NOBLEMAN PRESENTS THE FERRARI F8 TRIBUTO AS CAR OF THE YEAR
Photos & Video by Trevor Thompson
The Italians know how to make pretty things. In this case, pretty things that go very fast. The Ferrari F8 Tributo is not only pretty but, like all willful Italians, will make your heart race too. It is a superlative automobile, and is definitely worth the lofty title of NOBLEMAN 2020 “Car of The Year.” As its name implies, the Tributo is indeed a tribute to Ferraris of foregone eras, when cars coming out of the Scuderia were not only performance beasts, but evoked passion for their beauty, lines, and overall sexiness. As Enrico Galliera (Chief Commercial and Marketing Officer, Ferrari S.p.A.) puts it: “It is important to bring some iconic elements from our history to new models, and in this case, one of the most evident visual connections to our past is the F8 Tributo’s rear windshield in lightweight Lexan, which was a signature characteristic of the iconic Ferrari F40.” A departure from many of the current vehicles in the Ferrari arsenal, the sleek machine has been shaped as an aggressive successor to the 488, fusing beauty and performance in a way that has been seldom seen. The interior, while not plushed, is adequate and what you would expect of a supercar, infotainment included. This is not a car to sit in for long distances, but then again, we don’t think that is its purpose. It is meant to go fast, and it does indeed, with all the controls you need around the well-designed steering wheel.
Since it is a Ferrari, performance is at the center of our experience, and the rear-wheel drive is equipped with the same 3.9-liter twin- turbocharged V8 used in the 488 GTB. It performs flawlessly, as you would expect. Getting behind the wheel is all it takes to realize how much fun this automobile can be. Be prepared to sit low—very low—to the ground, and it can be a bit tricky to get in an out of the car; however, once you are in, you will be in a comfortable seating position, which allows you to be ready to navigate the road ahead.
We loved the carbon paddle shifters which are column mounted, not steering wheel mounted. It’s easy to forget how fast this car goes and, from stoplight to stoplight, you will find yourself staring at the speedometer in amazement as you realize how quick it goes. Let’s be frank, this is not the ideal car for the daily run to the local Starbucks. It is made for the freeway, and as soon as you unleash the beast, a little bit of a smile will form on your face, as you realize that you’ve suddenly reached 100mph, and think that it may be time to slow down a bit. (For the record, we’ve kept within the speed limit at all times… well, maybe.) The car—to take a metaphor from the movie, Pretty Woman—”corners like it is on rails” without missing a beat, and it gives you confidence that you can handle whatever comes your way.
Yes, it is a tribute, but not a nostalgic one. It is a return to the beauty of the Modenas, and others, of eras gone by that have continued to add to the Ferrari mystique. This is a car for car lovers who love the feeling of an open road—preferably without any speed limits.
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