Olympus OMD Mark II, f/4, 1/250 sec, ISO 200, 0 step, 150mm
Olympus OMD Mark II, f/4, 1/250 sec, ISO 200, 0 step, 150mm
It’s the same story inside as well. First noteworthy feature of the cabin’s design is the absence of a central screen. It’s all relocated to the instrument cluster, with all major controls located within a 12-inch radius from the steering wheel, ensuring that your hands won’t have to travel far to operate anything. After selecting your gears, the furthest your hands will have to move from the steering will only be to reach for the climate controls.
Passenger wants to change radio channels? Tell them, “Shut up. I’m letting you ride in my Ferrari. You listen to what I tell you to listen.”
You have not seen driver-focused cabins until you’ve seen a Ferrari interior.
The F8’s exterior design holds true to this philosophy too, so you’ll find no unnecessary flares. Even flair in any parts of the design is only allowed if it serves a greater purpose to help the car gain that little bit of speed. In that respect, the F8, like all Ferraris, exhibits a purer kind of beauty, achieved by prioritizing function, then finding a way to form. Either way, you can never say it’s trying too hard.
Engine is carried over from the 488 Pista, a harder-core track-focused evolution of the ‘regular’ 488 GTB. With 710hp squeezed out from a mere 3.9 litres of displacement, this is Ferrari’s most powerful V8 ever, and they have no qualms reminding you of that... in your face. In the name. And because it’s in Italian, it sounds okay. Because Aston Martin can’t give you a DB11 Tribute without making themselves look silly.
Still, Italian or not, chest thumping is expected to be backed by substance, and the F8 has some. It retains the 488’s breadth of latent abilities, whilst addressing the former car’s key deficiencies, namely its lack of aural drama and sense of occasion, plus an ever so slight amount of lag from its twin turbochargers.
Such is the flair of the Italian language that it beautifies even the most mundane subjects. If you can find me another translation of four doors that sounds like the sex appeal of Monica Bellucci, coffee’s on me. You want to make anything sound ‘atas’ and sophisticated, give it an Italian name.
Ferrari, curiously, didn’t always see the need to exploit the natural beauty of their native language in the naming of their cars. Most of them are three-digit numbers without any discernible structure or continuity. The lineage that started with the 308 continued on with the 328, 348, F355, 360, F430, 458, and 488. If anybody sees a pattern in there, drop us a line.
The latest descendent of Ferrari’s mid-engine V8 bloodline of Berlinettas is the F8 Tributo along with its droptop sibling, the F8 Spider. Under the skin, this is a major refresh of the preceding 488, but so comprehensive are the changes, Ferrari saw fit to rename the car entirely.
The F8, on the other hand, seems a little bit more comfortable in its own skin and origins. It embraces its own nature more happily. At pedestrian speeds, it is agreeably docile, exhibiting barely a hint of drama as you potter along the packed streets of Hartamas or Telawi areas.
At higher speeds, as the twin turbochargers pull more air into the eight awaiting cylinders, the F8 comes to life. The slight turbo lag we reported from the 488 is squeezed ever tighter, and boost is delivered in immediate but measured fashion. Acceleration, consequently, is pleasantly linear, like a naturally-aspirated engine, but with the ever present torque of a turbocharged one.
Steering is light, making the car feel manoeuvrable, yet not puppy-like excitable. Strangely, its nose feels more planted than the front-engined GTC4Lusso, when one expects the reverse to have been true. The F8’s helm is quick, accurate, but also not over-sensitive, so you can string together the fast corners of Ulu Yam, yet need not worry about a twitchy front end on Karak.
In design, Ferrari never sets out to sculpt bodywork or craft interiors to perfection. The central experience of owning a Ferrari is the drive, and all elements are blended in a way to serve that purpose. Every part of the bodywork is made for either the purpose of reducing drag or channelling air somewhere to cool something.
To drive, the F8 is an easy vehicle to live with day-to-day, yet ever ready to unleash its full performance potential for you to enjoy anytime anywhere. If we must nitpick, we’d wish for a bit more aural fireworks from even pedestrian speeds, but at the very least, we are glad that it now sounds better than the 488. No, we’ll never recapture the glorious naturally-aspirated V8 cacophony of the 458, but as the saying of our times go, this is the new norm, and we’ll have to live with it.
Form As A Tributo Function
Ferrari so thoroughly revamped the 488 that they not only gave it a new name, but so proud are they of their efforts, they called it a tribute – the Ferrari F8 Tributo.
WORDS KON • PICS TJ • EQUIPMENT OLYMPUS
Olympus OMD Mark II, f/3.5, 1/400 sec, ISO 200, -0.7 step, 12mm
Olympus OMD Mark II, f/3.5, 1/500 sec, ISO 200, -0.7 step, 40mm
Olympus OMD Mark II, f/3.5, 1/320 sec, ISO 200, 0 step, 24mm
Olympus OMD Mark II, f/3.5, 1/400 sec, ISO 200, -0.7 step, 28mm
For this shoot, the car is placed against a modern setting, to get the car's blue complimented by green grass foreground. Some colour was added in post processing to brighten up the image's overall look. - TJ
“Shut up. I’m letting you ride in my Ferrari. You listen to what I tell you to listen.”
Official Ferrari sources don’t say it, but it is widely implied that the F8 Tributo is also set to be the last in line of the V8 Berlinettas. A celebration of excellence, they call it, and if that is indeed true, we can’t think of a better way to sign off a glorious four-and-a-half decade dynasty.
Whether it is clocking laps around Sepang or carving the back roads to Kuala Kubu Bharu, the F8 has more than enough thrills to thoroughly entertain. They’ve managed to make the experience more visceral than the 488, its responses sharper, but without sacrificing civility. This car is a genuinely brilliant all-rounder.
"You want to make anything sound ‘atas’ and sophisticated, give it an Italian name."
The 488 was Ferrari’s first turbocharged mid-engined V8 since the F40, but unlike the F40, the Ferrari wasn’t quite as unapologetic of the 488’s internals, and exerted no small effort to massage away certain forced induction driving traits. The result was a car utterly capable in its execution, but also ultimately muted in its delivery.
At higher speeds, as the twin turbochargers pull more air into the eight awaiting cylinders, the F8 comes to life.
Olympus OMD Mark II, f/11, 1/250 sec, ISO 500, 0 step, 40mm
Olympus OMD Mark II, f/2.8, 1/250 sec, ISO 500, 0 step, 21mm