Thu, 05 March 2020
Having delighted in a brief taste of Ferrari’s new beast here in Bahrain, Dick Potter jumped at the chance for a return visit across the water.
I confess to a partiality for all things Italian. Food, clothes, cars and hotels – you read that correctly, Italian hotels. I recently had the pleasure of the full Italian job in Dubai – all for the purposes of work you understand. Checking into the Bvlgari Hotel is always a joy, but throw in the use of the Ferrari F8 Tributo for a day and it’s a whole new level of joy.
Since I’m in confessional mode, I’ve driven a lot of Ferraris in my time but surprisingly never a red one. Well, the F8 Tributo that purred up at the hotel for my day use was scorching hot red. Could it get any better?!
Now, those faithful followers amongst you know that I have driven the F8 Tributo before. In Bahrain. For a very short while. It was therefore particularly pleasing to get behind the wheel knowing I had a whole day of fun ahead of me this time round.
The Tributo – translating as tribute, which you already figured – sports 3.9 twin-turbo V8 engines. Ferrari fans will recognise these numbers from the track-ready 488 Pista, from which this engine is derived. The aforementioned engines were taken from the 488 and souped-up even more, making it the most powerful conventional V8-powered Ferrari produced to date. This results in the Tributo having more power coupled with reduced weight. Alas, I am reliably informed that the Tributo may be the last of the V8s to glide off the assembly line at Maranello as Ferrari intends to focus more on the V6 models.
Whilst the Tributo looks similar to the 488, it features more classic Ferrari design elements such as four round taillights and a louvered rear window (more on that later) similar to the iconic F40. Inside, the Tributo is completely redesigned, compared to the 488. The driver-centric dashboard sports a mix of traditional switchgear, digital displays and, as expected, swathes of ubiquitous Ferrari-style luxurious upholstery materials. The flat-bottomed steering is a tad smaller in diameter than the 488, but the paddle shifters are a familiar sight. Your (thrilled) passenger is provided with a newly introduced seven-inch touchscreen. Ferrari claims that this will “significantly enhance their on-board environment” (who writes this stuff?!) I think anyone lucky enough to be sat in the passenger seat of this beauty would already be provided with more than enough thrills!
Driving along in my automobile, between Dubai and Sharjah, huge grin duly on face – care must be taken with the omnipresent speed cameras – the Ferrari promise of 0-96kmh in less than three seconds is correct. A scant five seconds of foot pressure shot me to 198kmh and, on a particular stretch, I – albeit very briefly and don’t tell anyone – hit the eye-popping 320kmh!
I do love it when a driver ahead spots you in the rearview mirror and, giving deference to this growling F8, swiftly moves out of the way to let you pass. Those more stubborn drivers? The merest pressure on the Tributo’s oomph pedal and, hey presto, swoop around and they’re eating dust.
Should I veer towards the negative – gasp, negativity concerning a Ferrari?! Well, I might mention the reduced visibility through the (aforementioned) louvred rear window – but that’s a common comment on pretty much all supercars. That and a minuscule lag before the twin turbo chargers kick in, but when they did – rocketman in a red rocket – absolutely awesome. The engine cut off when idle – supposedly eco-friendly – is pretty much standard in modern cars but I wish it wasn’t in this one as I just love hearing the constant burble of those eight pistons.
My Italian experience unfortunately came to an end and, regrettably, the scorching red Tributo had to be handed back in Dubai. But here in Bahrain? Thankfully, Euro Motors showcases this stunning supercar and is sure to arrange a colour to suit your preference.
Happy motoring all.