture, which creates an optimal weight balance, and thus delivers unparalleled thrillingly sporty driving, to perfection for over four decades.

The F8 offers drivers pure emotions with instantaneously accessible power is matched by exceptional handling thanks to advanced vehicle dynamics solutions. These include a new version of the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer (FDE+), a move designed to make performance on the limit easier to reach and control for an even greater number of drivers.

Overall performance levels are significantly higher than those of the 488 GTB, thanks to the increase in power, weight reduction and improved aerodynamic coefficient. That performance is also now accessible to a larger number of drivers thanks to vehicle dynamics systems that make driving on the limit an easier and more confidence-inspiring experience.
These include a steering wheel with a rim that is smaller in diameter with a thinner rim and the introduction of the new Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer Plus into the integrated SSC concept, now in 6.1 guise.

The F8 Tributo features state-of-the-art aerodynamics, integrating innovations and expertise developed thanks to the company’s involvement in the GT and Challenge championships. The F8 Tributo is 10% more aerodynamically efficient than the 488 GTB thanks exclusively to an increase in downforce which does not impact on its drag coefficient. This means that drivers can exploit to the fullest the exceptional performance the car unleashes, including high-speed cornering, as its more efficient road-holding keeps it glued to the Tarmac, delivering an engaging and exhilarating driving experience.

The glorious V8 engine is on full display thanks to the new rear screen celebrates Ferrari’s legendary V8 engine. Made from ultralight Lexan, it has been restyled to incorporate three louvres at it centre and showcase the engine compartment, bringing a modern twist to the most distinctive design element from Ferrari’s most famous V8-engined car, the F40. The louvres also help extract hot air from the engine compartment, in line with Ferrari’s focus on functional design.

The cockpit retains the classic, driver-oriented look typical of Ferrari’s mid-rear-engined berlinettas. Every element of the dash, door panels and tunnel has been completely redesigned specifically for the car. The F8 Tributo also boasts a new generation steering wheel and steering wheel-mounted controls as well as new styling on the standard seats.

New round air vents are set in beautifully sculpted aluminium surrounds (also available in optional carbon-fibre) which cleverly underscore the dash structure. To emphasis the lightness of the whole assembly, the dash now incorporates an aluminium sail panel supporting the central satellite and continuing into the dash itself. Also to create a sense of visual lightness, a sliver of carbon fibre divides the upper and lower parts, streamlining the
whole look. This section also incorporates the optional 7” touchscreen passenger-side display which provides an extra sporting touch.

The dash is completed by the classic instrument cluster with its central rev-counter and the new-generation steering wheel and commands. The tunnel is clearly separated from the dash and set beneath it, once again to enhance the sensation of lightness that the car exudes. It features a new bridge, a prominent sculptural creation that seems to float and thus further streamlines the cabin.

The F8 Tributo starts at $484,888 plus on-road costs and the first Australian deliveries are due in Q1 2020. Visit your preferred Ferrari Dealer to experience the famed V8 Ferrari engine for yourself.

Photographs and video by Ferrari S.p.A.