Earlier this month, I received a message from the team at Ferrari Quebec informing me that their F8 Tributo press car was arriving and was wondering if I would be interested in taking it out for a test drive.
I’ll be honest, I had never driven a Ferrari before and I had to read the text message over a couple of times, as well as pinch myself more than several times before kindly responding with… ABSOLUTELY! Before we dive into my experience of driving it, let’s start with the basics.
What exactly is the F8 Tributo?
From a power standpoint, this is where things get interesting. For those familiar with the brand, the F8 Tributo uses the same engine found in the hardcore, track-focused 488 Pista, a twin-turbocharged 3.9-litre V-8 that produces 710 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque. Even though the output is identical to the Pista, Ferrari has engineered the F8 Tributo to be more civilized and comfortable for ‘everyday use’ thanks to its adaptive suspension that adjust the stiffness/softness of the suspension.
So now back to the day of the test drive. As I pulled up to the meeting point, the F8 Tributo that I would be driving, finished in Rosso Scuderia, was shining elegantly in the sun. Design-wise, I have no problem saying that I personally was not a fan of the styling on the 488; the 458 Italia’s design was absolutely stunning and I found the subtle changes they did on the 488 did not complement the car one bit. As this was the first time I had seen an F8 Tributo in person, I can confidently say that I am a big fan of the design, particularly the rear of the car with its taillights and engine glass that pay tribute to the iconic F40.
As I took a seat inside, its interior, in typical Ferrari fashion, did not disappoint. Finished in Italian leather and Alcantara throughout it proved to be not only stylish but comfortable as well. Compared to other cars in its class, and keeping with its driver-focused cabin, I like the fact that there is no center screen and everything from your navigation and radio is located within the instrument cluster.
My favourite interior feature is definitely the ‘passenger display’ located right above the glovebox where your +1 can keep tabs on your speed and try to prepare themselves for the G forces when accelerating (BIG emphasis on try).
Starting it up, the turbocharged V-8 comes to life which even though it does not have the same exhaust note as naturally aspirated Ferrari’s of the past, it did sound a lot better than I expected. Leaving the parking lot and heading onto the main boulevard, I was surprised how comfortable it was thanks to the car’s ‘Bumpy Road’ mode (a very convenient name for our Quebec roads). As I changed the driving mode to Race, or like the Italians like to say, Corsa, the F8 Tributo really came to life and let me tell you, it’s far from being a slouch! With very minimal turbo-lag, you almost forget that it's turbocharged; it’s astonishing how quickly the power is delivered. How fast does it propel from 0-100 km/h? The answer is, 2.9 seconds! Of course, since I was driving the car on public roads, I did not have the chance to test the vehicle’s full power potential, but regardless, I was very impressed. See more of my driving experience in the video clip below.
With a base price of roughly $325,000, the first Canadian customer deliveries of the F8 Tributo have commenced and a couple of them have already been spotted around Montreal. A big thank you again to Ferrari Quebec for allowing me the opportunity to be one of the first people in the province to experience it.