Are supercars a bit too tame these days? Our latest review of the 2019 McLaren 720S Spider suggests so. But then a new Ferrari happens…
Since Adam’s on the subject of supercars and sweat, it got us thinking about where fast thrills are headed nowadays.
This, for example, is the new Ferrari F80 Tributo, the latest Ferrari with a mid-mounted V8 in a long line of cars going back to the 1975 308 GTB.
The series has lumbered under the cultural weight of the F40 for more than three decades now, and though every V8 Ferrari has been great (except the 348 obviously, as per the social rules) none have been able to stand up to Enzo’s final gift to humankind. The F40 had three exhaust pipes. It had anti glare felt wrapping the instruments, and the fuse box was exposed in the dash. There was no interior door latch, no electric windows, no carpets, no radio, no power steering, and in 1987 it rolled out of Maranello as the fastest car in history, the first to claim the 200-mile-an-hour landmark.
After the F40 the world turned a new page. We had reached peak ‘80s. Everything that came after the F40 would fragmentally succumb to health and safety and tolerance, to eventually lead us to today, a time when you can buy a Volkswagen crossover with a Lamborghini badge on the nose. We’re still coming to terms with the tolerance bit.
It’s taken materialism to make us realise that all the synthetic privileges of modern life, all that kevlar, carbon fibre, aluminium and silicone is just a means to a primal end. We need expensive, exotic materials arranged in precisely the right way to stir our most elemental emotion – fear.
This is why we love supercars. The highest technological feats of car engineers, all so we can sit there laughing giddy, unable to muster up a response more expressive than “Mommy!” We’re prepared to go a long way for a kick, for that simple feeling of being alive. Supercars put everything in context, especially your mortality.
The new F8 Tributo pays tribute to the F40 in more ways than merely with that louvred rear engine cover. For instance, the car’s spec sheet makes for some pretty scary reading. This is the fastest V8-engined Ferrari ever, and the most powerful, producing 720 horsepower at a heady 8,000rpm despite the burden of two turbochargers. Not only does it rev, but it also makes 770Nm of torque from 3,250rpm, and with 1,330kg to lug around the 3.9-litre V8 has it easy. Zero to 100km/h is up in 2.9 seconds and top speed is 340km/h.
So, we ask you, can you just imagine what the inevitable Challenge/Stradale/Speciale/Pista version will be like once the Italians really let it loose?
The memory of the fervent Pista is still fresh at Motormouth, but the F8 Tributo matches it for power, and betters the outgoing 458 by 50bhp. With a redesigned front end there’s also a 10 percent improvement in aerodynamics, plus a 40kg reduction in weight.
Since the F8 Tributo traces its technical roots back to the 2009 Ferrari 458, the company freshened up the interior with an updated cockpit design – the Italians claim every part of the dash was redesigned, including the door panels and tunnel console, and you’ll note the seven-inch display is new too as is the steering wheel.
They could’ve gone easy on the carpet though. And a piece of string hanging off somewhere would be nice.